Army stunned by performance in 42-7 loss to SDSU
By BERNIE WILSON
SAN DIEGO (AP) The Army Black Knights came an awfully long way to be embarrassed in their season opener.
San Diego State scored three touchdowns in the span of 2:45 in the third quarter, including Colin Lockett's 96-yard kickoff return, and overwhelmed Army 42-7 Saturday night.
It was a dreadful opener for Army, which is trying to bounce back from a 3-9 record in 2011. The Black Knights couldn't get anything going with their triple option against SDSU's aggressive defense until it was too late. Trent Steelman was intercepted twice and lost a fumble, with two of the turnovers setting up Aztecs scores.
"It wasn't a fact of being ill-prepared. We just didn't show up," linebacker Nate Combs said.
"I'm really disappointed," Steelman said. "But, there was nothing the coaches did. They had us fully prepared for everything we saw. It just comes down to me and the other veteran players."
Coach Rich Ellerson said he was stunned.
"I didn't anticipate us playing like that," Ellerson said. "I don't want to take anything away from San Diego State. It's a good football team and they played well. They were precise, they were physical and we were not. ... We had trouble getting lined up in formations that we've been working on for four weeks. It was stunning how few things we were able to execute."
Walter Kazee scored twice in the first half for the Aztecs (1-1), who bounced back from an opening loss at Washington.
SDSU coach Rocky Long returned to conventional thinking a week after raising eyebrows by trying for two two-point conversions rather than PATs - both failed - and going for it on fourth down rather than trying a late field goal against Washington. With Long apparently regaining his trust in his kicker, Chance Marden made all six PATs against Army, although he missed both of his field goal attempts, from 40 and 37 yards.
Leading 21-0 at halftime, the Aztecs scored 21 more in a span of less than three minutes in the third quarter.
Army avoided the shutout when Terry Baggett scored on a 10-yard run with 5:54 left in the third quarter, making it 35-7.
Lockett scored on the ensuing kickoff, breaking clear of the coverage at midfield and racing down the left sideline. It was his second career kickoff return for a score.
Kazee scored on runs of 4 and 22 runs in the first half and Adam Dingwell scored on a 7-yard run. Dingwell's touchdown was set up when Derek Largent recovered Steelman's fumble.
Army's Raymond Maples had 107 yards on 19 carries and Baggett had 100 yards on 13 carries.
Updated September 9, 2012