San Diego State Optimistic About Passing Offense
San Diego State offense looks to allow Christian Chapman to throw more often, opening the playbook for the 2017 college football season.
San Diego State looks to air it out in 2017.
The San Diego State Aztecs are excited about the opportunity to open up the offense to complement their running game.
San Diego State has made a name for themselves as one of the top destinations for running backs and have invested a lot into their ground game. If you take a look at the latest running back to go pro, Donnell Pumphrey, who was a backup to NFL Draft burnout Adam Muema, who played backup to Super Bowl Winner Ronnie Hillman.
Of course, you can’t forget Aztec great and NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk when it comes to running backs who graced the halls of Montezuma Mesa.
Despite the talent in the backfield, the Aztecs are excited about moving the ball through the air this season.
“This is the year the passing game opens up,” starting QB Christian Chapman said to the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I want to make bigger plays down the field — throw to the post or throw a fade — stretch the field a little bit.”
Under coach Rocky Long and former coach Brady Hoke, the team has focused on the running game and establishing the line of scrimmage. This is how the Aztecs have been successful since 2009 and cultivated a culture of talent in the backfield.
However, when it’s time to face Power-5 opponents defenses look to stack the box with 8 men forcing San Diego State quarterbacks to attempt passes downfield.
Take a look at the rushing yards when San Diego State had to line up against a Power-5 opponent over the last four years.
2016 Cal: 334 rushing
2015 Cal: 152 rushing
2015 Penn State: 101 rushing
2014 Oregon State: 109 rushing
2013 Ohio State: 64 rushing
2013 Oregon State: 74 rushing
With the exception of 2016, there is a dip in production before San Diego State resumes plowing through the Mountain West schedule. In 2016 the running backs and tight ends combined for 93 receptions compared to the wide receivers at 62.
In 2017, there should be renewed optimism for the receivers. Rashaad Penny shouldn’t have to shoulder the load like Pumphrey has done in years past. A healthy Mikah Holder, now a senior, will be good for this offense looking to change the tempo. Holder has been touted as the most skilled wide receiver on the roster since he signed his letter of intent in 2013.