Thursday, November 11, 2010

Week 11 Players to Watch: San Diego State Aztecs

As I said earlier this week, this is no cake walk for us, so the Rose Bowl/BCS championship game talk needs to be quieted down at least for a week. I am pretty worried about the lack of focus on this game, at least from our fan base, but I doubt our team is sharing the same sentiments as the fan base. Anyways, this SDSU team is pretty loaded with talent on the offensive side of the ball, as Coach Patterson has mentioned this week, and I’d be pretty shocked if we made it 7 straight weeks holding an opponent to single digit points. Let’s hope I’m wrong though, and we continue to amaze me on the defensive end. This was a tough week to pick players to watch because Brady Hoke has done a great job utilizing so many different weapons on offense. They’ve got a QB averaging 269 yards per game, 2 receivers on pace to go well over 1,000 yards receiving, and a 1,000 yard rusher who leads the MWC and is only a freshman. We may be gone after this year, but this team isn’t going anywhere any time soon and good for them. Defensively I don’t know near as much about them, but they let BYU score points and had a huge secondary lapse/missed tackle party against Missouri, so I assume they’re not the best we’ve faced. Then again, I thought Utah was good…

Ronnie Hillman (Fr. RB, 5’10 175, #13)

Ronnie going 93.

I’ve tried not to pick the obvious guy that will make an impact this year, but in some cases I have no choice. Hillman is the man. He averages 116 ypg, has amassed 12 TDs on the ground, and averages 5.6 yards per carry. Honestly, I haven’t seen much of SDSU this year, but I know he’s small and speedy, and in high school was dubbed the “Reggie Bush of Orange County” in high school by some dude named Steve Fryer, so I can imagine what his running style is like. Hillman’s production has tapered off of late, although he did just go for 151 last week against CSU. He had 8 TDs and averaged 133 yards per game after just 4 games this season. Earlier in the season, he torched Missouri (from the Almighty Big 12) for 228 yards and 2 TDs, including a 93 yarder. He also went for 191 against Air Force. Let’s just say that Hillman probably has more big play ability than anyone we’ve seen since the Rodger’s brothers (yes, even more than the great Robert Griffin III), and he’ll touch the ball 25 times a game unlike Shaky Smithson, so the ability to contain him through all 4 quarters could be our toughest challenge in quite a while. Oh, and if we are able to stop Hillman, we still have 2 game breaking WRs and veteran QB to deal with.

Now, if you’re like me and looking for a reason to pick on Hillman when he’s on the sidelines, this can be done (outside of being small, which always works). Hillman enrolled last fall at SDSU, but there were questions surrounding his SAT score that forced him to withdraw from school. Then for some reason he went to Georgia and worked as a waiter until he was able to score high enough on his SAT to qualify at SDSU(i.e. correctly spell his name on the form). So, feel free to make fun of him for being a short, dummy who had more trouble with the SAT than Derrick Rose. Also, since he was a waiter, I will probably yell at him to freshen up my beverage or get me a hot dog.

Miles Burris (Jr. LB, 6’3 240, #9)

Sorry it's not bigger. His hair couldn't fit into a bigger photo.

Miles “Sunshine” Burris is the team’s leading tackler with 50, leader in sacks with 7, and leader in tackles for loss with 13. He is the team’s leading returning tackler from last year with 58 and is the only returning starter at linebacker. It appears to me that he must play strictly around the line of scrimmage, because he doesn’t have any pass break ups or interceptions on the year. That might also be because he can’t disguise himself in coverage very well because of his long, flowing, shiny chestnut locks.

Nice headband, brah.

I’m pretty uninspired to do much more analysis of this guy or their defense as a whole, but I’m sure we can find plenty of ways to ridicule some Cali-bro-douche with a head of hair like this. Please feel free to refer to him as such nicknames as Sunshine, Lattimer, Fabio, Mike Miller, Rapunzel, or anything else you can think of. This guy deserves it.

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