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San Diego State Football: Don't expect the Aztecs' offense to change too much under new offensive coordinator Jeff Horton

New offensive coordinator Jeff Horton may breath new life into the SDSU offense next season, but it most likely won't be because of a change to the spread offense.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego State head coach Rocky Long decided to stay in-house to fill the offensive coordinator position left by the retired Bob Toledo and hired running backs coach Jeff Horton for the job.

Fans will be pleased to see a new face calling the offense after Toledo's play-calling was under a lot of heat last season and even led to a new hashtag on Twitter: #DareToToledo.

However, don't expect Horton to change the offense to the spread like many in the San Diego sports community had discussed.

The quarterback situation is up in the air at the moment, especially with Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith transferring to SDSU for next season. But the running backs situation is the strongest asset of the offense.

With junior running back Donnel Pumphrey and senior running back Chase Price, Horton will have good weapons at his disposal.

He will also have four of the starting five offensive lineman returning from last season, which could make the running game a formidable force.

Jeff Horton has a lot of coaching experience other than his time as SDSU's running backs coach, which he became in 2011. Horton was also the quarterbacks coach for the Detroit Lions in 2009, the head coach of the UNLV Runnin' Rebels from 1994 to 1998 and the Minnesota Gophers' interim head coach in 2010.

During his time with Minnesota in 2010, Horton used a lot of two-back sets, and liked to move the ball on the ground with two 500-plus yard rushers in De'Leon Eskridge and Duane Bennett.

An even more evident sign of where the SDSU offense might be heading is the signing of Smith.

Smith is an accurate passer (60 percent in college career) with a 21:9 career touchdown-to-interception ratio, but he is not fleet of foot.

While Smith, a senior next season, is probably not the top signal-caller at the moment, he has more experience than SDSU's four other quarterbacks on the 2015 roster and has played quality minutes against SEC defenses -- something the other four guys can't say.

A pro-style offense would not be the end of the world, though. What will be the difference maker from Toledo's offense last season will be how Horton utilizes his wide receivers and how he calls plays in the red-zone.

The Aztecs struggled miserably in the red-zone last year. If Horton was able to utilize his running backs and tight ends in that area, that would be cause a huge improvement for the team and for its fans.

SDSU also has several capable wide receivers, highlighted by juniors Eric Judge and Lloyd Mills, as well as sophomore Mikah Holder and senior Larry Clark.

To the dismay of some, SDSU will most likely run the pro-style offense for another season, but that does not mean Horton will not shoot some life into this offense.