They walked the talk.
They did what you would expect a Rocky Long football team to do…played hard..hit hard…got the turnovers…got the sacks…ran the ball…hit big pass plays…and out toughed another opponent.
Playing in a medieval football stadium, that experienced a 22-minute power display, San Diego State put the lights out on Stadium, winning (I20-17) with (:54) left on a Christian Chapman game winning TD pass.
For a program so used to failure, losing badly to big time teams, it was another step forward for the strong willed program, led by the strong willed coach, Rocky Long.
Long is now (57-26) in America’s Finest City, bring football fans the finest college football we have seen since the small college days of Don Coryell, the Aztecs Bowl in Division II football. And that was a lot of 3rd down coversions ago.
The scoreboard does not lie about SDSU struggles outside their own conference, whether it was WAC or Mountain West.
Goodbye all types of bad karma. Had never beaten two PAC 10-PAC 12 teams in the same year, ever. Were (0-30) vs ranked teams in the Power 5-Conferences. Were (5-56) against any ranked teams since 1981. Were (12-40) vs Pac 10-12 teams over the history of the program.
Long, every the student of cement-tough defense, told me he watched the schemes USC employed the week prior choking off the Cardinals power offense.
Copy-cat he is, he played a stacked defense against Stanford, walking linebackers into gaps, daring them to run power back Bryce Love. If they didn’t run it, he dared QB-Keller Chryst to think he could get the ball out of there before the pass rush outnumbered blockers, and nailed the quarterback.
Yes Love broke off 3-big runs of 47-51-53 when he busted to second level. The rest of the night, he did nothing.
Chryst was an anemic (9-19) with no deep balls and no time to throw.
In typical Red & Black style, Long’s defense recovered a fumble, had 2-picks and recorded 4-sacks.
Meanwhile, it was a typical night at the office for the Aztecs run game. Rashaad Penny gashed Stanford for runs of 11-11-14-14-23-36, behind a very young, but physical SDSU offensive front.
State QB-Christian Chapman did more than just ‘manage the game’. He got that off his driver’s license with a strong (21-29) 187Y-performance. His TE-David Wells, the next coming of Gavin Escobar, caught key passes, and the game winner.
And John Barron booted two more field goals enroute to the win.
Stanford was black and blue when it was over.
It may only be the third win of the season, but it counts for a lot. A (3-0) record, more national recognition for the big money running back ‘Penny’, and another quality win in a series of quality wins for Long, covering the last three seasons.
Next up the challenge that is all things Air Force. Aztecs coming off a brutally physical game. Short work week vs the Air Force option. The thin air of Colorado Springs.
And beyond that, a home game with Boise State, the team the Aztecs have replaced as the flag carrier of the Mountain West Conference.
As a talkshow host, I always loved saying ‘it’s your fault coach’. And it is. Rocky Long has coached em up…game planned them up…built the roster up…and seems primed to take SDSU football to new levels.
And now a new tradition…fans storming the field after a huge win, something I have hardly ever seen in 30-years covering this team. This should become the ‘norm’ every weekend.
Time for the ‘show’…the fraternity guys and student body to take that basketball tradition, and make it a football tradition too.
1-Town…1-Team….1-Winning Team…San Diego State.