Aztecs–Unhappy Lots of Ways”
Brady Hoke started his press conference in a bad mood.
I sense he ended his SDSU press conference on Tuesday in a worse mood.
He had a scowl on his face after his Aztecs team got destroyed on network TV by Utah State (41-13) in the Mountain West Conference Championship game.
They had nationwide exposure, and got hammered on CBS-TV for the entire nation to see.
Watching the film of the sand-blasting was probably worse than just being on the sidelines as it happened.
Just a bad day at the office for SDSU, out of character. Pick any of the reasons and those were things you didn’t see all year when this team, was rolling to an (11-1) record.
Hoke seemed to get more upset the more he talked: (1-14) on third downs. 6-sacks. 3-dropped pass interceptions. 6-personal foul penalties. 3-quarterback hits on QB-Logan Bonner that kept drives going. 2-blocked punts. 1-missed field goal.
It was really ugly.;
So were the followup questions I asked about the storyline that Hoke stonewalled us on all last week. I had it that 5-players were out of practice because of Covid issues or Close Contact testing. He refused to answer health questions all last week.
Then SDSU told CBS’ broadcast crew the full depth of the issues.
All the tight ends in the building were ill. 20-players missed a week of practice. The team had only 2-walk thrus.
SDSU informed the network of the details, but snubbed the entire media corps. There were a season high 14-working members of the media on the Aztecs Zoom call last week, and Hoke tried to coverup the story, almost lying about it, till they talked to the networks.
The Aztecs coach seemed miffed too with why SDSU can’t recruit quality quarterbacks, relying on ‘Game Managers’ rather than ‘Game Winners’. 4-QBs on other Mountain West teams transferred in with big time credentials. The names Haener-Bonner-Strong ring any bells. SDSU brings in guys completing 48% of passes, who can run the football. In a program that has recruited so many great athletes at all the other positions, you’d think somebody in that building would find a stud high school QB considering how many schools here throw the hell out of the ball. Or go get a Jake Haener, Logan Bonner or Carson Strong type thrower.
Ryan Lindley, Kevin O’Connell, Billy Blanton, David Lowrey were a long time ago.
So the coach had a tough day with my questions. You want to be the ‘team in town’ then be prepared to handle the tough questions in town too. Enough with this media cheerleading.
Hoke can play the sly-old ball coach lots of time. Lots of people like him a great deal. He and Rocky Long have done spectacular things fixing all that is wrong on Montezuma Mesa. You don’t get to be (103-59) in a decade plus unless you are good. The folksy personality is great to be around. Transparency in the program when things go bad is important too.
The Aztecs will bounce back in what will be a fun bowl game to watch on TV. Texas-San Antonio is a good program that built itself out as a Group of 5-power in just a short span.
I would have hoped SDSU could finish the season beating Utah State and actually getting to a meaningful Bowl game. You remember Boise State beating Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl years ago that put the Broncos on the national map? Not this year and sadly 24-kids exit as graduates after the Frisco Bowl game SDSU plays..
AD-John David Wicker didn’t provide must insight, indicating 95% of the players had vaccinations, the rest had exemptions. He didn’t discuss why his coach wasn’t more forthcoming and why the school never returned phone calls about specific questions the media had. SDSU standing in their ivory tower, thinking they can look down on everyone. It’s been a disappointing week off the field and on the field.
I hope Hoke understands he needs to be truthful and honest going forward when the questions are honest-meaningful and sincere.
An old bully boy defensive tackle needs to treat the media better. He used up some of his good-will currency this past week.
That press conference started bad, ended bad.
It was a 1-off too, just like the game. The Aztecs and the coach need to be better next time around.