Last season San Diego State had their largest game of the year against Michigan in the "Big House" with their former head coach Brady Hoke standing on the home side. Resulting with the Aztecs losing to the Wolverines by three touchdowns.
SDSU head coach Rocky Long admits his team was overly hyped for that game in Michigan.
"When you prepare for a game, every week the same way, no matter who it is or where it is," Long said. "Guess what, you're good enough."
"Teams that get over-excited and over hyped for those games, deep down, they don't think they are good enough."
Senior center Alec Johnson acknowledged that the team mood last year compared to this year are polar opposites.
"Last year at Michigan we kind of got worked up and kind of made a bigger deal than we should have," Johnson said. "Don't really get that feel this year."
"Totally different game," Johnson said. "This is just the first game of the year. We are just excited to play. Three weeks at camp, you look forward to playing anyone, getting ready to play another team is awesome. So, it's different."
Long can notice the attitude change too.
"Our team has been as calm as I've ever seen a team," Long said. "Maybe they don't know what's coming. But I think maybe our guys think they are good enough. And you're never going to win those games unless you think you're good enough."
While the feeling of the team might be different, they still only have one goal this weekend and it's to leave Washington with a win.
"To start 1-0 in any season is a good start," Johnson said. "The opponent doesn't really matter. It would be good to just start off 1-0 in our season."
During the last week of fall camp the coaching staff was pumping noise through the practice field loud speakers to prepare them for Washington. That will continue Tuesday and possibly Wednesday of this week.
Quarterback Ryan Katz knows how loud it will be as this will be the third consecutive season he heads to Washington.
"It's going to be a loud stadium," Katz said. "It's a big stadium. They are going to have a lot of people there. But once the game starts, it is 100 yards and everyone in between those lines are the only people who matter."
At some point during the game, CenturyLink Field will erupt. The huge question is how will the Aztecs respond?
"Just try to calm everyone out," Katz said. "People have played in big stadiums before and we have crowd noise out here. Those speakers out there get pretty loud."
"I think we'll be ready for it. You know, like I said, things are going to happen during the game. You just have to roll with them and try to get past them."
"Stay calm," Johnson said. "Do what you do. Listen to each other, communicate."
Finalized Depth Chart?
The offensive line was solidified on Tuesday with the announcement that left guard Japheth Gordon will be starting in Washington. He joins left tackle Bryce Quigley, center Alec Johnson, right guard Nik Embernate and right tackle Zach Dilley to create the Aztecs front five.
The same can't be said for the special teams.
"Because the kickers are so inconsistent," Long said. "Depending on the day, a different one as a good day or depending on the day, a different one has a bad day, one or the other. We have to know before we get on the plane because we have a limited number of players we can take."
Special teams coach Kevin McGarry will have to name his starters by Friday and it might take all the way to Friday to decide.
-On Monday SDSU football named Leon McFadden, Walter Kazee and Dominque Sandifer their football team captains for the 2012 season. Special teams captain will be selected on a week-by-week basis. Eric Pinkins will be the special teams captain for the first game in Washington.
"Being a captain on this football team is the greatest honor an athlete can get because coaches have no say-so," Long said. "It's purely a vote by the players. They pick who they think are the best leaders on the team."
-The largest concern for the Aztecs heading into Washington will be what the Huskies are going to be doing on defense. Problem is nobody knows with Washington have a new defensive coordinator.
"Probably the hardest thing is us practicing against what we think they are going to do on defense," Long said. "If we have practiced against what we think they are going to do, we are going to be just fine. If it's something different than we have practiced, we are going to be in deep trouble."
-Ryan Katz and Brice Butler transferred to SDSU filling glaring holes at both the quarterback and wide receiver positions. Don't be surprised to see the coaching staff look at transfers again in the coming years.
"There will be times we will try to do that since it's becoming more common. We will try to do that again, I'm sure. When we have a big hole that we need to fill with an experienced guy, we'll try to do that again."
"And the best coach I know has built a program doing that. Coach [Steve] Fisher has built a program doing that. So you've got to learn from the best."
New year, different attitude
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