On the last open practice of fall camp San Diego State head coach Rocky Long brought out a new tool out his shed that he has never used before.
It was game noise created by the practice field sound system.
The offensive coaches felt it was necessary to raise the noise and decibel level on the field to prepare themselves for Washington.
"We had trouble with the sound at the bowl game that was indoors and really loud," Long said. "Our offensive coaches thought that hurt some of our communication on offense last year."
This is the first time the Aztecs staff has ever used this practice strategy.
"We have heard rumors how loud that stadium is," Long said. "I mean we are playing in the pro stadium and people have told us it's the loudest stadium in the NFL. We have decided to do that so we'll do it one more time to just to see if that helps."
"I've never been in the stadium but I'm going by reputation. They tell me it's really loud so we are trying to do everything we can to prepare them."
The rumor the SDSU staff heard about is no rumor. It's a fact.
CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, is nicknamed the 12th man due to the decibel level at their games. Since 2005 the stadium has caused 2.36 false starts per game for an opponent. That is the highest average of false starts in the NFL.
How did the team fare with the noise cranked up a notch?
"I don't know if we blew any assignments or not," Long said. "We will have to watch it on film but it bothered the heck out of me. It really cuts down on the coaching. I mean you can't coach guys because they can't hear you."
Ruffin moves to #1
Last year the reports out of fall camp were sophomore wide receiver Ezell Ruffin was having a great offseason but it just didn't translate to the field.
This season Ruffin's fall camp performance has been even better.
"He's had a really good camp," Long said. "I mean he has paid attention to detail, lining up right. We have always known he's a really good athlete and he's playing like a lot more mature football player now than he has ever have before. When we recruited him we knew he was a really good athlete."
We will see if his fall camp performance translates to the field.
"We keep waiting for him to show that on our football field and so far at camp he has really shown well," Long said. "Hopefully he will when we play against somebody else."
With Brice Butler moving to the number two spot at X wide receiver it shows how deep the position is for the Aztecs.
"It's funny last year that was our biggest question mark was wide receivers," Long said. "This year it looks like we have plenty."
It was in Thursday's team meeting that Rocky Long asked his special teams coach Kevin McGarry how the kicking game was coming along.
"It depends on what they do," McGarry responded.
There are three kickers in the mix.
According to McGarry:
Senior Chance Marden is the best at kicking off and the onside kicker.
While freshman Seamus McMorrow has been the most consistent and accurate of the kickers.
Junior Wes Feer has been the guy that has kicked it the highest, the longest with the most hang time.
"Sounds like he hasn't made his decision on who the best kicker is," Long said. "I told him I had to know probably by Monday since we are going to play about a week from Saturday. We had to know who the best kicker was. He wouldn't make a decision."
The punting game is the same way.
McMorrow has the most versatile because he can rugby kick.
"He can do a lot of things back there," Long said. "He can fake punts. He can do a lot of things like that and he's probably the most consistent."
Sophomore Joel Alesi kicks it the farthest with the longest hang time.
-NFL scouts from the Seahawks, Patriots and Buccaneers were at Thursday's practice.
-The offensive line took one step closer to have their starting five for Washington by naming Zack Dilley the starting right tackle. That leaves the left guard spot still open for competition between three players. Those guys are Japheth Gordon, Riley Gauld and Jimmy Miller.
-As of now redshirt freshman Chase Price is the third string running back but watch out for De'Saan Hardwick once he is healthy. He's currently dealing with a pulled groin muscle that sat him out of practice. Coaches aren't sure how long until he practices.
-Junior wide receiver Osmond Nicholas suffered a torn MCL. The injury will not require surgery and he will be able to play with a brace once it heals. Nicholas will try to play in 2-3 weeks.
-Dylan Denso was out catching balls at practice. The medical staff will be designing a brace for his hand. Expect him back Sunday or Monday where he will be out here running routes with full pads but he won't be in any of the teamwork.
Pump up the volume!
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