The dog days of training camp have come and gone. Now the San Diego State football team can look forward to finally hitting players other than its own, as the team has now begun preparation for its game against Cal Poly at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium. SDSU is looking for revenge against the Mustangs after a pair of two-point losses at their last two meetings.
Lindley comes full circle
When the Aztecs took on Cal Poly three years ago, it was the first career start for now senior quarterback Ryan Lindley. A redshirt freshman at the time, Lindley had a solid debut outing as he completed 27 of 45 pass attempts with 352 yards and three touchdowns in a 29-27 loss. Lindley has developed a lot since that outing and is ready to make amends for the 2008 defeat.
“It’s kind of ironic,” Lindley said. “It’s exciting, it’s something for us to play for. The seniors know what happened, and we need to make that right.” It’s difficult for Lindley to wrap his head around how much he has grown as a player since that day.
“It’s been a ton,” he said. “I think everybody changes over their college career. It’s been a lot. I don’t even know how to put it into words.”
Offense still looking to gel
With wide receivers greener than Kermit the Frog and sophomore running back Ronnie Hillman sitting out of scrimmages, the first-team offense didn’t have much success against the first-team defense during camp. During SDSU’s Family Day scrimmage, the first-team offense failed to score a touchdown. The defense being further along than the offense is typical for this time of year. The offense will eventually catch up to the defense, but as of now it’s still finding its groove. New offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig thinks the offense will develop.
“We have room to grow in every aspect of the game,” Ludwig said.
Shuffle in the secondary
When the starting secondary rolls onto the field on Saturday, it will be without an expected starter. Josh Wade, who was the starter throughout fall camp, suffered an Achilles injury during the Family Day scrimmage that ended his season. Senior Larry Parker will fill Wade’s role at corner. Parker was grateful for the opportunity to start but remorseful it came at the expense of a teammate.
“It’s always good to start,” Parker said. “But it’s always bad to hear when another player goes down.”
Now that Wade is injured, the return of senior Brandon Davis from a suspension will help provide the secondary with some more depth.
“It helps a lot,” Parker said. “He’s a senior and he has playing experience so it’ll be better for us.”
Stahovich leads an exceptional special teams unit
Those who haven’t had the fortune of watching SDSU’s football practices, have been missing an outstanding display of kicking power from senior punter Brian Stahovich and senior place-kicker Abelardo Perez. Stahovich was booming punts all throughout camp and topped it off by blasting a 61-yard punt on Family Day. Perez showed off his leg during camp as well by routinely hitting 45-yard field goals during practice — don’t be surprised if he has a number of field goal attempts of 50 yards or more. Stahovich is confident in the ability of Perez and his other special team comrades.
“I think this year our special teams is going to be one of the best in the nation,” Stahovich said. “That’s what me, Abel Perez and Aaron Brewer are all working on. We feel we’re the top of the nation and we’re going to prove it. We’re going to help win the game of inches with our field position.”