Brent Schrotenboer covers San Diego State for the San Diego Union-Tribune, and recently answered five questions I had for him about Saturday football game between the Aztecs and Wyoming.
Would love to hear what you think, and can discuss these things, and more during Thursday’s live chat at 3 p.m.
The transition from switching coaches from Brady Hoke to Rocky Long seems to have gone well. Has it been as smooth as it looks from a distance? It’s about as seamless as a coaching transition can get. Same systems on offense and defense. Several of the same coaches. Fourth-year starter at quarterback. That was the idea behind promoting Rocky Long from defensive coordinator – to provide continuity instead of having to start all over again.
Long didn’t hire or name a defensive coordinator prior to the season, is he calling the defensive plays and how has that affected him as the head coach? He decided to call the defensive plays again this year after two years as defensive coordinator. The defense is his baby, and it’s hard for him to give it up. Even as head coach at New Mexico, he called the defensive plays. After being named head coach at SDSU in January, he auditioned some assistants for the coordinator job in spring, but in the end, he didn’t want to let it go. I don’t think it’s affected him as head coach much because that’s how he’s usually run things. He delegates the offense to the offensive coaches.
What makes running back Ronnie Hillman so good, and is he one of the best backs in the country? Yes, he is one of the best in the country. Vision is what makes him better than others. Based on instincts and movements, he can see where the holes are going to be before they open up and gets to them quickly. It’s not something you can teach.
Quarterback Ryan Lindley has completed just over 50 percent of his passes. Is that a reflection of the receivers he lost last season or is there something else there? It’s a reflection of a number of factors, primarily inexperienced receivers, who have had their share of drops. Lindley had a slump in the Michigan and TCU losses, when pressure knocked him off his game and he completed just 42 percent of his passes. In the Michigan game, he often threw the ball way too soon, as if he was anticipating instant pressure after the snap. He and the offensive line bounced back in a win against Air Force Oct. 13.
What does Wyoming need to do to have a chance to win, and your final score prediction for the game. To have a chance to win,Wyoming probably needs to do what Michigan and TCU did – rattle Lindley. A turnover or two would help against SDSU, which ranks sixth nationally in turnover margin. On offense, an accurate passing game is essential. SDSU has two playmaking cornerbacks, Larry Parker and Leon McFadden, who are good at man-to-man coverage. Parker ranks second nationally in interceptions with five in six games. Prediction: SDSU 30,Wyoming17.