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

Aztecs live and die with the run game

Kelly Smiley
A herd of Bronco defenders converge on redshirt junior quarterback Chirstian Chapman during SDSU’s 14-31 loss to Boise Sttae on Oct. 14. Chapman was sacked four times by the Broncos.

The previously undefeated and previously nationally ranked San Diego State football fell by the wayside against an unranked Boise State University team, 31-14.

Perfection is difficult. It seldom becomes a reality in the realm of college football and the Scarlet and Black learned that the hard way.

SDSU needs to improve.

Boise exposed something about this team that needs to be addressed – the Aztecs are nothing without the run game.

The Aztecs cannot rely solely on the arm of redshirt junior quarterback Christian Chapman, even in a game where he threw for a career-high 240 yards.

“I thought it was obvious they were the most physical football team out there tonight… Tonight we were terrible,” SDSU head coach Rocky Long said.

The loss hangs squarely on the offense and its inability to run the ball.

That fell on the offensive line, which was overwhelmed and manhandled from start to finish.

Long was not shy to talk about this after the game.

“Tonight we weren’t good,” Long said. “The offensive line was terrible.”

SDSU’s kryptonite was the Boise defensive line, and it was evident from the opening sequence that Boise defensive coordinator Andy Avalos and his unit did their homework on the Aztecs offense.

There were eight or nine Broncos in the box on every play and they seemed to always know where senior running back Rashaad Penny was going to go.

Boise’s stable of defenders forced the Aztecs to win the game through the air, which proved too tall a task for Christian Chapman.

“When they stop the run like that, we kinda gotta try to open up the pass game but it’s tough, because we’re built on the run game,” said offensive coordinator Jeff Horton.

The Broncos defense was by far the most athletic challenge the Aztecs have faced this season, and they were dominated at the line of scrimmage.

SDSU’s offensive line was outmatched, giving up four sacks and 12 tackles for loss.

The Boise defense quickly and completely engulfed all dive plays and runs between the gaps, a big part of the Aztecs’ running game.

Runs outside, which in previous games often resulted in Penny breaking out for a touchdown, were stifled because of the physicality of Boise’s cornerbacks.

SDSU receivers were unable to block effectively, which took away the outside runs.

Boise completely contained the run game, something which hadn’t been done all season.

The defense didn’t play up to its standard. It did not force a turnover and did not record a sack for the first time all season.

But it did enough to keep the game from being a blowout.

The problem with running such a simplified offense is that it is easy to stop. The offense needs to evolve. Eventually teams will get enough film and become able to recognize tendencies and pick up on the play calling.

This was the first time the Aztecs were overpowered by a defense on the line of scrimmage and the they could not figure out how to respond.

If the team remains stagnant at the line of scrimmage the losses will continue.

The idea that SDSU could not be a successful team without a dominant run game was confirmed, and Boise State has laid down the blueprint to beating the Aztecs.

Let’s see if Fresno State University is up to the task.

About the Contributors
Kyle Saunders, Staff writer
Kyle is a third-year journalism major with an emphasis in media studies and a minor in communication. He is from Woodland, CA and loves the San Francisco Giants and 49ers. Kyle plans to eventually work for ESPN as a SportsCenter anchor while also covering professional football and basketball.
Kelly Smiley
Kelly Smiley, Photo Editor
Activate Search
San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Aztecs live and die with the run game