Sack-less in San Diego
LARAMIE – San Diego State had allowed 11 quarterback sacks entering
Saturday night’s game.
Wyoming’s defense recorded 20 through five contests to lead
the Mountain West Conference. That number also put the Cowboys in the Top-10 in
the nation in that category.
Aztec signal caller, Ryan Agnew, had to think it was going to be a long night, right? Garrett Crall, Wyoming’s defensive end, must’ve been licking his chops, huh?
When the smoke cleared from the colorful firework show above
the outdated scoreboard at SDCCU Stadium and the final stats were tallied, two
The first: Aztecs 26, Cowboys 22
Next: Sacks: SDSU 1, Wyoming 0
“Yeah, we were,” Crall said about his expectation of collecting
sacks in sunny San Diego. “We didn’t get the pass rush we wanted. Credit to
them, they did a good job. I’ll give them that. They were well prepared, you
“We wanted to do better than that.”
Agnew -- time and time again – escaped the grasp of oncoming
Cowboy defenders. Blitzes didn’t work. Neither did line stunts. Anything Wyoming
tried; the Aztecs front five countered. And if they didn’t, Agnew simply rolled
out of danger.
Agnew’s elusiveness led to the decisive points with 2:09 remaining on the game clock. The Aztec’s quarterback rolled to his left, avoiding pressure. Soon, he found himself running out of real estate. He looked to the back of the end zone and fired across the grain. Those types of passes are typically earmarked as a turnover in waiting, instead, the ball safely cruised into the awaiting arms of tight end, Daniel Bellinger.
Agnew, who was hit on the play, threw his hands in the air
and pointed down the bench at his coaches from the comfort of his backside.
The frustration created by SDSU’s quarterback left Crall
visibly irritated after the final whistle blew.
Wyoming’s defensive end coach, AJ Cooper, put his arm around Crall and spoke to him as they exited the stadium.
“It was a collective thing,” Crall said about his emotions after the loss. “Coach (Craig) Bohl says it all the time: ‘it’s not one specific play that wins or loses the game, it’s a collective amount of plays.’ We could’ve done better. They just made more plays. The most frustrating part is nothing happened we couldn’t control. There was nothing that we saw that we weren’t ready for. We gave up 26 points after giving up six in the first half. Penalties are pretty much the reason they had any points.
“As mad as I was at the time, we have a lot of football left.
I can hang my head, or I can learn from it.”
Davon Wells-Ross is taking a similar approach.
“We knew he was a scrambler,” he said of Agnew. “It was more
of we just need to stay in our rush lanes and make stops. He’s a good player. Good
players make good plays … we have a 24-hour rule. Yeah, that was tough, but we
are on to the next one.”
The next one, that’s the New Mexico Lobos, who enter Saturday
afternoon’s tilt at War Memorial Stadium 2-4 overall and 0-2 in conference
play. Not much has gone right for Bob Davie’s squad this season, but they do
have one stat they can hang their hats on – sacks allowed.
New Mexico’s front five had only given up two sacks all
season until Colorado State tallied two last Friday in a 35-21 home loss to the
Well-Ross seemed impressed with that stat. He also fired
back with this.
“They haven’t played us yet,” he said with a smile. “That’s what goes through our mind. We will watch the film, figure out their weak spots, their strengths and go make plays. I feel pretty confident that we will come in hungry and want to prove ourselves.”
Safe to say the Lobos are getting a pissed off bunch?
“100 percent,” Wells-Ross said. “We are going to come hard.
Every team should feel that way. They are going to get our best shot.”
Crall got over the disappointment in San Diego the only way
he says he knows how.
“I was at the weight room at 9 a.m., squatting 345 pounds,
thinking, ‘gosh, I’m tired,’” he said. “Coaches told me I needed to slow down
though. I just want to get after it. That’s the best way to deal with losses …
“Yeah, I’m confident we will be ready to play.”