This Saturday, the San Diego State Aztecs will battle the Hawaii Warriors in their first game since being totally embarrassed by Fresno State.
I’m curious to see how the Aztecs respond. This season has already gone off the rails and this game will be a chance for the team to reveal their character.
Are they’re going to keep competing, or are they already thinking about next season? We shall see.
Aztecs on defense
At this point, it is painfully obvious that SDSU is smaller than most teams in the trenches. That’s why we’re seeing their opponents having big games on the ground. I expect coach Long to put an extra defender in the box or try to bring pressure in order to deal with the run, and force the Warriors into third and long situations. Once the Aztecs get Hawaii in those situations, they must force turnovers. It is said that the most important stat in football is turnovers. Usually the teams that can get extra possessions is the one that comes out on top at the end of the game.
Stop RB Diocemy Saint Juste
Due to the fact that the Warriors usually play late at night, most of the country has never even heard of Saint Juste. It would be unwise for the Aztecs to overlook the talented senior running back. So far this season, Saint Juste is averaging a whopping six yards per carry and is fresh off a 202-yard performance against San Jose State. The most impressive part of that effort is that he carried the ball 39 times. That shows that he is workhorse and, if SDSU can’t stop him, it could be a long night in paradise for the Aztecs.
Aztecs on offense
Get Back to Basics
Football is a game of momentum. When things are going well, everything seems to go your way. When things are going badly, it seems that no matter what you do, something will go against you. Right now, NOTHING seems to be working for the Aztecs on offense. I think it’s in their best interest to simplify the game plan. For weeks, in this weekly column, I’ve been pleading the Aztecs to throw on first down in order to keep the defense honest, Doing that also builds QB Christian Chapman’s confidence. Once again, I think that should be the focus of the offense. I’m not saying that SDSU should abandon their identity as a run-first team, but they should try a couple of short passes in order to jump-start the offense early in their possessions.
Help the O-Line
One of the problems during last week’s debacle was that the offensive line has not played together often. I think that helping them a little bit during this game is in order. Perhaps, keep a tight end on the line or a back to help with protection. You can’t expect any offense to work when the QB is running for his life.
Expect fireworks. I think this will be a high-scoring affair between the Warriors and Aztecs. It might come down to the team that wins the turnover battle. I think that SDSU will play more relaxed now that their season has little chance to become what many hoped it would be. I think the Aztecs will win by the score of 41-31 in a shootout.