After a poignant, emotional pregame ceremony honoring the victims of the tragedy in Las Vegas earlier in the week, and a 3-3 first quarter, the Aztecs took control and dominated the final three quarters to a 41-10 victory. The Aztecs are now 2-0 in MW games, 6-0 overall and bowl eligible for the eighth consecutive season.
Rashaad Penny had another tremendous night – during and after the game. In addition to rushing for 170 yards, 2 TDs and a flattened Rebel DB, he gave one of the better post-game interviews I’ve ever seen:
Rashaad Penny spoke with ESPN2 following the game. #Win22 #OneCityOneTeam pic.twitter.com/NuiNHiekqr— SDSU Football (@Aztec_Football) October 8, 2017
I’ve worked in public relations for 70 years and have seen every type of interview response imaginable. The way he turned the interviewer’s question about the Heisman into a thoughtful, sincere tribute to Las Vegas was masterful. And when he got to answering about the game, it was all about the team. Impressive young man.
Christian Chapman scored his first career rushing TD and completed 14 of 24, with 9 of the catches by Mikah Holder, back from a questionable targeting call in the NIU game.
The hallmark of a Rocky Long-coached team is toughness, and no one personifies that more than Dakota Turner. He tore his ACL in August and played in the NIU game, a little over a month later. Against the Rebels he recorded 2 tackles and a sack.
|Christian Chapman, Mikah Holder, Dakota Turner (Ernie Anderson)|
The MW flagship football program is playing in San Diego on Saturday.
Their opponent: Boise State.
One thing that really annoys me is hearing broadcasters refer to the Broncos as the dominant program in the MW. That’s not true, and never has been. The dominant program is the Aztecs.
Yes, the Broncos have won some big bowl and non-conference games, but that was in the past, and most came when they were in the WAC. The Oklahoma/Statue of Liberty/proposal Fiesta Bowl win that made the Broncos famous was the 2006 season. They have not dominated the MW. Of the current MW members, no team has won more championships than the Aztecs. We have three: 2012, 2016 and 2017. Boise State has the same number of MW championships as Fresno State, and fewer championship game appearances than the Bulldogs.
The Aztecs and Broncos have only met four times – each team has won twice – but it has developed into a great rivalry. I’ll never forget our first game at Boise when Colin Lockett returned the opening kickoff for a TD and the Aztecs won 21-19. The next year, Colin did it again, catching a TD pass from Quinn Kaehler in OT to give the Aztecs a 34-31 win at the Q. The teams haven’t met since 2014 in Boise. They could have met in the MW Championship games the last two seasons, but the Broncos came up short in the Mountain Division each year. Shouldn’t the “dominant” team win at least their division each year?
|Colin Lockett: Bronco Killer (Ernie Anderson)|
Kickoff Saturday is 7:30, and a big crowd is expected. Marshall Faulk will be honored for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. It’s a Code Red game – wear your red Aztec gear.