No. 22 Michigan 28, San Diego St. 7
San Diego State assistants and players shook hands and hugged
Brady Hoke one by one after he beat them.
Instead of being bitter about Hoke bolting the beach to coach at
the Big House, the Aztecs were praising him and raving about
”Brady will win a national championship here,” Aztecs coach
Rocky Long said after No. 22 Michigan beat San Diego State 28-7
Saturday. ”I don’t know how long it will take, but he will win one
Hoke helped San Diego State beat Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl
last year for its first bowl win since 1969 and led the program to
nine wins for the first time since 1977.
The Aztecs put pictures of Hoke and other former assistants on
cards they used to signal plays in what they intended to be a sign
In the days before the game, Hoke publicly downplayed facing his
former players. Hoke, though, didn’t treat the postgame like just
another one with warm embraces and encouraging words.
”That part of it is, I guess is being a human being,” Hoke
San Diego State (3-1) did not make its players available for
interviews after the game.
The Aztecs allowed quarterback Denard Robinson to run for three
scores in the first half to give Michigan a three-touchdown lead
and let him finish with a season-high 200 yards rushing.
The Wolverines (4-0) sputtered on offense after halftime because
Robinson struggled again in the passing game. He completed just 8
of 17 passes for 93 yards and two interceptions, leaving Long
wishing he had started with a different game plan.
”We are a very aggressive defense and in the first half, we
were too aggressive,” Long said. ”That was my fault.”
Though the Wolverines forced three turnovers, they turned the
ball over four times and were fortunate Ryan Lindley couldn’t hit
After Lindley missed a teammate on fourth down midway through
the fourth quarter, Robinson’s 30-yard sprint set up Vincent
Smith’s 7-yard run to give Michigan a 28-7 lead.
San Diego State won its first three games for the first time
since 1981, then became the first team to not start strong against
the Hoke-led Wolverines this year.
”I thought we played a terrible first half,” Long said. ”They
had a lot to do with us playing poorly.”
The Aztecs avoided a shutout when Lindley made a 16-yard pass to
Colin Lockett with 4 seconds left in the third, taking advantage of
Michigan’s third turnover in the quarter.
The Aztecs, though, failed to maintain momentum on their next
drive and settled for their sixth punt after Lockett dropped an
over-the-shoulder pass deep in Wolverines territory.
Lindley, who fumbled once, completed 23 of 48 passes for 253
yards and a TD. Hillman ran for 109 yards on 21 carries and fumbled
Long hoped the Aztecs didn’t get too fired up to show Hoke what
he was missing.
”If it wasn’t just another game for our players, then the
players made a huge mistake,” he said. ”If you let emotions get
in the way, you’re making a mistake.”