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Story by Liz Alper
Videos courtesy goaztecs.com. For Quest Truxton and Noble Hall's portion of the press conference, click "read more" and scroll to the bottom.
September 5, 2017 (San Diego) - With a big win against UC Davis on Saturday under their belt, San Diego State Aztecs football is heading to Arizona this weekend to face Arizona State. Head coach Rocky Long, junior defensive lineman Noble Hall and senior wide receiver Quest Truxton sat down with the media at this week's press conference.
The Aztecs don't play Pac-12 teams very often. Long commented on that. "Obviously we’re moving up in notoriety this week because we’re playing a Pac-12 team. It’ll be an opportunity for us to see where we stand as far as where we are with that kind of competition level. I’m sure our players are looking forward to it..."
Though the Aztecs won big on Saturday, 38-17, Long noted some adjustments that need to be made in order to play a Pac-12 team. "I think the speed of the game. I think that we’re playing a much more talented, bigger, stronger, faster football team with a lot better athletes so the game’s going to be a lot faster than it was last week so we have to be up to that kind of speed. I think we have the talent level to jump to it but they better not think it’s going to be like last week.”
Long praised junior quarterback Christian Chapman's performance on Saturday, saying he "threw the ball well." He was also pleasantly surprised by sophomore tight end Kahala Warring's effort on Saturday. He also had comments about the defense's play. “I thought the defense played well for three quarters until we substituted some guys. I think that we had the best athletes out there as compared to who we were playing so you have to play well."
Hall talked about the keys to stop ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins. “I watched his film. I see he scrambles a lot so defense has to contain and not let the middle get wide open. That’ll be good for us.”
The Aztecs aren't playing but one, but two Pac-12 teams these next two weeks: ASU this week and Stanford next week. Hall thinks that's a good thing. “I think it’s a really good opportunity for us. The team that we had last year already beat Cal so if we’re able to crack these two teams then we’ll be up to get that three-peat. It’s a good opportunity for us to show out and try to get on the board again in the top 25.”
Truxton knows that the offense has to step up their game against ASU. "...keep moving the ball around and not be completely predictable on what we’re going to do, I think that’s going to help us open it up this week.”
Lastly, Truxton talked about how good the ASU defense is. "They like to pack the box. They know we’re going to run it. We know we’re going to run it but we still find a way to pop those open shots on them when we catch them sleeping.
“When it comes to stuff like this in a room with the cameras, everybody likes to hype up Pac-12 and power five schools, but for us I don’t think we pay attention to that stuff. We don’t really care about hype, good or bad. For us, we just go out there and compete and we’re always trying to prove ourselves. Proving ourselves right is a lot more important than proving other people wrong.”
SDSU takes on ASU in Tempe on Saturday at 8:00 p.m.