Aztec Stat of the Week: Long Snapping Efficiency

Aztecs For Life

Freshman long snapper Jeff Overbaugh has played an integral role in San Diego State’s success this season (Ernie Anderson/SDSU Media Relations)

In football, special teams often go unnoticed.

Even when special teams plays are highlighted, certain details of those plays are typically overlooked. For example, when a game-winning field goal is shown, the announcers rarely talk about how well the ball was snapped.

Long snappers play a critical role on every football team. In addition to snapping the ball to the holder for field goals, they also snap the ball on punts, ensuring that the ball reaches the punter in a timely manner and in the appropriate spot for the punter to kick the ball well.

Although long snappers rarely receive praise, San Diego State football long snapper Jeff Overbaugh deserves some recognition. The true freshman long snapper has been flawless all season with his snapping duties, and he has the stats to prove it.

Through 12 games, Overbaugh has snapped the ball well on all 105 attempts. He is 52-for-52 on PATs, 12-for-12 on field goals, and 41-for-41 on punts – impressive numbers for a freshman playing a nerve-racking position at the Division 1 level.

A product of  long snapping guru Chris Rubio – like former SDSU long snappers Aaron Brewer and Tyler Schmitt – Overbaugh’s talents have helped the Aztecs’ special teams immensely. Teamed with freshman punter Seamus McMorrow, San Diego State is sure to have a solid punting game for years to come. And although senior kicker Chance Marden will be gone after the season, Overbaugh will have the Aztecs nearly worry-free when it comes to field goal snaps for the next three seasons.

Did you miss the “Meet the Aztecs: Q&A with Jeff Overbaugh” piece from earlier in the season? Check it out here


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by Hunter Hewitt

GO AZTECS

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Aztec Stat of the Week: 18

The Aztecs celebrate after defeating Air Force to improve to 6-1 in conference play (Ernie Anderson/SDSU Media Relations)

This week, only one stat matters.

“Championships?”
“18.”
“Working on?”
“19.”

Since 2009, that is what has been said before every team meeting by the San Diego State football team. The coach asks two simple questions, the players give two simple responses.

In school history, 18 conference championships have been won, and Aztec fans have been anxiously awaiting the 19th for years.

SDSU controls its own destiny on Saturday, as they will finally have the chance to win their 19th conference championship when they take on Wyoming in their final Mountain West Conference game.

If the Aztecs win, there are two other games that will determine whether or not the Mountain West Conference championship is shared or won outright. SDSU, Boise State, and Fresno State are all 6-1 in conference play, and each have one game remaining.

Air Force vs. Fresno State – 12:30 p.m. pst on Saturday, Nov. 24 at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, Calif.

Boise State vs. Nevada – TBA on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Mackay Stadium in Reno, Nev.

If both Fresno State and Boise State lose their final conference games, SDSU will win the conference championship outright. Because there are no tiebreakers in the Mountain West, if either Fresno State or Boise State, or both, win their final games, it will be either a two-way or three-way tie for the conference championship.

Previous Conference Championships 

In order of the most recent, the 18 conference championships in SDSU history are as follows:

1998, 1986, 1974, 1973, 1972, 1970, 1969, 1967, 1966, 1963, 1962, 1951, 1950, 1937, 1936, 1924, 1923, 1922

In 1998, led by head coach Ted Tollner, the Aztecs were co-champions of the Western Athletic Conference with a conference record of 7-1 and an overall record of 7-5. They tied with BYU and Air Force in the regular season, making the three teams co-champions in conference play. Air Force eventually went on to beat BYU in the conference championship game, but SDSU was technically still a co-champion in the regular season.

The last time SDSU won a conference championship outright was in 1986, when quarterback Todd Santos led the Aztecs to a 7-1 record in the Western Athletic Conference and an 8-4 record overall. The season ended with a heartbreaking 39-38 loss to Iowa in the Holiday Bowl.

This Saturday will determine if the Aztecs can secure their 19th conference championship, and the following Saturday could determine if it is won outright or shared.

WIN 19!


LINKS:
Hunter Hewitt: WordPress – http://hunterhewitt.wordpress.com
Hunter Hewitt: LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/hunterhewitt
Hunter Hewitt: Twitter – http://twitter.com/hunterhewitt89
Hunter Hewitt: Facebook – http://facebook.com/hunterhewittSDSU
Hunter Hewitt: About.me – http://about.me/hunterhewitt
Hunter Hewitt: BrandYourself – http://hunterhewitt.brandyourself.com/
Hunter Hewitt: GoAztecs.com Player Profile – http://goaztecs.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/hewitt_hunter00.html


by Hunter Hewitt

GO AZTECS

Aztec Stat of the Week: Pass Break-Ups – Leon McFadden

Leon McFadden breaks up a pass vs. North Dakota, one of his 10 pass break-ups this season (Ernie Anderson/SDSU Media Relations)

When San Diego State defeated Boise State on Nov. 3, Aztec cornerback Leon McFadden recorded four tackles and a pass break-up in the game. The numbers weren’t eye-popping, likely because teams often shy away from throwing to McFadden’s side, but one statistic inched him closer to leaving his mark in the SDSU record books.

With the pass break-up against Boise State, McFadden improved his season total to 10, good for most on the team. He now has a total of 37 pass break-ups in his career, which ties a school record. He has matched former SDSU defensive back Eric Lewis, who also broke up 37 passes from 1995-1998.

What is most impressive about the statistic is that McFadden has managed to tie the record with a limited number of opportunities. Tabbed as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in the Mountain West Conference before the season began, he has developed a reputation as a shutdown cornerback.

Opposing offenses often focus on the side of the field where McFadden isn’t, taking away chances for the senior cornerback to make plays. Despite the reduced opportunities, he has still managed 56 total tackles and three interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns, in his final season at SDSU.

With two games remaining and only one pass break-up needed, McFadden has a great chance to break the record and solidify himself as one of the best defensive backs to ever play at SDSU.

*UPDATE (12/21/12)

Leon McFadden recorded two pass break-ups in the final game vs. BYU. He now holds the record for most pass break-ups in San Diego State history with 39.


Did you miss last week’s “Stat of the Week” post about kickoff return yardage? Check it out here!


LINKS:
Hunter Hewitt: WordPress – http://hunterhewitt.wordpress.com
Hunter Hewitt: LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/hunterhewitt
Hunter Hewitt: Twitter – http://twitter.com/hunterhewitt89
Hunter Hewitt: Facebook – http://facebook.com/hunterhewittSDSU
Hunter Hewitt: About.me – http://about.me/hunterhewitt
Hunter Hewitt: BrandYourself – http://hunterhewitt.brandyourself.com/
Hunter Hewitt: GoAztecs.com Player Profile – http://goaztecs.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/hewitt_hunter00.html


by Hunter Hewitt

GO AZTECS