As the new football season approaches I’ve taken some time to reflect back on some favorite memories from the 2010 season. Keep in mind that these are not necessarily the “best” or “most important” plays. This is just one man’s most memorable moments from 2010, and it was not easy narrowing down the list. Here follows a countdown of my top 5 favorite plays.
5. New Mexico – Lindley to Sampson Touchdown
This game holds special significance for me, as it occurred on my birthday. In a game SDSU could not afford to lose, with 5 seconds left in the second quarter the Aztecs had a less than comfortable lead. Then Ryan Lindley connected with DeMarco Sampson for a 40-yard touchdown pass as time expired in the half.
The play begins at the 0:35 mark.
4. TCU – Rob Andrews Sack and Jerome Long Touchdown
This exciting game took place on the same day as the Aztecs’ first basketball game of the season. A large contingent of Show members (along with many other SDSU fans) watched this game in a packed bar in Long Beach. The Aztecs took the early lead, and widened the margin when Rob Andrews came out of nowhere to blindside Andy Dalton. Jerome Long would complete the play with a fumble recovery in the end zone for an Aztec score. With the 14-0 lead against #3 TCU the Aztec fans in the house were going nuts. People were standing on chairs, and the whole place was singing the Aztec fight song. Though the Aztecs couldn’t hold on to win, it was TCU’s first 2 touchdown deficit in 2 years, and the Aztecs held the lead for longer than all of TCU’s prior opponents combined. The 35 points tallied by State were also the most points scored on TCU in 2011, and until this game the entire conference (through 6 games) had only put up 23 points against TCU.
The play begins at the 0:46 mark.
3. Navy – Lindley to Hillman Touchdown
Everyone should remember this glorious day in Aztec history. The doubt over whether this game would actually be played, due to flooding, only served to make the event more memorable. The Aztecs came out aggressively and took the lead with a diversified and dominant offensive attack. As the fourth quarter began the SDSU offense executed the perfect fake play to start to put the game out of reach for Navy. Lindley appeared to hand the ball off to Brandon Sullivan who then went over the top while Lindley stood by, casually hiding the ball. Lindley then delivered a perfect pass to a wide-open Ronnie Hillman for the TD. The Aztecs went on to claim the first bowl victory of the Division 1 era.
The play begins at the 1:32 mark.
2. Air Force – Ronnie Hillman 65-Yard Touchdown Run
Fans should remember this game well, as the Aztecs defeated a Top 25 team for the first time in many years. When the Aztecs won this game I knew that this season could be something special. There was great energy at the Q on this day, and I still love watching the highlights and listening to the roar of the crowd as Hillman takes off for the first TD of the game. I also love the commentary by CBS’s play-by-play man, “nothing mediocre about this kid either, look at Hillman go! Ronnie Hillman, freshman running back, breaks a tackle! Here he goes! Off to the races, the cutback, the jump, gonna be a touchdown! 65 yards for Ronnie Hillman, how ‘bout that?!” This play was made possible by a frenzy of broken tackles and beautiful blocks.
The play begins at the 0:30 mark.
1. Wyoming – Brian Stahovich 89-Yard Punt
How often does the punter get the glory? Brian Stahovich’s 89-yard punt may have been the play that won the Aztecs the game. Watching this game on TV I could only laugh at the absurdity as the ball just kept going and going. Kicking from the end zone Brian delivered the longest punt in school history, the longest in the NCAA since 2004, and the 2nd longest in MWC history (the longest being the aforementioned 2004 punt by Air Force). Making the play even more impressive is that the snap was less than perfect, as Stahovich had to jump to make the catch. Stahovich’s only punt of the game was enough to earn him MWC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen said the kick, “caused a 10-point swing in the game,” 10 points that turned out to be the margin of victory.
What were your favorite plays of the 2010 season? Share your thoughts in the comments or on facebook.
Thanks for reading!