SDSU football back to old ways in 38-17 win over UC Davis
Kyle Saunders, Staff Columnist, The Daily Aztec
1:41 PM, Sep 5, 2017
In near triple-digit heat, the San Diego State football team crushed visiting UC Davis on Saturday by a score of 38-17 victory. In the four quarters played at San Diego Stadium, the Aztecs stuck to their roots and continued their run heavy offense and short, safe passing.
This is exactly the kind of game that Aztec fans and players alike were hoping for, after all the talk of roster questions and how the team would fare this season without Donnel Pumphrey. Senior running back Rashaad Penny answered that question with an exclamation point against the Aggies, posting 197 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in a dominating performance that confirmed his impact on this young squad.
Sophomore running back Juwan Washington, who is now the backup running back, showed that he and Penny are more than capable of continuing Rocky’s two-back offense, Washington posting 66 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
Head coach Rocky Long said said he was especially excited about the showing of his offensive line, featuring four new starters.
“I was happy for the offensive line. We know those two guys can run with the ball. But they don’t get to run with the ball unless the big boys upfront do a pretty good job and I thought the offensive line got better as the game went along.”
Saturday night was also the debut of Long’s new and improved passing game, consisting of one 6-foot-4 and one 6-foot-5 receiver in the starting line up. It is true that redshirt junior quarterback Christian Chapman aired the ball out significantly more than we saw last season, but we didn’t get to see the long ball throws to redshirt freshman receivers Tim Wilson Jr. and Isiah Macklin that some anticipated.
Chapman finished the night 16 for 21 with 220 yards and two touchdowns, which will go down as a victory in most books, however tonight would’ve been an excellent opportunity to test his young receivers against a sub-par Aggie secondary.
Both receivers, especially Macklin, are the centerpiece of a rebirth of SDSU’s passing offense, yet failed to record a touchdown or even a reception until garbage time. Coach Long was quick to say after the game that it’s not their goal to turn into a pass-oriented, shotgun-style offense.
“We’re not a drop back team, we’re not a shotgun team, so-to-speak. We’re not a three-to-four wide receiver team, so-to-speak," Long said. "But as long as we can efficiently run the ball, we’re going to have some receivers that are open and I thought that Chapman did a nice job throwing the ball to them. They made a couple of really nice catches, and then they can do something with it after they catch it, too. But our passing game is still going to depend on us being able to run the football.”
To see the full story go to http://thedailyaztec.com/83778/sports/aztecs-set-the-tone-for-the-season-in-dominant-opening-game-victory/.