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San Diego State football: What did we learn this spring

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What happened at San Diego State's spring practice.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

There is no offseason for the San Diego State Aztecs football team.

Spring ball kicked is in the books, and the Aztecs are looking to answer the many questions they have prior to next season.

After many practices, and a team scrimmage, where the Black team beat the Red team 14-7, Some questions regarding the 2015 football squad were answered, while some were left blank.

Here are some of the hot topics we can take away from spring ball 2015.

Quarterback carousel

The starting Quarterback position may be the biggest question the Aztecs face going into the 2015-2016 season.

Currently, the position is a six man race between Kentucky transfer Maxwell Smith, Oregon transfer Jake Rodrigues, Diablo Valley transfer Alex Wood, returning players Nick Bawden and Christian Chapman, and second year walk-on Drew Anderson.

So far, the most impressive has been Smith.

The 6-foot-4 Smith has been impressing coaches with his pin-point accuracy and arm strength. Coaches were praising his ability to place the ball in the perfect position for his receivers on the outside curl routes.

Rodrigues showed some struggles during the week, particularly with his stature, accuracy and mechanics. His unorthodox throwing style mimics that of a baseball pitcher, especially on his follow through.

However, Rodrigues did lead the Black team on an 8 play 88-yard scoring drive in the team's scrimmage. Diablo Valley transfer, Adam Wood, had issues with his arm strength, and only returning Quarterbacks from last year's roster Chapman and Bawden, took a back seat to Smith as well.

Young Wide Receivers stealing the spotlight

With the departure of senior Ezell Ruffin, a void has emerged at the wide receiver position for the upcoming season. Also with a new quarterback at the helm, it will be interesting to see which wide receivers click well with the new gunner.

Incoming freshman Mikah Holder, an Oceanside High graduate, has succeeded in making his mark during the spring. Holder has showcased his speed, agility, and has rarely dropped anything thrown his way. In addition to Holder, Christian Cumberlander has been extremely impressive on the deep ball during 7 on 7 drills.

Redshirt freshman quarterback turned receiver Chase Favreu has also been a bright spot during spring ball, and could possibly add a new dimension to the offense.

Possible Running back competition?

Donnel Pumphrey and Chase Price had phenomenal seasons last year. Especially considering they had to fill the shoes of Adam Muema. Therefore, the running game should be similar to the dynamic two-back duo Price and Pumphrey led last year. However, someone new could be joining the mix based on his fantastic performance during the team's scrimmage.

Marcus Stamps ran for a 103 yards for the Black team, and even punched in the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Stamps, a red-shirt freshman, suffered an injury last year, which slowed him and limited his playing time. This spring he has come out and shown he can be the power-back that the Aztecs desire him to be. In addition to Stamps' strong performance, freshman Rashad Penny ran for a team-high 106 yards during the game. With the plethora of backs on the roster, and with each one showing they are capable of competing for the starting role, could the Aztecs post one of the best running games in the MW this year?

Pass protection a problem?

The Aztecs offensive line could be achilles heel heading into the new season, and with a new quarterback taking the snaps, that's never a good sign. The only returning starters are sophomore guard Nico Siragusa, junior tackle Pearce Slater, and sophomore center Austin Maas. Maas is currently not participating in spring drills due to an injury.

Junior Robert Craighead, who is transitioning to right guard from tight end, is taking snaps as the starter during the spring. For a team that relies so heavily on the run, and one unsure of which quarterback will be taking snaps come the first game against USD, having uncertainty in the trenches is the last problem they need.

Defense wins Championships

Based on the spring game, it is crystal clear the Aztecs defense will continue to carry the team. Defensive Backs Damontae Kazee and JJ Whittaker are both returning to the secondary, and Sophomore DB Kendrick Mathis had the lone score for the Red team, courtesy of a 27-yard pick-6. Sophomore Malik Smith also tacked on a sack for the secondary.

On the front, the Aztecs saw success from their returning core defensive players, especially the linebackers. Sophomore Calvin Munson, freshman Jay Henderson, and sophomore Michah Seau all had sacks. Arizona State transfer Sean O'Grady anchored the defensive line during spring drills, and could see some work aside the injured Alex Barrett.

The defense proved to be the rock on the team during last season's run.It's looking like that trend will continue heading into the 2015 campaign.