San Diego State defense dramatically improved from previous three weeks due to keeping their defensive game plan simple. Hawaii was only able gain 112 passing yards and 173 yards of total offense in the 52-14 blowout loss to SDSU on Saturday. The Aztecs were able to sack the opposing quarterback four times and keep consistent pressure in the backfield.
"Coach kept it simple and the guys were able to execute," SDSU cornerback Josh Wade explained. "It was a really straightforward plan. We were able to fix the technical issues that were hurting us a lot more in games and we were able to play a lot better."
What exactly was simplified on defense?
"We called a lot of the same plays a lot during the course of the game," Wade replied. "I'm not sure if it was personnel-wise or his strategy behind it. But it was very simple."
"The times that I was in the game, I kept getting the same play calls and from that point you line up and play from there because you're getting into a rhythm and seeing it over and over again through the course of the game. I'm sure it was like that for a lot of the other guys too."
Expect the same sort of defensive game plan for SDSU this weekend as they welcome in Colorado State.
"We're going to try to stay as simple as possible and still give us a chance to win," SDSU head coach Rocky Long said. "You can oversimplify things so that the other team knows exactly what you're doing, and then they have a much better chance of out-executing you."
Gordon out this week
Rocky Long doesn't think starting left guard Japheth Gordon (broken foot) will be back this week in practice meaning he most likely won't play against Colorado State on Saturday.
"He broke the other foot the exact same way last year," Long said. "It's a genetic issue. This is the doctor talking now. It's a genetic issue that there's really nothing they can do to fix it. It heals on its own, and it's just a matter of being able to handle the pain."
Last year Gordon did it before the New Orleans bowl game but played due to having two weeks to get used to the pain and then practiced for a week before the game.
Senior Riley Gauld earned the start last week against Hawaii and will continue to fill in for Gordon.
"He [Gauld] was productive," Long said. "He can get a lot better, but he was productive."
-Defensive lineman Dontrell Onuoha still is not back with the team as he's taking care of personal issues. Cody Galea will continue to get the start.
"Cody [Galea] has improved," Long said. "He's improved every week. I thought our defensive line played a little bit better last week. It was not a dramatic improvement, but I thought they played a little bit better last week."
-Cornerback Josh Wade (calf) and wide receiver Colin Lockett (ankle) are expected back at full speed this week for practice.
"It's a lot better," Wade said. "I'll practice more today. I was limited in reps last week, but I should be able to go the whole practice today."
-Cornerback King Holder received the start with Wade limited in action last week and he will continue to compete for more playing time.
"He [Holder] was amped up for it, to be able to start," SDSU cornerback Leon McFadden said. "He performed great. He had minor technique issues in assignment, but overall the whole game he did well."