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Aztec Update : Scovil Fears Letdown as SDSU Heads Into Easy Part of Schedule

Depending on how one looks at things, the schedule maker either did San Diego State a favor or an injustice this season.

The Aztecs’ final four games are against teams with a combined record of 7-24-1.

The problem is that SDSU (3-5) has lost four straight against tougher competition. And the question is what effect the losing streak will have over the final weeks of the season. “I hope we don’t get down,” Coach Doug Scovil said Sunday. “We can’t be thinking that the teams we still play aren’t as good as the others. When you start doing that, you get beat.”

SDSU has been beaten by teams with a combined record of 33-9-1. It has lost to UCLA (6-1-1), Brigham Young (7-2), Utah (7-2), Oregon (4-4) and Air Force (9-0).

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Wyoming, which will play host to SDSU on Saturday afternoon, is 1-7 and coming off a 59-0 loss to BYU.

“I looked at films of Wyoming’s game against Utah, and Utah had to struggle to win,” Scovil said. “Wyoming only has one win, but we still wonder what kind of team they have. Unless we meet a snowstorm, we should be able to play well.”

In 1982, a snowstorm nearly prevented SDSU from playing at Wyoming. The Aztecs arrived two hours late for the game, but won on a last-minute field goal, 24-21.

Wide receiver Webster Slaughter suffered a sprained ankle in Saturday’s 31-10 loss at Air Force and is uncertain for this week’s game.

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Slaughter, who was held to 4 receptions for 31 yards and 1 touchdown against the Falcons, is sixth nationally in receptions with a 7.0 per game average.

Quarterback Todd Santos is 11th in passing efficiency (141.9 rating) and 15th in total offense (217.0). The Aztecs are fifth in passing (290.6), 12th in total offense (429.0) and 25th in scoring (27.9).

Despite those impressive numbers, SDSU’s offense has struggled against nationally ranked teams. The Aztecs scored 16 points against UCLA, including 13 in the fourth quarter after the Bruins led, 34-3. They were shut out by BYU and scored 10 against Air Force.

Chris O’Brien had his Western Athletic Conference record of 18 consecutive field goals snapped when he had a 43-yarder partially blocked by Air Force. Scovil said the miss was caused by a low snap.

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The defense played well after allowing Air Force to score 10 points in the first 17 1/2 minutes. The Falcons’ final 21 points came after SDSU turnovers.

Air Force had 52- and 59-yard runs in the first quarter, but its wishbone attack became less effective as the game progressed.

“You just can’t emulate that wishbone in practice,” said Burnie Miller, defensive coordinator. “There’s no way you can execute it like Air Force does. It just took us a little time to get going.”

Nose tackle Levi Esene will likely become a redshirt after missing six games with a dislocated left elbow.

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“If he can’t go now, we’ll probably do it,” Scovil said. “We’d be silly to play him the last three games if we could have him all of next year.”


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