Same Old Story for Aztecs

by publicationarchive

There was a rumor floating around the press box Saturday nightthat the Coca-Cola in the soda fountain was caffeine-free. Wouldn’thave surprised me. Everything else on Saturday night led me tobelieve the gamewas in Utah.

Whether it was the sound of the BYU faithful cheering that drownedout the boos of the home fans or the domination that the Cougarsdisplayed on the field, for all intents and purposes, BYU’s 59-21victory over San Diego State was a home game for the Cougars.

In what is becoming a painfully predictable modus operandi, SDSUstayed in the game for about 20 minutes on Saturday night before itbegan its swan dive. This week’s episode saw the Aztecs ride the legsof star running back Larry Ned to a 14-7 first-half lead.

Then reality set in — reality coming in the form of 24 straightpoints by BYU.

Sound familiar?

Of the 24 points, 14 of them came off Lon Sheriff’s twointerceptions. Sheriff, whose five turnovers cost SDSU a shot atupsetting Ohio State last week, displayed little poise in the pocket,showing the lack of confidence that has led to his anemic 87.8quarterback rating.

His fourth-quarter fumble deep in Aztecs’ territory led to theCougars’ sixth touchdown of the game, this one finishing off anyhopes of a comeback.

“I could always do better,” Sheriff said. “My stats weren’t good,but I don’t think they were as bad as they looked.”

For those students not in attendance, about 32,000 (the studentbody minus the 100 or so scattered faithful among the thousands ofBYU fans), SDSU did what they always do: look great for a quarter orso, then fold.

The second half has been a nightmare for the Aztecs this season.They have been outscored 108-28 in the second half of games playedagainst Division I teams, making winning about as difficult as takingthe LSAT drunk. It was no different this weekend as BYU outscoredSDSU 35-7.

With a 2-6 record, the Aztecs now have the daunting task ofplaying out the string. For most seniors, it will be their lastchance to play competitive football. That alone should be motivation.

But for head coach Ted Tollner, the next few weeks might be anaudition for his next job, as the likelihood of Tollner returning tothe SDSU helm gets smaller by the day. Tollner was brought in to makethe Aztecs program a national force.

He has failed.

Whoever replaces Tollner will have the difficult task of revampinga program that has not won a bowl game in recent history and has afan base smaller than George W. Bush’s IQ.

Good luck.

— Jared Quient is a political science and history senior and anassistant sports editor for The Daily Aztec. He can be reached atknick914@aol.com.

–This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of TheDaily Aztec.