Aztecs must play their best football

San Diego State (6-3, 4-1 MW) will not only deal with their largest test of the season when they travel to Boise, ID to take on #19/14 Boise State (7-1, 4-0 MW) but the Aztecs Mountain West Conference championship hopes are on the line. Other football notes include smurf turf, trick or treat and more...

San Diego State (6-3, 4-1 MW) will not only deal with their largest test of the season when they travel to Boise, ID to take on #19/14 Boise State (7-1, 4-0 MW) but the Aztecs Mountain West Conference championship hopes are on the line.

The SDSU players are not understating the size of this upcoming game.

"It's a big game in the sense we got a chance to play for a conference championship," SDSU cornerback Josh Wade said. "We're still in the running for it."

"So it's a big game, but it's nothing out of the ordinary, and we're just happy we got a chance to play for this conference championship and still in the battle for it. We want to go out and put a full football game together."

The concern is that San Diego State hasn't played been able to put a full football game together, therefore haven't played their best football of the season yet.

"I don't think we've like put everything together in a full game as far as offense, defense and special teams," Wade said. "So it's a lot of potential still there for us to improve and we know that. We just come out every week and try to execute and do our job a little bit better and play for one another."

San Diego State head coach Rocky Long made it quite clear that the Aztecs must put together a complete team effort to have any chance Saturday night.

"I don't think we've played our best yet and we better this week," Long said. "If we don't play our best this week, it could be embarrassing."

Trick or Treat

Most fans know Boise State for their trick plays, mainly due to the 2007 Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma. While it's something teams are worried about when playing the Broncos it really isn't something that a team can prepare for.

"You can practice trick plays until you're blue in the face and you're probably not going to get the one they run," Long explained "Every week they have a different trick play or two."

More than likely if a team sees a trick play on film it's not the play you will see on game day.

"You just have to be alert, on your game and react to the quarterback," Long said. "If you're really alert and do your assignments then trick plays don't normally work but a lot of them do work because it's something that you haven't practiced against."

One thing the Aztecs can prepare for is the different extra-point and punt formations the Broncos use.

"If you don't line up correctly, they run it in there for two points. If you line up correctly, then they all come back in there and they kick the extra point," Long explained. "And out of all the games they've played there's been 13 different formations that they've been in for extra points."

"They do the same thing on their punt team. I think there are 20 variations on how they line up on punt. So obviously you got to spend a lot of time in practice making sure that you're lined up correctly so they can't run those fakes on the extra point or they can't run it in for two points or they can't fake a punt and get a first down."

Smurf Turf

It was during fall camp that San Diego State took their practice to a West Hills High School and their blue football field.

"I always had this impression that it made a difference, and we practiced on it," Long said. "…We practiced on it one time for two hours and we scrimmaged a little bit and everything, and I asked all the players, and the players didn't think it made one bit of difference. And after I was out there for two-and-a-half hours in a practice setting rather than a game setting, I didn't think it made any difference either."

The Aztecs have no plans to practice on blue turf this week.

Finishing Notes

-San Diego State implemented "crowd noise" during Tuesday's practice. The Aztecs have used noise to prepare for road games against Washington, Nevada and now Boise State.

-Is there a rivalry building between San Diego State and Boise State?

"I don't know if it is or not, but it would make sense that it would become that way. Since we're the two teams furthest west in the Big East," Long explained. "But to develop a rivalry, the competition has to be good. And to this point we have not played at the level of Boise State. And we haven't been competitive in games that we've played against them. We haven't been competitive, so it's not a rivalry yet."

-SDSU wide receiver Dominique Sandifer didn't practice Tuesday and will need to practice tomorrow to have any chance to play Saturday. Offensive guard Nik Embernate practiced Tuesday but didn't finish practice. He worked with the some scout team but is expected to be all right by game day.

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