San Diego State Aztecs host the FCS UC Davis Aggies to open the 2017 season. This game has been on the books since February 2015 before the Aztecs finishing 2016 in the Top 25 finish and becoming the sole football team in San Diego. It’s safe to say San Diegans may be excited for the return of American football.
The Aggies haven’t had a winning record since 2010 and fired their head coach after they closed with a win against their rival Sacramento State. The Aggies lost to their FBS opponents in 2016. The #24 Oregon Ducks blew them out of the water in Eugene, 53-28 and the Wyoming Cowboys blew them out 45-22.
Fans and alums are well aware that San Diego State has troubles against FCS programs in the past such as in 2013 against Eastern Illinois and in 2008 against Cal Poly, but this year San Diego State looks like a lock.
Location: Davis, CA
Mascot: Gunlock the Mustang
Coach: Dan Hawkins, former Aggie fullback, and recently Colorado Buffaloes head coach from 2006-2010.
Conference: Big Sky (FCS Div. I)
2016 record: 3-8, 2-6 conference
Joshua Kelley, RB
Kelley ended the season with 609 yards, 7 yards per carry, and 4 touchdowns behind graduating senior Manusamoa Luuga who took majority of the workload in 2016. Kelley now an incoming junior will take the lead spot. Kelley is also on the roster as kick returner, taking one to the house for 91 yards this season.
Keelan Doss, WR, 2nd-team Big Sky All-Conference
Doss redshirted in 2015, but came back strong in 2016 with 66 receptions, 911 yards, and 10 touchdowns. He had a career-high game against Sacramento State with 207 yards on 7 receptions with 4 touchdowns.
As a whole the Aggies in 2016 gave up an average of 199.5 yards of rushing per game, 237.9 yards of passing per game and 437.4 total yards per game. This a team that will allow an opponent’s run game to flourish. On offense the Aggies lose their Senior starter, and are likely to go with senior C.J. Spencer who started the final three games last year. Against Cal Poly and Sacramento State he went back-to-back 300+ yard and 2 touchdowns games.
Way Early Prediction
As an Aztec squad that prides itself on the run game and will continue to do so, Rashaad Penny has to be looking forward to getting the ball on game one and improving his game for the season. This looks like to be a cakewalk for the Aztecs, as Bill Belichick would say, “on to ASU.” San Diego State will be giving the Aggies a paycheck while they lick their chops against Arizona State.
San Diego State 45, UC Davis 14
Edit: The Aggies played Wyoming in 2016 and not just Oregon.