The San Diego State football outlook for 2016 season. The program has been building to this point, and now the defending Mountain West champion should keep the fun rolling.
This is exactly how it was all supposed to work.
San Diego State was always the program that could do some things right, but not enough to be among the conference elite. Rocky Long was able to do some good things at New Mexico, but couldn’t ever get the program beyond the land of the slightly above average.
So when he was hired on by the Aztecs three years after being canned by the Lobos, it might have been easy to dismiss him as a retread who’d come up with a great defense, a good running game, and not enough big wins to get to Point B.
Instead, San Diego State has won two Mountain West championships in the last four years and notched its first 11-win season since 1969.
The 2015 Aztecs started out rocky – absolutely no pun intended – with a 1-3 start, and then it all kicked in with one of the nation’s best defenses, the 14th-ranked running game, and an air-tight team when it came to mistakes.
Basically, San Diego State was what a Rocky Long team could and should be.
Is it remotely possible to be as dominant defensively after allowing 17 points or fewer in 10 games? The coaches are still around, the system is in place, and the experience is there with eight starters back.
The defense might be even better.
With running back Donnel Pumphrey back instead of going off to the NFL early – along with six other offensive starters – it’s going to be another good year for the ground game to do just enough to let the defense do its thing.
Now, San Diego State is the Mountain West’s powerhouse and Long has everything rolling like it’s supposed to. Now, being consistent is a positive since it’s being done at a higher level.