San Diego States football starts the season at 0-1 after a loss at Washington. Many fans expected this when they saw Washington and their explosive offense on the schedule for week one of the 2012 season. What fans didn't expect is a close game and a loss that can be partially aided by head coach Rocky Long's obscure strategies he employed. San Diego State lost the game 21-12 against the Pac-12 team and their explosive offense.
On paper, San Diego State's statistics don't look bad. The offense committed several costly penalties though which never help win a football game. One fumble was returned for a touchdown which led to one of Washington's three touchdowns. Quarterback Ryan Katz also threw an interception and the team lost another fumble putting Washington close to the end zone. The story though was Rocky Long choosing not to kick field goals or extra points and neglect his kickers. The team only punted three times in the game as well. As a fan of the team, this theory appears so unorthodox that is seems crazy. In this game it's easy to argue that the decision cost his team the game. It just seems like common sense that kicking is and has always been the smart move for a coach to make in football.
Looking at the play of the offense and defense, fans have reason to be excited. The offense ran for 234 yards on 40 carries and saw great play from senior Walter Kazee and quarterback Ryan Katz. Katz also threw for 128 yards while completing ten out of 19 passes. The defense stood out to me while watching the game though. An explosive Washington offense only scored 14 points offensively and was limited by the Aztec defense throughout. Led by senior cornerback Leon McFadden, San Diego State is going to win plenty of games this year if the defense continues to play like this.
The only nationally ranked team on the schedule this year is Boise State who also lost their opening game. Several winnable game remain for San Diego State and fans still have plenty of reason to be excited. I still think San Diego State is going to have a strong season and I come away from this game excited about the rest of the year.
Living nearby to San Diego State and being a fan of the team is exciting at a time when the Aztecs are coming off two successful seasons in a row. Seeing the community rally around the success of the team was evident last year, and hopefully the team can build upon that this season.