Secret to San Diego State success is keeping Rocky Long’s odd strategy on the sidelines

Posted: 09/09/2012 in college football
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San Diego State scored a touchdown less than three minutes into its victory over Army on Saturday and Rocky Long did the darnedest thing.

The Aztecs’ coach had a kicker boot the extra point.

Happened again five more times in San Diego State’s 42-7 trouncing of the Black Knights just one week after Long apparently didn’t know the “K” on the roster stood for kicker.

But this wasn’t a contest in which Aztecs’ fans had to worry about their “Mad Strategist Coach.” San Diego State was better than Army at every position and dominated the contest.

Blowout victories take the strategy factor out of the equation, a good thing with Long manning the sidelines.

It was a solid performance and one the Aztecs (1-1) needed after a 21-12 season-opening defeat against Washington.

Quarterback Ryan Katz was more comfortable running the offense, both Adam Muema and Walter Kazee ran the ball well, and a receiver named Ezell Ruffin emerged out of nowhere – the sophomore had no career receptions entering the contest – to haul in five passes for 132 yards.

The defense fared well against Army’s option offense and forced three turnovers – safety Eric Pinkins and linebacker Josh Gavert had interceptions and linebacker Derek Largent recovered a fumble.

There was even a special teams’ contribution as Colin Lockett returned a kickoff 96 yards for his second career touchdown return.

But you know there were things that occurred that bothered Long. You know, like twice lining up to attempt field goals and having Chance Marden miss them both – from 40 and 37 yards.

As long as the Aztecs don’t dismantle the goal posts for next Saturday’s game against North Dakota, you can be certain Long will have some more wackiness in store.

Hopefully, whatever the “Mad Strategist Coach” comes up with isn’t as silly as the decisions against Washington, when twice bypassing extra points in favor of failed two-point conversions and the odd call of passing on a field goal when down two possessions with under five minutes to play hindered San Diego State’s chances of mounting a comeback.

There were no such issues in Game 2 – San Diego State was ahead from the outset and put on a solid performance.

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