The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
you need to take on the day.
The San Diego State football program has found a way to recover from its Week 1 loss to Eastern Illinois, even with one of the worst kicking units in college football. After starting the season 0-3, getting embarrassed by the Ohio State Buckeyes along the way, Rocky Long’s team has won six of its last seven games. The team’s only loss during that span came in overtime against the 9-0 Fresno State Bulldogs.
Suffice to say, Long has proven that the early season woes were more a symptom of a young team finding its footing than an SDSU team in decline.
The 6-4 Aztecs are now “bowl eligible,” meaning that there is a good chance that they’ll be selected to compete in one of college football’s postseason bowl games. The prestige of the game they’re invited to play in will depend greatly on how they do against the 7-3 Boise State Broncos this Saturday, in what will be the final game at Qualcomm Stadium for SDSU’s seniors.
There will be a good deal of scoreboard watching going on over the next two weeks, as the Aztecs could end up winning their division and going to the Mountain West Conference Championship Game if Fresno State loses one of its final two games and the Aztecs win both of theirs. That’s a game SDSU is going to need to get into regularly if they’re going to win the recruiting game in Southern California.
You’re reading the Sports Report, our weekly compilation of news and information for the San Diego sports fan.
Padres Make a Splash
• The Padres are suddenly relevant, and looking like a team deep with starting pitching talent after signing pitcher Josh Johnson to a one-year deal worth $8 million. That alone is a bargain basement price for a guy many consider to be an ace pitcher, but there’s a creative option in his contract that made the deal even more attractive for Padres GM Josh Byrnes.
• To make room for Johnson on the roster, and to prepare for the upcoming Rule V Draft, the Padres designated a few players for assignment and added some of their top prospects to the 40-man roster to keep them from being claimed by another team.
• After Rick Renteria accepted the manager position with the Chicago Cubs, somebody had to fill his very large shoes as the Padres bench coach. Dave Roberts, a former Padres player and Red Sox legend who has been San Diego’s first base coach for the past three seasons, had been promoted to the dugout. Jose Valentin, a former player himself who was coaching with the Lake Elsinore Storm last season, has been signed as the new first base coach.
Chargers Injuries Pile Up
• Boy, I’m sure Mike McCoy would like a do-over on his first bye week as an NFL head coach. The Chargers are 0-3 since coming off the bye, and lost another winnable game on Sunday against the tumultuous Miami Dolphins. It won’t get any easier this Sunday, as they take on the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs.
• The BFTB staff had a roundtable discussion on the prevailing question of the week: Can the Chargers still make the playoffs? Mathematically, it’s possible. Whether it’s realistic is another question entirely.
• Jarret Johnson, who’s been the Chargers’ best pass rusher this season and arguably their most important player on defense, had surgery on his hand on Monday and is out indefinitely. For a defense that already lacks depth, talent and a pass rush, this is very bad news.
• Melvin Ingram, who tore his ACL during the Chargers mini camp in May, is back practicing with the team five months later. It’s been a miraculous recovery, but with three of the final five Chargers games likely to be blacked out in San Diego, will anyone see him if he gets on the field this year?
Stories You May Have Missed
• After going 32-0 at home entering this season, the San Diego Sockers have started the year with two consecutive home losses. Strange times down at the Valley View Casino Center.
• In preparation for Sunday’s game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, Bill Barnwell wonders if Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have traded places.
• Video of the Week: I know it’ll get played so much that I will eventually tire of it, but if you haven’t seen Foot Locker’s new commercial yet, you should. See what happens to Mike Tyson, Brett Favre, Dennis Rodman and Craig Sager when “all is right in the world.”
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