Lobo Points of Interest, Pt. 1: Intro to SDSU

There are games that are just games. We play them on and off all season long. We win or we lose and the next one comes (and leaves) just as fast as a living, breathing football horde can collect the result. The machine turns its cogs, everything that can be written is logged, while we celebrate or lament it onto a decades' worth of stacks.


This week is not another reflex. A repetition exercise disguised as a football game will not stick in your memory the same way this week's opponent does. It just can't. Our game will quietly sit in your thoughts while you do....whatever it is you do...in your typical daily life and float to the front of your conscious whenever your brain gets a breath to wonder about it some more.

No. This week we play someone special. This week we have a distinct pleasure wrapped into our business and a sparkler or two to go with an already generous pile of spoils.

Thanks for coming along, and welcome to the 2014 preview of the San Diego State Wambus Cats.

Balboans? How about the flapping rapscallions?

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Welcome to the disappointingly named - and still disputed mascot to this day - San Diego State Football Aztecs.

Truth be told, I'm definitely not a saint. I will deserve what I get at the end of the day but a preview of the fearsome Wambus Cats from San Diego would be a gift worthy of whatever divine power should grant it to this humble typist. That's a butterfly net inside a money throwing machine. It can be a team effort guys: The Buddha/The mysterious all knowing universe/Jesus/Cthulhu/Spaghetti Monster/whatever: I'm not picky team. A guy can dream and I'll do my damn-est fan-est to give the Wambus Cats their fair shake if you blip this into existence.

Friday's ESPNU (7:30 MST) game will not lob any divine softballs our direction just as I must also imagine a 20's era jargon mascot making its way to my doorstep in 2014. Damn the luck. They should have gone with Wambus Cats.

Side bar: Although, if you think about it, if you consider 20's slang for any current CFB mascots, in this case let's say the Cincinnati Bearcats, its meaning could warp the team mascot to something new altogether. A bearcat in the twenties was slang for: "a lively, spirited woman, possible with a fiery streak".

Just think of the spirit squad possibilities. Is the city of Cincinnati ready for a heat wave (I assume this is accompanied by pyrotechnics) to go with this new progressive mascot? Have you ever been to Cincinnati? No? Then I should probably tell you that this probably isn't happening.

If you can't get the results you want on the field, distract away I say.

Just a thought.

So as far as distractions go, SDSU should have plenty to run down in the X's and O's. It's time to know everything Aztec before we tell them to "Go chase yourself" out of our abode this Friday. Don't take any wooden nickles from anybody else and keep on, keepin' on with Lobo Points of Interest. I'm sure you can whistle the tune by now.

It's Rocky week!

So we all know him. We can all say...or mostly say....we all like him. But now, we are forced to kick SDSU's head coach Rocky Long into a long L column in another 70 million subbed, national distributed ESPN U game Friday night.

Respect is funny in the way it makes victory snap, crackle and pop. A tinderbox in every direction now stands waiting while we strive to beat a proud and dedicated former Lobo on the opponents sideline. That fight has a form of respect, along with any extra fire that peaks when things get heated. It puts some pep in the fan base and some more roots in the sport for everyone involved. Take this into account next time you ride the CFB roller coaster: it's hard to say that anyone really loses while we still play these kinds of games.

Well, maybe except for you coach. I'm sorry. We have to beat you. It's happening. There's a check being written and there's too many delicious zeros on the end of it not to cash on a national stage. We like you just the same.

So respect. That's how it goes.

For those of you new to the game, Rocky Long has a long history as a former UNM player, assistant and former head coach. Known for helping create a creative 3-3-5 defense in the late nineties, Coach Long's experience as a defensive caller continues into his role for the Aztecs. He heads up the defense play call just as he did in his time on the UNM sidelines and has helped inspire many pieces of the modern college football defense. Ironically he ran much of our triple option concepts as a UNM quarterback in the early 70's. You can find an excellent chronicle of Rocky's beginnings linked here.

SDSU's offense is still lead by Bob Toledo, a coach that's a journeyman's journeyman and has been in the business longer that most of us have even been alive. Toledo and Coach Davie intersected on the Texas A&M staff during Davie's climb in that program's defensive ranks while continuing through many offensive coaching positions in the decades to come.

The Aztecs don't have an almanac of experience in the coaching staff; It's more of a bookshelf in the library of congress. Needless to say they fall back on this body of work and play call accordingly in the Aztec's smashmouth, power running, pro-style offense and blitzing, exotic, and roster creative 3-3-5 defense. Their team's field of classic expertise isn't exactly ahead of the game's evolutionary curve at face value, but cemented in the foundation of what other schemes have been built on and rev-ed up. Even so, both schemes have a good  balance and are extremely fundamental in their own right.

New for 2014!

The Aztecs started slow this year and are sharing UNM's 2-3 record in University Stadium's .500 bowl on Friday. Close losses to a ranked UNC team, a lob sided Oregon State loss, and last week's Fresno State rivarly game have SDSU sniffing for equal record footing with the Lobos. SDSU is experiencing skill position turnover accompanied with injuries to some of last year's returning starters early in the season. As it stands, the Aztecs are down their starting quarterback (doubtful for Friday) and 14 of last year's points in WR Ezell Ruffin, who is out 6-8 weeks with a collarbone injury. Eight of the starting defense in week 1 were underclassmen and SDSU is still nursing folks at the linebacker position.

This year SDSU is honoring Tony Gwynn's legacy with a TG helmet sticker on the back of their helmet. A good show to them as their isn't a person alive that didn't want to see Tony go. Kudos to them and our best from TRM.

SDSU isn't anticipating a special uniform change for the ESPN game (and UNM's is still to be determined) but some possibly fan created photos caused a ripple earlier this week on some pretty out-of-the-box helmets. The photos disappeared as soon as they surfaced (from a Facebook fan site) so signs are quickly pointing towards traditional Aztec away uniforms. Even still, the hockey goalie-like helmets are interesting to see...so long as they stay hypothetical.

The injury bug has stricken SDSU's roster to the point where one of their DE's will be playing with two wrist injury
shielding clubs on each hand. Look ma, no little piggies to count my reps! The SDSU twitter account likened it to a football playing Mega Man on the field.

I'm saddened to say that even Mega Man has one hand to give encouragement with.

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At least he won't be called for defensive holding. If the band if auditioning in the drum line, I think you've found your mallet man.

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