San Diego St. coach talks about what he saw on film, UM vs. Air Force

Submitted by Away Goal on September 20th, 2017 at 11:54 PM

From today's Rocky Long show, his weekly in-season appearance on local sports talk show.  SDSU plays Air Force this weekend.  Odd audio player doesn't show the time but the Michigan / AF talk starts just past the halfway point, at about the 53% mark.

His thoughts:

  • Michigan O got frustrated in first half by the aggressive AF D.  Missed some big plays by not breaking tackles.
  • simplified blocking schemes in 2nd half, went zone.

Then he gets into the difficulties of playing against an option offense and how they are preparing for it.  "The best offense that has ever been designed."


*my first ever thread start, please light on the roasting.*



September 21st, 2017 at 12:06 AM ^

I am optimistic that the Cincy game and the AF game turn out to be like the Colorado game last season. We kind of snuck out with a win but many would have liked to see us clobber them. As it turned out, we actually played a good team early in the season and didnt get the boost we would have liked if we played them later when they were a top 30 team with only one loss.

I hope AF curbstomps everyone they play the rest of the year.

G. Gulo of the Dale

September 21st, 2017 at 10:51 AM ^

... you are thinking rightly.

I mentioned this in another thread earlier in the week, but Cincy had scored six--SIX--points against Miami of Ohio a full 57 minutes into that game.  Miami gave up a very late touchdown where they let Cincy march down the field with little resistence or clock usage and then followed it up with a pick six with a minute to play.  So, Fickell apparently showed Miami's coach incriminating nude photos at the 56-minute mark, and Miami basically got out of the way.

Last year's Colorado team likely burns Cincy's houses and salts their fields.


September 21st, 2017 at 4:20 PM ^

Every team plays lights out to beat Michigan.  We are their Bowl game.  They may lay an egg the week before and/or the week after, but that's because their coaches over-prepare for our game.  Cinci and AF likely spent a lot of time in the fall preparing.  Plus, Air Force had a bye week to prepare.


September 21st, 2017 at 2:05 PM ^

is that Air Force does about what they usually do and compete for or win the Mountain West title with 8-10 wins.  They're a good team and they were expected to be good, so they're not like CU last year at all.

Cinci is probably going to be more like UCF last year.  Horrible the previous season,  but might end up being close to a .500 team under a new coaching staff.  And UCF made some plays against us that caused some minor freakouts.  Those plays probably weren't as bad as and as frequent as the poor offense in the UC game, but we're not as good of a football team right now (and no one expected us to be) as we were three games in last year. 

Young OL and WRs need to move up the steep learning curve for us to be as good as we were last year.  The defense is still elite. 


September 21st, 2017 at 2:02 PM ^

taken a step back.  So it's not necessarily inevitable (and if that's your point, then I agree).

It's the offense that is struggling with losing 3 OL starters and all WRs.  Still, the point remains that it's difficult to lose so many important players and not take a step back.


September 21st, 2017 at 7:43 AM ^

But I don't think the argument that the defense lost all of its starters works for Air Force (or service acadamies in general). They lose most of their starting defense every year. They aren't recruiting players who leave early for the NFL and then replacing them with freshman who are just getting into college. . The players they lost graduate or use up there elegibility and are replaced entirely by seniors and juniors who have 3+ years in the system.

They have a good system, and while we have better athletes when compared side by side, their players are older and have been coached in a highly disciplined system for multiple years. They started 7 seniors and 4 juniors who all had playing time last year. They are a tough team, and I think they get underestimated.

Also... that's why we should never play them.


September 21st, 2017 at 8:25 AM ^

I keep playing the what if game in regards to Cincy.  Them recovering a punt because it bounced off our player's ankle and the Speight fumbled handoff that was probably a TD if handled correctly.  We're talking about a 21-0 lead or possibly more before Cincy even has a chance to put any kind of scoring drive together.

The Air Force game, I doubt it would have been drastically different but it would have been nice to see if things would have gone differently if Issac doesn't step out of bounds on what would have been a 7-0 lead just two minutes into the game. 


September 21st, 2017 at 9:04 AM ^

I really do wonder how differently that game plays out had Ty been able to stay inbounds on that would-be TD run.  Ditto his other would-be TD run that was called back for holding.

Then again, Michigan marched down and scored right away against Cincy and that turned out to be a sludgefart of a first half.


September 21st, 2017 at 7:43 PM ^

Evan's fumble slowed Michigan down as did the punt in the cincy game.Michigan has a very bright future as DPJ and Black mature. Crawford has had a chance to make Speight look good and he has chosen not to. I see DPJ stepping up big time, but who else is going to. I see Black back this year and this team will be even stronger. I saw Michigan defense blink once this year. It was the drive against cincy just after the half. There are not many teams that will score more than fourteen points against Michigan's defense. That is one hell of a weapon and the offense will start to make big plays. I am quite confident Michigan will be silencing there critics this weekend with a dominant win.

I Like Burgers

September 21st, 2017 at 10:11 AM ^

With all of the games, just eliminate a couple of errors that backfired in the worst way possible, be an average team at converting TDs in the red zone team instead of the 2nd worst in CFB (only Georgia State's 0/3 is worse) and Michigan has blown out all three opponents.

Yet, they are still 3-0 and people are reacting like the sky is falling.  Now you can play the what if game for a lot of teams, but the point is, they aren't THAT far off from being pretty dominant.


September 21st, 2017 at 9:33 AM ^

I'm not saying Cinci is any good, but I think the defense maximized their potential against us. They had and FCS opponent they pretty clearly overlooked and kept things vanilla against as the opener, then us. They probably spent most of camp installing and repping a defensive plan specifically for us. Also, let's not forget their HC was the DC at Ohio State and would be pretty intimately familiar with Harbaugh's offense by now. 

We were still able to put up 400+ yards of offense and just under 200 yards on the ground. The optics and perception just felt terrible because of the mistakes we made at inopportune times, the expectations set by their bad opening week performance, and some of the negative plays they were able to generate by being a very aggressive D.


September 21st, 2017 at 11:14 AM ^

I looked up their roster because I keep hearing they don't have scholarship athletes, etc. They have 108 guys listed. Reloading is not a problem for them. The other thing I learned from this exercise is that their offensive line coach is named Steed Lobotzke. How this guy doesn't win NotY every year is beyond me.


September 21st, 2017 at 2:10 PM ^

is on scholarship.  There is no tuition and R&B is paid for.  It's just really selective and I don't think they make concessions on admissions for athletes like other schools do. That's the big difference.

The Maizer

September 21st, 2017 at 9:14 AM ^

I'm not trying to disparage Air Force's potential accomplishments; and I really hope they do beat San Diego State and end up ranked at some point. I'm just saying the national (and likely the committee's) perception of a good win is different between a Mountain West foe and a Pac 12 foe in the conference championship game.


September 21st, 2017 at 12:14 AM ^

Rocky Long's Aztec's took it to Stanford last Saturday night.  Stanford has their issues...but AF will have their hands full and I expect San Diego State is going to win this one....they are a legit team to make a New Year's bowl game as the non power 5 representative....



September 21st, 2017 at 1:50 AM ^

Are you aware AF lost to a team last year that we beat 63-3 and SDSU just upset Stanford? I can't tell if people actually bought into 'never schedule air force' farce or if people want our past opponents to win to create an illusion we played better than what we actually did.


September 21st, 2017 at 4:09 AM ^

Umm a few things wrong with this. One a game from last year means nothing about this year. Two, air force sells out for the run and is not nearly as well through the air. This is a scheme thing.  SDSU is very run heavy...

In otherwords AF matches up far better with SDSU than Hawaii. Football is all about match ups......

Not to say AF will win, but to act like they have no shot is asinine. They are a good team. Not great, but good. Same as SDSU.

MI Expat NY

September 21st, 2017 at 8:18 AM ^

And are you aware that we lost to a team last year that lost 41-10 to a team we beat 49-10. Point is that one game doesn't define a season for any team. AF proved to be better than their loss to Hawaii indicates. By the end of the season a win over Stanford may not be anything to brag about.

Maize and Blue…

September 21st, 2017 at 10:56 AM ^

SDSU is 3-0 including 2-0 against the Pac12 with wins over Arizona State and Stanford the last two weeks.  The only question for me is how they respond after their fans rushed the field after last weeks game.  Have their heads gotten to big or have they stayed grounded?

SDSU has the leading rusher (had a 1000 yds last year as a backup) in D1 with 588 yards and his worst game this year is 175 yards against Stanford.  QB is completing 67.6% of his passes for 480 yards with 4 TDs and one pick.  So they aren't a one trick pony like AFs triple option.

SDSU's D is giving up 304 ypg, but only 91.7 ypg rushing.  While the pass D is suspect they have 10 sacks and 4 picks.  Throw in a kick returner that has 6 returns for TDs in his career including a 95 yarder against ASU this year.

AF has the home field advantage and may win, but I doubt they smoke SDSU who is actually favored on the road by 3 1/2 points.

kevin holt

September 21st, 2017 at 1:03 AM ^

If it's such a great offense why wouldn't more teams run it? It's a gimmick. Very good for the teams that run it and do it well, and it catches people off guard for being so rare, but if it were more common it would be as solved as tic-tac-toe. Disclaimer: I have no fuckin idea what I'm talking about.