Post game press conference with San Diego State head coach Rocky Long after defeating Wyoming 42-28.…
Mountain West Conference champs!
Well at least a share of the crown. The program's 19th league title in school history but first since 1998.
That's what San Diego State (9-3, 7-1 MW) earned today after a 42-28 comeback victory over Wyoming (4-8, 3-5 MW) in Laramie.
"It's been a long haul," SDSU head coach Rocky Long said. "We got going there about midseason and things didn't look too good. The kids played their butts off all the way to the end."
The game against the Cowboys was a microcosm of the Aztecs season.
Start slow, finish strong.
"I thought they showed a lot of stick–to–itiveness today," Long said. "It didn't look good the whole time, we fumbled twice, gave up two big plays in the first half, hail mary right at the end that puts them ahead by a touchdown. We came out and played more of our game in the second half. First half we looked sloppy as heck on both sides of the ball. Second half we looked like ourselves and that's why we won."
"We got beat one time in man coverage and we blew another coverage," Long said. "Gave up some really big plays in the first half so we came out in the second half with the attitude that we won't give up any big plays."
What did the Aztecs do differently in the second half?
"I don't we sent more pressure but I think we got more pressure," Long explained. "Honestly thought we started playing better, playing tighter coverage, rushing the quarterback better. There was one series there that we gave up some running plays but they shut that down later on too."
The slow start could possibly be attributed to coming off a bye week so late in the season.
"I thought the layoff had a lot to do with how we played in the first half," Long said. "We were sloppy on both sides of the ball. I think the layoff between games hurt us a lot more than I thought it would."
MMM… MMM… Muema
San Diego State as a team ran the ball for 400 yards, breaking the school record for the most rushing yards in program history since the Division-I era.
"We were running the ball well in the first half but turned it over," Long said. "I think we fumbled the ball three or maybe four times and loss two of them, one ended up for a touchdown for them. I think we were running the ball well but didn't have the ball security. In the second half we ran the ball really, really well."
Adam Muema was accountable for 255 of the rushing yards by carrying the rock 26 times.
Not to mention he had 4 touchdowns including an 82-yard score to make the game a 14-point ball game.
"I think we wore them down in the second half in the running game," Long said. "It didn't look like they wanted to hit him [Muema] quite as hard in the second half. In the long run he made in the second half was great blocking at the point of attack. Once he got in the open field, he made a nice job of cutting back to get all the way to the end zone."
One negative of the day was when senior running back Walter Kazee hurt his left leg, looks to be his knee, that made him unavailable for the rest of the game and possibly the season.
"I haven't heard anything obviously he didn't play in the second half," Long explained. "It might be serious. I think his season is over but I haven't heard from the doctors for sure."
With only a bowl game to go, it could be the end of Kazee's career as an Aztec. Sad to see it go in that fashion.
Can't Lose, Won't Lose
Adam Dingwell was extremely efficient in the win by connecting on 19-of-24 passes (79.1%) for 164 yards, pair of touchdowns and an interception.
"He's establishing himself as the starting quarterback now," Long said of Dingwell. "I wasn't happy with the last ball he threw but he's undefeated as an starter. Hopefully we can continue that."
The (4-0) quarterback also ran the ball 4 times for 46 yards.
"I think he's played well as the starting quarterback," Long said. "He's undefeated and came in to win a game in Reno (Nev.). He hasn't lost a game since then."
"If you always win as a starting quarterback you're as good as they come."
-The Aztecs have at least one rushing touchdown in 20 consecutive games (dating back to the Oct. 8, 2011 ?contest vs. TCU), which is a school record in the Division I era (since 1969). The previous record was 19 set from ?Nov. 25, 1989-Oct. 12, 1991.
-San Diego State defensive end Everett Beed had his first two sacks of the season.
-Nik Embernate started for the 45th time of his career, the most of any current Aztec. Alec Johnson and Leon McFadden each started for the 38th consecutive game (longest streak on the team).
-Japheth Gordon logged the start at left guard for the sixth time this season and first since Fresno State on Sept. ?29. Defensive back J.J. Whittaker saw his first action of the season.
-Derek Largent had a forced fumble (first of career/season), fumble recovery (third of career/season) and a sack ?(6.5 for career/season). Jake Fely also had 10 tackles.
UNLVscout.com Recommended Stories
Dr. Roto Video: Week 12 Injury Report
Dr. Roto highlights the injuries from three games: Denver @ Miami, Arizona @ Seattle and Houston @ Cincinnati. One recommendation is to definitely start Houston Texans RB Alfred Blue (pictured above)…Read More
What, and Who, to Watch
O'Malley's weekly six-pack of questions entering Saturday's showdown with Louisville in South Bend.Read More
Peterson speaks: Fresh start might be best
Adrian Peterson said he knows Vikings players and coaches love him, but there are people “internally” that haven’t been supporting him.Read More
5 NFL Games that Got Cancelled by Weather
It snowed again in Buffalo, blanketing the city and, more importantly for our purposes, Ralph Wilson Stadium in 8 feet of snow. The NFL just announced that Sunday's Bills-Jets game is bugging out.…Read More
Apache Administers Death to Taliban (VIDEO)
The Apache helicopter is one of the most famed and efficient killing machines in the U.S Army. Get the skinny on this 'steel dragon' and watch what one does to a platoon of Taliban fighters in…Read More