Welcome to the fourth edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” During the offseason I will be featuring some of the most important games of the 2017 Mountain West Season. This week it will be Fresno State vs. San Diego State.
Fresno State’s Defense
The Bulldogs held the Aztecs to 255 total yards of offense, including only 90 yards passing. For the second straight week Rashaad Penny struggled, he was held to 69 yards on 15 carries. The Aztecs rely on their running and the Bulldog defensive line proved to be a force. Chapman once again struggled, as he had limited time in the pocket. The Aztecs could never establish their passing game, the Bulldogs provided constant pressure on Chapman to the tune of five sacks. Robert Stanley led the way with a sack and three tackles for loss.
Jordan Mims and Josh Hokit
The Bulldogs gave the Aztecs a taste of their own medicine, as they ran the ball down their throats. Mims did not break off a lot of long runs, but he was able to break through the defense with consistent six and seven yard gains. Mims carried the ball 21 times for 112 yards. Hokit was the perfect compliment to Mims, as he had 14 carries for 77 yards and scored all three touchdowns for Fresno State. The Aztecs have built a name for themselves by stopping the run and being a defensive force. For the second straight week, they struggled to stop the run and looked like the less physical team.
For the second straight week Penny struggled to prove himself against the best teams in the mountain west. During the first six games of the year Penny looked unstoppable, he was easily breaking the century mark and looked like he had a legitimate chance at the Heisman. Against the Bulldogs, he looked mediocre at best, finishing the game with only 78 total yards. Not only did he struggle to run the ball, the Aztecs could not get him involved in the passing game.
Chapman once again struggled in a big game. Chapman finished the game 10/20 for 77 yards, he once again faced consistent pressure and looked uncomfortable in the pocket. Rocky Long has been able to find success despite the play of his his quarterbacks. If the Aztecs are ever going to break through, they are going to have to find a quarterback that is better than serviceable, unless something changes, Chapman is not that guy.
Which leads us to...
SDSU’s Offensive Line
What happened to this unit? Penny averaged 165 yards rushing per game this first six games of the year and he was shut down by the Broncos and Bulldogs. Chapman was sacked five times and it seemed like he was under pressure every time he went back to pass. The play of the offensive line gave the Aztecs zero chance to win this game.
SDSU entered their sixth game with homes of representing the Group of Five in a New Year’s Six game and left their eighth game with little chance of winning the division. This game showed how important every week in college football is. In previous seasons the Aztecs struggled in nonconference play but found their groove during the regular season, this past season they had the opposite results.
Stay tuned, next week I will be covering Boise State vs. Colorado State