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Grading SDSU’s 23 - 17 Loss to Utah State

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NCAA Football: Utah State at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The SDSU Aztecs hit their first speed bump of the season on Saturday losing 23 - 17 to Utah State. It felt like Saturday took a heavy bite out of the Aztec’s early season momentum but ended with a glimmer or two of hope thanks to a pair of highlight worthy scoring drives in the fourth quarter. So let’s take a look at the position report card for the game.

Offense

Quarterback (B) Ryan Agnew threw a pic-six early in the game that put Utah State ahead, it was a tipped ball situation so maybe some of the responsibility get shifted away from Agnew. He remained somewhat out of rhythm until late in the game when he began to ball out. He connected with Kobe Smith for a 25 yard TD on a broken play type deal that is absolutely worth going to watch. He then followed that up with a pair of highlight throws including a 49 yard TD pass to Isaiah Richardson on 4th and five. The good far outweighs the bad in the overall game tape.

Running Back (C+) There just isn’t a ton to get excited about when a group combines for jus over 100 yards and no scores. It wasn’t a horrible night, just also wasn’t a very memorable outing. Ball distribution was pretty high between Bell, Jasmin and Byrd so you can’t even single out a back to try and remedy the lackluster numbers.

Wide Receivers (A-) Thanks to a couple a big time plays in the second half from wideouts kept directly kept the Aztecs in the game late in the 4th. Agnew made completions to seven different receivers with Kobe smith leading the team with 7 catches for 102 yards and a heads up TD on a broken play deep route to get open for Ryan Agnew. Also gotta give some love out to Jessie Matthews for a spectacular 20 yard leaping catch that easily could have been intercepted but ended up setting up a score a few plays later by Isaiah Richardson.

Offensive Line (B-) It is hard to score an online when there are numbers being put up by the offense, but they are coming on broken plays. The lack of dominance when it comes to run blocking is now turning in to more of a scary trend as opposed to early season small sample size. Let’s hope this performance ends up coming in on the lower end of the season performance spectrum by throw group and just move on the the next one.

Defense

Defensive Line (C+) When an opposing QB has a big night and completes 30 passes for almost 300 yards it starts with a lack of pressure up front. Jordan Love was given a decently clean pocket all night and that wound up being a problem the rest of the Aztec defense couldn’t overcome. Utah State being held to under 100 yards rushing keeps this from being an F, still an overall forgettable night for the big men up front.

Linebackers (C+) They broke down in the red zone late in the first half as Utah State scored on the ground to extend the halftime lead to 17 points. Being the in between position level on the field they share a little blame in both the lack of pressure up front and the lack of coverage downfield. No sacks seem to indicate no good new.

Secondary (C-) When the QB has time to throw it makes things a lot harder for the secondary and they proved to not be up to the test on Saturday. Nine different receivers caught almost 300 yards of offense against them. Like the rest of the defense, nothing good left to say so lets just insert a Bill Belichick type ‘were preparing for Colorado State’ type line and be done with it.

Special Teams (B) Matt Araiza chipped in a field goal on the first drive to actually give SDSU a lead so at least we got that going for us which is nice.

The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time than this. To get healthy, confident and have two weeks to let this linger on the team’s mind should bode well for the next outting in two weeks when the Aztecs travel to take on Colorado State who are 1 - 3 and will have to play Utah State between now and then.