Battle of the brothers gets ugly; SDSU tops Hawaii, 55-0

It was a special night for San Diego State football’s sophomore linebacker Ronley Lakalaka, as 60 family members were in attendance to watch him square off against University of Hawaii senior running back Steven Lakalaka, Ronley’s older brother.

Unfortunately for those in attendance, Steven landed on the wrong side of a one-sided affair, as the Aztecs dismantled the visiting Rainbow Warriors, 55-0.

“Ronley has got bragging rights for the rest of his life,” SDSU head coach Rocky Long said.

With the win, SDSU has now defeated 16 consecutive Mountain West opponents going back to their 2015 season.

The Aztecs clinched the MW West division title later that night, as the University of Nevada, Reno’s loss to the University of New Mexico pushed the title into the hands of SDSU.

SDSU’s defense was lights out once again, causing 4 turnovers (all interceptions). Also, the Aztecs’ held Steven, Hawaii’s lead back on the night, to just 42 rushing yards on 14 carries, successfully ending his seven-game streak with a touchdown.

His older brother played a large role in SDSU’s defensive effort.

Ronley accumulated four combined tackles and hauled in his second interception of the season.

“We’re playing very well right now but we’re not satisfied,” Ronley said. “We have a great defense because we feed off of each other and game after game we get better. It all starts at practice with preparation, and (head) coach (Rocky) Long does a great job at getting us lined up and ready to get physical with the other team.”

The Aztecs started off the game in a typical way, scoring on the open drive for the third consecutive week, and they never looked back.

SDSU sophomore quarterback Christian Chapman completed 7 of 15 passes for 76 yards and three touchdowns, which speaks to an offensive game plan loaded with play-action passes, flat routes, and dump off passes out of the backfield.

Junior wide receiver Quest Truxton brought in one of Chapman’s touchdowns to give him a score in back-to-back weeks, effectively extending his role beyond just his punt returning duties.

In contrast, the Rainbow Warriors’ colors appeared faded on offense, as Hawaii sophomore quarterback Dru Brown landed on the bench after completing 9 of 16 passes for 60 yards and two interceptions through the first two quarters of play.

Hawaii redshirt freshman Aaron Zwhalen replaced Brown for a majority of the second half, but even he couldn’t find the pot of the gold for the Rainbow Warriors. He completed 3 of 10 passes for 32 yards and an interception.

SDSU senior cornerback and captain Damontae Kazee accumulated four combined tackles, two interceptions, including one touchdown, passing former SDSU defensive back Kack Kaiser as the Aztecs’ career interceptions leader.

Redshirt freshman cornerback Ron Smith followed suit, as he registered career highs across the board, including seven combined tackles and an interception returned for a touchdown in his first career start.

“I just had to make sure that I got back because I saw somebody coming out,” Smith said in an effort to describe his interception. “I was kind of baiting him to see if they were going to throw it over and then I saw the ball in the air and just had to make a play. I was excited. When I got the ball, at that moment I knew I was ready to go. I’m happy I made that play.”

Offensively, senior running back Donnel Pumphrey, a Heisman contender who leads the nation with 1,581 rushing yards, was held out of the end zone for now two consecutive games.

SDSU’s backup running backs picked up the slack.

Freshman running back Juwan Washington and junior Rashaad Penny combined for 170 all-purpose yards and three total touchdowns.

Though he was held scoreless, Pumphrey inched closer to passing former Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams as the NCAA’s 4th all-time rushing leader.

With Pumphrey’s 112 rushing yards against Hawaii, he only needs 174 more rushing yards to pass Williams.

SDSU will look to add to their momentum on the road against Nevada November 12.

Indecision Starts (And Ends)…Here

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A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Paul Justice in the Division of Undergraduate Studies: Undeclared Students here at SDSU. He shed some light on one of the more misunderstood, but ever important parts of our academic programming and advising.

In our interview, Paul informed me that at any given time there is anywhere from 800-1300 students who fall under his jurisdiction of “undeclared.” Majority of these students are freshmen, however there are instances where students change their mind or fail to meet the requirements for a major and rescind into undeclared. This is far from a negative thing. Paul reiterated that being undeclared opens students up to resources that would not be as readily or easily available to the average student set in their respective departments. He revealed the best tool for undecided students that he developed and updates regularly…an Excel spreadsheet. This sheet cannot be found elsewhere and includes: every department’s unit requirements, advisor contact information, trial courses to take if interested in the major (before having to declare), GPA requirements, and more. This is a living, breathing document that he plans to never perfect, but continuously grow and adapt.

For those who are unaware, San Diego State University offers a degree program that is rather unique and coveted by other universities. This was designed to assist students who are unable to meet course requirements for a particular major, or who have decided upon a major that SDSU does not offer. Interdisciplinary Studies allows students to work with three different major departments to craft a personalized field of study. Paul oversees this program within Undeclared. He understands that students may become discouraged or want to transfer schools when they cannot seem to find a department or major that is right for them, Interdisciplinary Studies is the answer.

Lastly, Paul wanted to make sure that I let everyone know (especially parents of incoming students) that it is okay to be unsure. He insists that not having your mind made up at 18 is far from radical, and his department will offer the tools needed to get you where you (eventually) want to be. More than that, he has started a program for students who were once Undeclared, but found their home at SDSU. These students now have the opportunity to mentor current undecided students. Paul leads workshops with the assistance of these mentors. Each month has a different theme and they are open to all students interested (undeclared, or not). The purpose of these is to build and maintain a sense of comaradarie. or a “cohort” as he likes to call it, where students can develop a connection to each other and the university. Feeling connected to the university is something that, previously, these students were lacking. Sometimes this led them to transfer schools, or have a diminished Aztec experience. The hope is that this program will alleviate both. It is for these reasons that Paul is confident that indecision may start in the Office of Undeclared, but it will end there also.

“22, A Million”: Bon Iver’s New Sound

Whether you pronounce Bon Iver’s name as “Bon Eye-ver” or “Bon Ee-vair” or “Bony Bear”, we can all come to a consensus that Bon Iver has been in our autumn/winter playlists ever since he came out with his first album, “For Emma, Forever Ago”. In his past albums, which includes “Bon Iver, Bon Iver”, the indie folk group maintained a more soothing, folk sound and inputted lyrics that pulled right at your heartstrings.

We’ve been waiting a long time for a new album to be released and finally, after five years, a new masterpiece was given to us. Their new album, “22, A Million” strips the group’s usual slow and relaxing music and creates a totally new sound for Bon Iver. “22, A Million” was released in late September and is the third album to be made by Bon Iver.

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In a press release, Bon Iver’s main singer Justin Vernon stated that “22, A Million is part love letter, part final resting place of two decades of searching for self-understanding like a religion. And the inner-resolution of maybe never finding that understanding. The album’s 10 poly-fi recordings are a collection of sacred moments, love’s torment and salvation, contexts of intense memories, signs that you can pin meaning onto or disregard as coincidence. If Bon Iver, Bon Iver built a habitat rooted in physical spaces, then 22, A Million is the letting go of that attachment to a place.”

Something unique that stood out in this album was Bon Iver’s new way of conveying feelings through their music. In past albums, it relied solely on their lyrics and the way the instruments interacted with each other. In 22, A Million”, they branched out and started using new techniques in their music such as more auto tune and a new technique called “the Messina” (named after their engineer, Chris Messina) in which they were able to harmonize Vernon’s vocals with live musical instruments. Most of the vocals in this album are heard to be more distorted, almost alien-like, adding a different/unique flair to this album compared to his past albums. You’d think that it would take away from the raw emotion of brilliant, heart-felt lyrics, but as I said earlier, it’s simply just added techniques to convey different aspects of how Vernon is feeling.

jv1A few strong tracks from this album includes “29 #Strafford APTSand “715 – CR∑∑KS”.

Take a listen to their new album and don’t forget to listen to my radio show at 11 PM on Tuesdays!

Ashley Bajet, signing out.

Beach Goth 2016: Success or Bust?

Over the weekend, I was able to attend Beach Goth 2016 presented by The Growlers! Lately, there’s been much debate as to whether or not this event was successful or just a hot mess. Personally, the bands that did play were amazing! However, I think in this festival’s case, the negatives outweighed the amazing set-list.

First off, they changed the location weeks before the actual event. Initially, The Growlers planned to have the event be at Oak Canyon Park, a very spacious and peaceful venue where many festivals are held. However, they silently changed the location on the actual event page to their usual business park parking lot venue without addressing it to people who already bought their tickets until a couple days later. The lack of communication played a factor in the outcries of many event attendees who were unsatisfied with their experience.

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Second, the security (although mostly seen in a bad light anyways) is getting major hate from festival-goers who claim they were mishandled/mistreated. Although I have no context for this situation, many are upset about two men getting beat up by the security at Beach Goth (watch the video here).

Third, there was a huge issue of overcrowding. I felt as if a couple fire codes were broken during the festival in all honesty. The tickets for Beach Goth seemed to be oversold, thus making every stage very crowded. Having the stages crowded made it hazardous for many festival goers. Many were crammed like sardines (being uncomfortably stuck between 4-5 people), and on the first day, some even passed out due to heat exhaustion. On day 2, the weather took a turn for the worse. It started raining — and instead of being crammed together in the heat, we were crammed together in the rain — which definitely put everyone in a goth mood.

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Beach GothFourth, even though the event stated it was a “rain or shine” event, Beach Goth was proven to not be a “rain or shine” event. Once it started raining, festival goers made a bee-line to the indoor stages to take shelter from the rain. However, the indoor stages can only take so many people. Crowd control for this problem was handled poorly, with many people cutting in the line to get in and many people trying to force their way in. Here’s a good video portraying the many people crowding the entrance of the indoor stages of the OC Observatory. Not only was the crowd control an issue, Beach Goth had to shut down one of the stages due to flooding, thus having to move the acts from that stage to the indoor stages and having the festival goers confused as to what time and where the acts would perform! For example, The Drums had to play at the smallest indoor stage (Constellation Room). Grimes (one of the headliners) had to even cancel her show due to the rain ruining their equipment. View her tweet below!

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Fifth, the food was below average and there were no water stations! Our 8 inch pizza was half crust and half actual pizza. It was $11. Not only that, but there were no water fountains or water refill stations. So whenever we were thirsty, we had to pay $3 for a water. This definitely played a role in making many people mad at the festival planners.

Anyways, enough of being a negative nelly. The show (minus Grimes) went on and I’m glad to have seen such big names such as King Krule, Bon Iver, and Violent Femmes.

Thanks for listening to my rant and tune in to my 11 pm radio show on Tuesdays!