While some teams are just now starting spring ball San Diego State just ended with their Red and Black game that ended up in a 10-7 score. The two teams were split up evenly with backups and starters on both sides. To no real surprise the defense was ahead of the offense that can be due to that coach Brady Hoke still does not have the offensive players in his system to run it perfectly, especially with the offensive line and running back positions.
Offensive coordinator Al Borges was not too pleased with the spring game but overall saw progress:
"I don’t think this went that well, but for the most part we made a lot of headway this spring, We really did. There was some drastic improvement made by several players. We just have to shore up some gaps. Once we do that, we’ll be a better team."
The backs managed only 8 yards on 46 carries which is never good. Side not on the running game is that Atiyyah Henderson was denied a sixth year of eligibility due to a back injury that did not allow him to play at all last year. The passing game was decent as backups Jake Bernards and Ryne Clark, combined to complete 15 of 25 passes for 209 yards and a touchdown. Starting quarterback Ryan Lindley directed the Red team and managed to complete just 9 of 25 passes for 128 yards with one interception.
The backup quarterback position is critical because the winner for that spot will be taking over for Ryan Lindley for the 2012 season.
The goal of the 3-3-5 defense with Rocky Long is for the defensive backs to play more man coverage with this in mind:
"We worked on man-to-man more than anything in practice … It gets more pressure on the quarterback. It the (defensive backs) can man up all the receivers, it frees up the linebackers and D-line to go blitz."
However, coach Rocky Long does not feel that they are good enough to play man-to-man coverage full time on defense. Playing a man to man defense can be brutal in the Mountain West where BYU, TCU, Wyoming, and Utah spread the ball with at leas three wide out sets.
If the Aztecs can find a sustainable running game to go along with what is looking to be a pretty good defense a shot at a bowl game is within reach.
One note about the scrimmage was that a reward for the win, the Black team was to be served steaks after the scrimmage while he Red team was to get hot dogs and "bad baked beans
Here are some audio clips from the spring game provided by 619 Sports.
Brady Hoke talks about how the game was balanced
Hoke on leadership that will be needed from the upperclassmen especially from the quarterbacks
Quarterback Ryan Lindley