San Diego State is rolling up football superlatives. Hey, seriously, a real live 2-0 start is something that makes long-suffering Aztecs’ fans and alums feel giddy.

You see, 2-0 starts don’t often occur at San Diego State. Well, at least that has become the norm since the Don Coryell and Claude Gilbert coaching tenures ended three decades ago.

San Diego State defeated New Mexico State 41-21 on Saturday night for its first 2-0 start in 16 seasons. No lie.

The big accomplishment comes one week after the Aztecs won their opening game over Nicholls State to be above .500 for the first time in 2,164 days.

Freshman running back Ronnie Hillman fueled the program’s first victory in its initial road game of a season since 1992 by rushing for 150 yards and four touchdowns.

So yeah, 2-0 for the Aztecs. I remember the last time well – I was covering the Aztecs when they started off 2-0 in 1994.

San Diego State got pounded in the third game by Minnesota and the 1994 season disintegrated into a lackluster 4-7 campaign.

The Aztecs visit Missouri this Saturday so I suppose the 1994 formula could again be looming on the horizon.

But gosh, 1994 was a long time ago. You remember 1994, don’t you?

Marshall Faulk, the top San Diego State player of all-time, was an NFL rookie. All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman was in his first full season with the San Diego Padres and the Bobby Ross-coached San Diego Chargers were embarking on their lone Super Bowl season behind running back Natrone Means and a young Junior Seau.

That was also the year when Tonya Harding conspired with her slimy friends to have figure skating rival Nancy Kerrigan whacked in the leg shortly before the Winter Olympics. Also the year when a baseball strike canceled the World Series (thanks, Bud Selig).

Oh yeah, 1994 also was the year in which O.J. Simpson went from beloved athlete to disgraced (alleged) killer. At least O.J. now lives in jail with other murderers.

Ponder all that and it seems like a century ago since San Diego State last started 2-0.

What San Diego State really needs to do this season is end two other lengthy droughts that extend back to 1998 – the program’s last winning season and the last bowl game appearance.

Think about that bowl game streak – even programs like Idaho, UNLV and San Jose State go to bowl games in this easy era of bowl eligibility. San Diego State’s last bowl appearance occurred before it moved into the Mountain West Conference.

Aztecs coach Brady Hoke is striving to dig the program out of such residue. And until he does, silly things like boasting about beating Nicholls State (a lower-division program) and New Mexico State (last bowl appearance was 50 years ago) will have to suffice.

Then eventually talk can move on to bigger things – like breaking that streak of not winning a conference title since 1986.

Now that would be something long-suffering San Diego State fans could really feel good about.


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