Frustration piles up as SDSU falls again, 42-7
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)
Coach Rocky Long said it wasn't worth it.
''It's only great for exposure if you play well; it's not worth a darn if you play bad,'' Long said after his team fell behind 21-0 after a quarter and 35-0 at the half in a lopsided matchup. ''You look bad on TV, so what good does it do for you?''
The Aztecs (0-2) had another disappointing game. On the heels of a humiliating 40-19 home loss to Football Championship Subdivision Eastern Illinois last week, they mustered just 280 yards and the Buckeyes (2-0) did just about everything they wanted.
''They're regular students like we're regular student-athletes,'' SDSU wide receiver Colin Lockett said. ''I don't understand why we wouldn't want to play a good team. This is where you figure out what type of player, what type of team, you are on a big stage like this.''
Defensive back Nate Berhe was disgusted.
''We've got to come ready to work,'' he said. ''It's unacceptable.''
San Diego State, which went 9-4 a year ago and played in a bowl game for the third consecutive season, didn't get on the board until late in the third quarter. Backup quarterback Quinn Kaehler flipped a 2-yard scoring pass to Chad Young to make it 42-7.
Kaehler, who completed 22 of 36 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown with one interception, took over for starter Adam Dingwell after he was intercepted by Doran Grant on the Aztecs' second possession.
''We all want to play against the best in the country,'' Kaehler said. ''That's how you find out how good you are.''
The Aztecs wanted to get off on the right foot but their offense didn't let them.
They didn't run more than three plays in a series in the first quarter, by which time they were already down by three touchdowns. Dingwell finished 0 for 5 passing with the pick.
A ground game that was 20th in the nation last year at 221 yards a game mustered was non-existent early and finished with only 64 yards on 27 attempts.
''I thought we were absolutely horrible in the first half,'' Long said of his offense.
The only hope was that the Buckeyes might get knocked off course somehow. That possibility arose - but then evaporated.
On Ohio State's first possession, it faced fourth and 1 at the Aztecs 12.
Quarterback Braxton Miller, considered one of the Heisman Trophy front-runners, carried to the right side and then cut back. He was trying to squirm for an extra yard or two when he was hit by San Diego State defensive back King Holder while going backwards, with middle linebacker Jake Fely then hitting him and knocking his helmet off.
Miller lay on the turf for a short time, rubbing his head. He was attended by a doctor, and eventually left the field under his own power, although he limped slightly. A team physician on the bench manipulated his left knee and he grimaced in pain.
Miller was taken from the field on a cart.
In came backup Kenny Guiton, who on the very next play handed to freshman Dontre Wilson, who sprinted around end for a 7-yard score.
''I actually wasn't that nervous. I prepared all week like a starter,'' Guiton said. ''Once I got in I took my first hit, got my first throw, after that it was just, `Let's go.'''
The senior from Texas also tossed a 27-yard scoring pass to Corey Brown and then handed off to Jordan Hall for a 4-yard score with 3 seconds left in the first quarter. During the lull before the ensuing kickoff, Miller received a loud ovation as he jogged across the field from the ramp leading to the locker room to the Ohio State sideline.
Miller, wearing a large knee brace, remained on the sideline the rest of the game, never putting on a helmet but occasionally speaking to coach Urban Meyer and his teammates.
Guiton, who helped save Ohio State's 12-0 season a year ago, had the most playing time he's ever had in a game. He set career bests with 19 of 28 passing for 152 yards and 83 rushing yards. In his 16 games coming in, he had completed 14 of 25 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions with just 59 yards rushing 14 attempts.
''I did my best to try and lead in everything,'' said Guiton, who also had a 44-yard touchdown run and hit a leaping Brown again on a 24-yard scoring pass. ''I tried to let my words be heard, tried to impact the team no matter what.''
While Ohio State seems to have two ready-to-go quarterbacks, the Aztecs must find one before hosting Oregon State in two weeks.
Long will undoubtedly welcome the extra time to try to get his charges turned around.
''(Ohio State is) a good football team but it's on us again,'' Lockett said. ''They came out ready to play and we didn't.
''The scoreboard shows it.''
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