Toreros Football Thread

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Gill Man

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GO TOREROS!!!!!
 

SDRay

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New Season, Same Goal


At 76 years young, Dale Lindsey is about to embark on his seventh season as the University of San Diego head football coach. His goal this season is the same as the previous six.

"Win the Pioneer Football League. Go to the playoffs," he said.

Standards obviously don't deviate for San Diego, which begins practice for the 2019 season on Friday afternoon. Lindsey has strung together five straight PFL championships. In all, USD has won the PFL title seven of the past eight years.

Rival coaches expect more of the same this season. For the ninth year in a row a PFL coaches' poll picked the Toreros to finish first.

As for San Diego's dominance, Lindsey said, "I think it's a statement that we have done a good job of recruiting players, they've done a good job of listening and the coaches have done a good job coaching them.

"We don't have any magical formula. I think it's a result of a lot of hard work."

Six USD players were named to the 2019 Preseason All-PFL team, two each on offense, defense and special teams.

Leading the way was wide receiver Michael Bandy, one of 25 players named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List, the honor symbolic of the Football Championship Subdivision's Heisman Trophy.

Bandy is coming off one of the most stunning seasons in San Diego history. The senior from La Mirada, California, caught 88 passes for 1,698 yards and 14 touchdowns. The yardage total was the fifth most in FCS history.

Asked what he can do for an encore, Bandy said, "I just want to help this team win more games. I want a better record than last year, go deeper in the playoffs. That's the main goal."

Joining Bandy on the 2019 Preseason All-PFL team are running back Emilio Martinez, defensive end Nick Friedel, linebacker Kama Kamaka, kick returner Michael Armstead and punter Tanner Kuljian.

A junior, Martinez compiled 1,157 yards from scrimmage and scored 13 touchdowns in 2018.

A redshirt junior, Friedel filled the stat sheet last season, compiling 36 tackles, 9.5 tackles for losses, 3.5 sacks, 1 interception and 1 fumble recovery. A junior, Kamaka logged 69 tackles, 5.5 for losses, an interception and fumble recovery.

A redshirt junior, Kuljian was one of the nation's best punters. Not only did he average 42.8 yards per punt, but 25 of his 59 kicks landed inside the 20. He was picked to the inaugural FCS Punter of the Year Award Watch List by The Augusta Sports Council.

"Our punting game has been a good weapon for us for years," said Lindsey.

A senior, Armstead averaged a whopping 32.3 yards per kickoff return, including two for touchdowns.

There are two main question marks for USD entering the season. Only one starting offensive lineman returns, Aidan Valencia, and Valencia is moving from right to left tackle.

And for the first time since 2014, Anthony Lawrence, who set every major San Diego career passing record, will not be the Toreros' starting quarterback. Going into practice there was a three-way battle between Reid Sinnett, Mason Randall and Alex Farina to earn the starting job. A fifth-year senior, Sinnett went into camp listed No. 1 on the depth chart.

Regarding breaking in a new quarterback, Bandy said, "It's going to be different, but I'm excited to see what the new quarterback can do. It's going to be a good competition through camp. All three guys can get the job done."

San Diego opens the season Aug. 31 at Cal Poly. The Toreros play their first home game Sept. 7 against UC Davis.
 

SDRay

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Lindsey not ready to name starting quarterback for USD yet


After 14 spring practices, another 12 since summer camp opened Aug. 2, plus two scrimmages, USD football coach Dale Lindsey still isn’t ready to name a starting quarterback.
“I don’t think everything is clear enough yet,” Lindsey said after Saturday’s scrimmage that was open to the public. “There’s another week of camp.”
USD opens the season Aug. 31 at Cal Poly. Lindsey anticipates naming a starter by next Thursday or Friday.
“If we don’t know by then,” said Lindsey, “we ought to be fired.”
The Toreros are searching for the successor to Anthony Lawrence, who started the last 47 games behind center and set every major school passing record.
Since last spring, the competition has been a three-man race between redshirt senior Reid Sinnett, plus redshirt juniors Mason Randall and Alex Farina.
Because Sinnett was No. 2 on the depth chart the past three seasons, he’s presumed by many around the program to be the likely starter.
“It looks like right now it’s going to be Reid, but these other quarterbacks are fantastic,” said wide receiver Alex Spadone.
Sinnett was 3-of-6 passing for 57 yards and one touchdown Saturday. Farina was 5-of-6 passing for 67 yards. Randall didn’t play after suffering an ankle injury last week.
Regarding the wait for the staff to name a starter, Sinnett said, “It’s not concerning by any means. We’re all close in the quarterback room. There’s no secrets kept from anybody. We’re all on the same page.”
“I think it definitely keeps all our heads into it and fuels our competitive nature,” said Farina.
“It’s keeping people from being complacent,” said Sinnett. “I don’t think anybody’s complaining about it.”
Lindsey not pleased
The offensive highlight to Saturday’s scrimmage was that four quarterbacks combined to complete 17-of-23 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns. The lowlight was a running game that saw the backs gain just 28 yards on 18 carries.
The team’s top two backs, Emilio Martinez and Terrence Smith, were held out for precautionary reasons.
“Too many penalties, not good blocking, not good tackling, too many explosive plays (allowed), no consistency in the run game,” said Lindsey.
“Does it sound like I’m happy?”
Told it did not, the head coach added, “The effort’s good but the execution and the mental capacity to function under pressure is not there. Not at a championship level.”
USD has won or shared the Pioneer Football League title seven of the past eight years.
Added Lindsey, “This is not USD-level football.”
O-line offensive
Lindsey was particularly concerned with the offense’s inability to run block.
“Our offensive line has got to grow up,” said Lindsey. “Somehow.”
Spadone shines
Spadone caught eight passes for 120 yards early last season, suffered a high ankle sprain, then was redshirted.
At 6-feet-1, 208 pounds, he’s a physical and athletic wide receiver. He caught three passes for 50 yards, plus rushed once for an 18-yard TD Saturday.
“Alex has a lot of talent,” said Lindsey. “He’s smart, he’s tough and we need to use him more. He’s a good weapon.”
Bandyman can
Senior wide receiver Michael Bandy unleashed a phenomenal season last year, catching 88 passes for 1,698 yards and 14 TDs. The yardage total was fifth most in FCS history. He caught one pass for a 23-yard TD Saturday.
Lindsey expects Bandy will draw increased attention from defenders.
“If I were playing against us,” said Lindsey, “he’d be one guy I hit every play.”
Notable
Down the road, keep an eye on redshirt sophomore Bryce Fledderman. The 6-5 QB completed all seven of his attempts Saturday for 91 yards and two TDs.
If Farina doesn’t win the starting quarterback job, he’ll still be on the field often. He’s the deep snapper on place-kicks and punts. Said Farina, “I like to consider myself a Swiss army knife.”
The defense didn’t force any turnovers in the 46-play scrimmage but logged four sacks.
Eight penalties were called, all on the offense, five for illegal procedure.
 

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USD’s Bandy is no Diva on or off the field


Wide receiver uses his speed and hard work to make name for himself
Google “diva wide receivers” and top 10 lists come tumbling out of cyberspace.
There’s Antonio Brown arriving at Raiders training camp via hot air balloon. Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg at a nightclub. Terrell Owens stomping on the Dallas Cowboys’ midfield logo.
Then you have USD wide receiver Michael Bandy, the anti-diva. A senior political science major, Bandy typically goes to bed at 8:45 p.m., which has drawn snarky remarks from teammates.
Said Bandy, “They’re like, ‘Dude, it’s 8:30.’<TH>”
He covers punts and returns kicks for the Toreros, the grubby work, as USD head coach Dale Lindsey calls it. At 5-feet-10, 195 pounds with biceps Popeye would envy, Bandy doesn’t resemble a wide receiver.
“He looks like a running back,” said former USD quarterback Anthony Lawrence. “Or a strong safety.”
But pity those who underestimate No. 5.
“If you’re not competing with him,” said Lindsey, “he’ll embarrass you.”
USD begins its 57th football season at 2 p.m. Saturday when the Toreros visit Cal Poly. Be<FZ,1,1,16>cause he’s coming off the best season a wide receiver has ever recorded at USD, Bandy figures to be a marked man.
“I wouldn’t leave the guy one-on-one,” said Lindsey.
Bandy caught 88 passes last season for 1,698 yards. He grabbed 14 touchdown passes. The yardage total ranks fifth all-time in Football Championship Subdivision history. He was named to five All-America teams and has earned a spot on the Walter Payton Award Watch List for the top honor in the FCS.
“It was fun,” Bandy said of the 2018 season. “It was exciting. We did some good things last year. But it’s definitely in the past. We’re looking to do more this year as a team.”
In some ways, Bandy came out of nowhere last season. As a sophomore in 2017, he missed four games because of a broken thumb, bruised kidney and ankle sprain.
As a result, he was limited to 25 catches for 367 yards.
He nearly reached that yardage total in one game last season, USD’s wild 56-52 come-from-behind escape against Davidson. His stat line on a day the Toreros surrendered a record 789 yards rushing: 10 catches, 324 yards, four touchdowns.
One of the TDs? A 99-yard score on a simple run as fast as you can, go route.
After initially slipping a tackle after the catch, Bandy looked at the grass in front of him and thought, “Wow, that’s a long way to run.
“I put my head down. I think I looked back a couple of times. I knew once I slipped that tackle I was gone.”
Bandy, who is from La Mirada, played high school football at Servite High, an all-boys Catholic school in Anaheim that competes in the Trinity League, arguably the best football league in the nation. The league includes national powers Mater Dei and St. John Bosco, along with JSerra, Orange Lutheran and Santa Margarita.
Like almost every player at non-scholarship USD, Bandy was not offered a scholarship out of high school. Asked if he plays with a chip on his shoulders, Bandy said, “Yes and no. It is what it is. I didn’t get a scholarship offer. I’m here to play and get a job done.”
When Lindsey first looked at Bandy as a freshman he admits he wondered, “Who is this little short guy? I thought we made a mistake. Everyone was saying, ‘Hey, Coach. This guy’s good.’ Shows what I know.”
Those who know the game say there are three primary factors that make Bandy such a tough cover: his speed, strength and competitiveness.
“Most importantly, he’s a lot faster than he looks,” said USD cornerback David Tolbert, who has gone one-on-one against Bandy for four years in practice.
“Obviously, his strength is his best attribute. If you’re on him, he can box you out and make the tough catches. And his hands are some of the strongest I’ve seen.”
The Toreros were tested in four weightlifting areas last month. Bandy was the team’s strongest wide receiver in all four exercises: maximum bench press (350 pounds), power clean (330 pounds), squat (516 pounds) and 19 repetitions of 225 pounds.
“He kind of gets up a certain way after he makes a catch,” said Tolbert. “He’ll kind of flex on you.”
“It’s almost like he’s a defensive lineman or linebacker (in the weight room),” said Mark Lamoreaux, USD’s director of athletic performance.
“He’s not your typical (wide receiver), in there listening to music, dancing. He’s got his head down.”
As for Bandy’s competitiveness, he plays gunner on punt coverage, the outside position where he’s asked to sprint downfield despite a blocker in his face. He was involved in a dust-up with a Western New Mexico player last year and yanked off the player’s helmet, drawing a personal foul.
“He’s not going to be pushed around,” said Lindsey.
Even Bandy’s name sounds like a non-diva. Michael Marlon Bandy. Don’t call him Mike.
“I love my middle name,” said Bandy. “It’s pretty cool, unique.”
As he sat inside the epicenter of campus, the Student Life Pavilion, Bandy was asked what motivates him. He paused for five, 10 seconds, then said, “I don’t know. That’s a tough question. You got me.”
He paused some more, uncrossed his arms and said, “Just my family. My parents for all the hard work they put in, the sacrifice to send me to this great school with no scholarship.
“I like to do it for them. And my brother, to be someone he can look up to.”
Later, he added, “I love football, and I love to win on Saturday.”
 

Gill Man

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crap. Oh well....at least the Aztecs more than made up for it today.
 
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