With San Diego State's football spring training coming to an end, it was only fitting that the last game of camp came down to double overtime.
Junior Larry Clark caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback, Nick Bawden to give the Red team a 30-24 win over the Black squad in San Diego states annual Red versus Black game.
The Red vs. Black game is the accumulation of spring camp and a chance for players to show head coach Rocky Long what they have before he makes roster decisions. Even though it was a close game on paper, it was clear the defense was shutting down the offense.
"Most of the scrimmage, I thought the defense kind of dominated things," said Long.
Well, that's what you want right? When a team plays each other in practice, you want the offense to score, however at the same time you want the defense to keep them from scoring. This concept can be a double-edge sword at times, something that coach Long knows very well. "You never win in a spring game. You're never happy one way or the other," said Long after the scrimmage.
In one way Long can be upset with the offense. The quarterbacks totaled for three interceptions on the night, while the defense turned two of those interceptions into touchdowns.
"We can't turn the ball over like that," said Long.
However, a silver lining for coach Long is the fact that his dubbed starter, Quinn Kaehler, did not take any snaps during camp because of surgery on his elbow.
With Kaehler out during camp, a headline was the battle of the quarterbacks. Before camp started, Long stated that Kaehler would be his starter; however, no one was sure.
The quarterbacks all performed well during camp without a clear front runner.
Freshman Nick Bawden, who committed to SDSU last summer, looked like a rookie quarterback at camp. He seemed uncomfortable in the pocket and was quick to get rid of the ball. Bawden went to 12-30 with two interceptions and 122 yards in the Red vs Black game.
The most experienced of the reserves, 23 year old junior, Brad Odeman Jr., is having a great start. Odeman went 6-15 with 1 interception and 115 yards. Known for his arm, Odeman fired off passes and responded to pressure well.
Rounding out the reserves is red-shirt freshman, Chase Favreau. In drills, the left hander looks confident after the snap and does not let pressure affect him. In the Red vs Black game Favreau did not see much time; however, he finished the game going 7-12 with zero interceptions and 54 yards.
When asked about who his starter would be after the scrimmage game, Long said, "I think our starting quarterback is still Quinn Kaehler... I don't think we've decided on who the back-up quarterback is."Another question coming into camp was who was going to step up at safety. With Nat Berhe and Eric Pinkins leaving the team, it was anyones' job. According to Long, he still sees room for improvement in the safety position. After the scrimmage he said, "I don't know if I'm comfortable (with the safeties)."
When you look at the options available for safeties, two names stand out- senior David Lamar and red shirt freshman, Trey Lomax.
Lamar played all 13 games and totalled 15 tackles last season. Lamar would bring a lot of experience to this position and is probably the best option for Long. He was listed as the backup safety last season.
Lomax played extremely well in the Red vs Black scrimmage. He had 7 tackles with one pass break up. Look for him to be the second string safety and see some playing time.
Overall, San Diego State's 2014 camp went well. The offense may need some improving; however, that just may mean that the Aztecs have a great defense.
Head coach Rocky Long still has some time to figure out his roster though. The Aztecs will open their season on Aug. 30 at home against Northern Arizona and look to make their 5th consecutive bowl appearance.