Long: We’re not a very good football team

by Patrick Carr, Sports Editor

The 1-2 record for San Diego State football is deceiving. After Saturday’s loss against University of South Alabama, SDSU has yet to win a game that counts for bowl eligibility.

The Aztecs’ opening win against University of San Diego doesn’t count because USD doesn’t award football scholarships.

So that leaves SDSU in a rather precarious position. Next week is a trip to Beaver Stadium — or Happy Valley, depending on how one wants to call it — to face Penn State, a Power Five team with an unconvincing 2-1 record, but with an average home attendance of 98,194 and a good defense.

After that, Mountain West play starts with tough tilts against Fresno State and University of Hawaii. The Aztecs have nine games left and need to win six to get to bowl eligibility.

That’s going to be very tough given what head coach Rocky Long said about the team after the game.

“Obviously we’re not a very good football team right now,” he said.

And the offense that’s been the subject of scrutiny? It exploded for 17 points in the second quarter, giving the Aztecs a 17-3 lead at the time. It looked like that would be the score at halftime until senior running back Chase Price fumbled with 29 seconds left on the clock.

The very next play, Jaguars’ senior quarterback Cody Clements threw a 46-yard touchdown to junior wideout Josh Magee during which the SDSU defensive back covering Magee slipped, fell and left Magee wide open to walk in for a touchdown.

“It’s staggering how inconsistent we are on offense,” Long said.

What about the much-heralded defense? The unit that ranked in the top 20 in some national categories last year and returned eight starters (two of them, sophomore safety Trey Lomax and senior linebacker Jake Fely, didn’t play Saturday).

The defense gave up a staggering 511 yards at an average of 6.2 per play. The passing defense, which has received much of the praise, gave up 270 yards on 18 completions.

Many of those completions were to receivers who were wide-open in the middle of the field and who gained many yards after catch.

“The last two weeks we’ve given up way too many big plays, some of it because of poor tackling and some of it because terrible assignment errors,” Long said.

Tough games against two of the MW’s better teams loom in October (home to Utah State, away at Colorado State). And if SDSU doesn’t figure out how to win, the streak of appearances in a bowl game might end sooner than it’d like.

Long not happy with media after game, fans not happy with Long

During the postgame press conference, Long was asked a question that basically asked about how disappointed he was to lose to a team that the Aztecs were favored by double digits against.

“Your preconceived idea on who people are, that’s a big problem with the media,” he said.

“(South Alabama) has 85 guys on scholarship too and they recruit in the area of the country where football’s a religion, did you not think they were going to have good players?” he said.

His comments prompted a rash of of ill will directed toward the Aztecs skipper. By the middle of Saturday’s game, #FireRocky was making the rounds on Twitter.

There was compounded outrage and disappointment throughout the Twitter-sphere from wanting to fire Rocky Long…

..to disappointment..


..and the weight of expectations.

Several records fall

Although junior running back Donnel Pumphrey was bottled up most of the night despite finishing with 102 yards rushing, he still jumped three spots on SDSU’s all-time rushing list.

In the third quarter, he passed George Jones (2,810) for sixth on the list. In the fourth quarter, he passed Jonas Lewis (2,843) for fifth on the list then passed Adam Muema for fourth on the list later in the game.

Senior kicker Donny Hageman barely made a 54-yard field goal in the third quarter that was the second-longest in school history, and naturally, a career record for him.

Senior running back Chase Price went over 1,000 career yards with his 41 yards on Saturday.

One record that didn’t fall was the attendance record. The announced crowd of 18,194 was the smallest since Oct. 31, 2009 against University of New Mexico when a crowd of 12,647 saw a 23-20 SDSU win.