College Football News Preview 2020: San Diego State Aztecs Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The San Diego State Aztecs Offense
Get the running game going again. The ground attack has been on a four-year slide, hitting the 3,000-yard mark three seasons in a row with a high mark in 2016 with 3,680 and 34 scores, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Last year, the offense ran for just 1,827 yards and 12 touchdowns averaging 3.4 yards per carry.
The offensive line is in place to do far more, and the backfield – even without Juwan Washington – is deep enough to keep things moving.
The new offense will try to speed things up a bit more, and under Brady Hoke the offense went from running for 940 yards in his first season in 2009 to 2,101 yards and 29 scores in 2010.
Over the last four years, San Diego State is 20-2 when running for 200 yards or more.
Biggest Key To The San Diego State Aztecs Defense
A lot of the aspects to the defensive side depends on how much of the old formula is kept around. The Aztecs were sixth in the nation in time of possession, and that’s going to be part of this all again, but there will be more tempo under the new staff, and there will be more of an offense.
Under Rocky Long, it was about owning the lock, not making mistakes – SDSU was second in the nation in fewest turnovers lost – and relying on the rested defense to do its part and then get off the field.
The D was No. 1 in the Mountain West in third down stops, allowing offenses to convert just 34% of their chances. But the Aztecs allowed two teams to convert 50% or more – Utah State and Hawaii – and they lost both games.
Considering the offense won’t be 2019 LSU right away, the D still has to do its job. SDSU is 0-for-its-last-9 when allowing teams to convert 45% or more.
Key San Diego State Aztecs Player To A Successful Season
QB Carson Baker, Soph.
Or former JUCO transfer Jordon Brookshire, or Georgia Tech transfer Lucas Johnson.
Ryan Agnew wasn’t amazing last year, but he was experienced, accurate, and usually mistake-free. That’s what the new San Diego State quarterback has to be, and a little bit more.
The 6-3, 190-pound Baker doesn’t have to be lights-out, but he has to be accurate, can’t start throwing picks, and he has to start pushing the ball down the field for an offense that isn’t used to taking a whole lot of chances.
Key Game To The San Diego State Aztecs Season
at Nevada, Sept. 26
There is no Boise State or Air Force to face, and most of the Mountain West games are more than winnable – San Diego State should be the favorite in just about every conference game.
Nevada, though, had the Aztecs’ number last year in a 17-13 win. The Wolf Pack have won the last two games in the series, and this time around it’s the Mountain West opener. With this the start of a run of three road games in four weeks, a loss would put the pressure on right out of the gate.
– San Diego State Aztecs Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 San Diego State Fun Stats
– Time of Possession: San Diego State 33:51 – Opponents 26:09
– Fumbles: Opponents 18 (lost 9) – San Diego State 6 (lost 2)
– Rushing Yards Per Carry: San Diego State 3.4 – Opponents 2.8