San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Aztec football practice report: Trip to Hawaii won’t be a ‘field trip’

Chadd Cady

San Diego State football already made the second-longest trip of any Football Bowl Subdivision team this season when it traveled to Happy Valley to play Penn State in September.

Ask head coach Rocky Long, though, and the trip to the East Coast is nothing compared to going to University of Hawaii, which SDSU will do this weekend.

“It’s not a fun trip,” Long said after practice earlier this week.

Unlike when the team traveled to Penn State, the Aztecs will lose three hours on their way back from Hwaii.

“I think (the game) impacts the following week more,” Long said. “The kids don’t have as much time to rest and (coaches) don’t have as much time to prepare for the next game, so you’re always trying to catch up.”

He cited the team’s lack of time on the islands as a reason why it’s not a “field trip” like some may think.

“We’re going to get there at 6 p.m., eat, put them to bed and then after the game we fly straight back home and we’ll get in at around 5 or 6 a.m.,” he said.

Along with that, Hawaii plays its best football at home by a long shot.

Over the last three seasons it has gone 6-9 at home, while going 1-14 on the road. Not to mention, SDSU’s players will be dealing with messed-up body clocks

“The game’s not over till after midnight our time, it puts a toll on your body clock,” Long said.

What may be the biggest challenge to overcome, though, is the culture shock that comes with going to Hawaii.

“There’s a completely different attitude and feeling than there normally is, it’s a vacation place,” Long said. “As soon as you land, (players) think they’re on vacation. Everyone around them is in a t-shirt and shorts and walking to the beach.”

Pumphrey back at practice in limited capacity

Just a few days removed from a high ankle sprain he suffered in Saturday’s win against Fresno State, junior running back Donnel Pumphrey was back on the practice field Monday, although in a limited capacity.

“He did more than I thought he would do,” Long said. “He did some rehab stuff on the side and jogged a little.”

Long said he still doesn’t know if Pumphrey will be able to give it a go on Saturday, but if he isn’t able to, senior Chase Price will get the start. The playbook isn’t expected to change, though.

Sophomores Rashaad Penny and Marcus Stamps both received first-team reps during Monday’s practice, along with Price.

Both would see an increased workload in Pumphrey’s absence and Penny would take over Pumphrey’s role in the passing game.

In more news on the injury front, Long said sophomore wide receiver Mikah Holder will play this week as he continues to deal with a strained hamstring that limited him Saturday.

His role in the offense, though, will depend on how much he’s able to practice this week.

“He’s not experienced enough to go out there without practice,” Long said. “He didn’t play a lot because he missed a lot of practice. If he’s not able to practice more this week he won’t have an enlarged role.”

Long not a fan of the late games

It’s no secret that Long is not a fan of weekday games, but he’s also not very pleased that the Aztecs play lots of late-night games.

With five of the team’s next six games starting after 7 p.m., it’s safe to say Long is not a happy camper.

And he knows what to blame.

“TV runs college sports. You think we want to be playing at 7 p.m. every game?” Long said. “We want to play at 1 p.m., like college football is meant to be played, but TV tells you when you have to play.”

There’s nothing he can do about it either.

“We have no say,” Long said bluntly. “The only games you have say on are the ones you’re not on TV, and you don’t want any of those games because you don’t make any money.”

He said a game’s kickoff time has an effect on the team’s preparation. He and the coaching staff are forced to stay up late into the night after games, trying to game plan for next week’s game before Monday’s practice.

Games like this week, and when the Aztecs travel to San Jose State on Oct. 17 and UNLV on Nov. 21, force the team to be a day behind in its preparation.

“Players just go with the flow,” Long said. “But this time next week, we will have an unproductive practice, because we as a coaching staff will not have the game plan fully in our minds.”

About the Contributor
Chadd Cady
Chadd Cady, Senior Staff Photographer
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Aztec football practice report: Trip to Hawaii won’t be a ‘field trip’