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2019 San Diego State Football Season Preview

NCAA Football: San Diego State at Stanford Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

2019 SDSU Football Preview

The Aztecs started off the 2018 season strong going 6-1 in their first seven games. Unfortunately, San Diego State would close out the regular season 1-4 in their final five games. Even with the struggles of closing out close conference games to end the season, the Aztecs would end up playing in the Frisco Bowl against Ohio. This final game would leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth as the Aztecs were blown out 27-0 by the Bobcats.

San Diego State fans should be excited as the 2019 season approaches. Head Coach Rocky Long will be returning for his 9th season and will be attempting to win 10+ games this year as he accomplished from 2015-2017. In addition to the consistency of a great coaching staff the Aztecs will also have an abundance of players returning to continue their college career. Most of these returning players playing skill positions in the offense should be able to learn from the collapse they had at the end of last season.

The Aztecs are projected to be a middle-of-the-pack team in the Mountain West, but I believe they will exceed expectations for most people. Experience in the coaching staff and on the field will play a huge role in getting this team back to double-digit wins and landing another bowl game for head coach Rocky Long who could be in the running for his fourth coach of the year award in the Mountain West.


Reason for Optimism: Heading into the 2019 football season the Aztecs have most of their skilled positions filled by returning upperclassmen. More experienced players under head coach Rocky Long will only help this offense prosper. Ryan Agnew seems to have locked down the starting quarterback job considering his 6-1 record after being named the starter in the middle of last season. With consistency from the quarterback position, San Diego State could be a contender in the Mountain West this year.

Cause for Concern: The offensive line is the main cause for concern in 2019. Although the Aztecs have Keith Ismael starting at center, they still allowed 33 sacks last year. In an effort to fix this problem San Diego State now has Jacob Capra who has only allowed two sacks in his two years at Oregon.

Key Stat: 33. That is how many sacks the SDSU offensive line gave up last year which puts them at 89th out of 129 in the FBS. The Aztecs have their starting quarterback position filled, now all they need is to protect Agnew and give him more time in the pocket.

Wildcard: The one player that I believe can have the biggest impact on the success of the Aztecs next season is starting running back Juwan Washington. Washington is going to need to improve with 999 yards in 199 attempts. In comparison to the two backs before him, Donnel Pumphrey and Rashad Penny, Washington has huge shoes to fill. Both Pumphrey and Penny had single seasons with over 2,000 rushing yards, which Washington will attempt to accomplish this year in hopes of helping San Diego State regain the top spot of the Mountain West.


Reason for Optimism: The defensive line is the biggest strength to the defense for San Diego State. Although they have not produced the most sacks in the Mountain West, they only allowed an average of 103 yards rushing per game. Their opponents were only able to run about three yards per carry and this Aztec front seven were only responsible for 16 rushing touchdowns.

Cause for Concern: The inconsistency of the defense is a huge cause for concern. Last season the defense was to blame for the five losses in the last six games. In most of the games San Diego State would dominate the first half and then would look like a completely different team after halftime. The Aztecs should have a revamped defense for 2019 after last year’s disappointing bowl game.

Key Stat: 67. This is how many yards the defense was able to get after intercepting the football. Even though the Aztecs grabbed 10 interceptions on the season, they accounted for only 67 yards after the interception, which would lead to zero touchdowns for the year.

Wildcard: The biggest wildcard to the defense for San Diego State is their secondary. Tariq Thompson, who is the best defensive player on the roster, is third in FBS in interceptions per game at 0.27. The big question marks are Darren Hall and Luq Barcoo who will be lining up alongside Thompson. Both players have dealt with some adversity in their collegiate career, but have always stepped up and performed when called upon to play. If they can have a breakout season and consistently be effective on the field as they were when they came off the bench, then the San Diego State defense will be scary.


Saturday, August 31 vs. Weber State

Saturday, September 7 @ UCLA

Saturday, September 14 @ New Mexico State

Saturday, September 21 vs. Utah State

Saturday, October 5 @ Colorado State

Saturday, October 12 vs. Wyoming

Saturday, October 19 @ San Jose State

Saturday, October 26 @ UNLV

Saturday. November 9 vs. Nevada

Friday, November 15 vs. Fresno State

Saturday, November 23 @ Hawaii

Saturday, November 30 vs. BYU

Best Case Scenario: 10-2. The Aztecs can have a very successful season that will completely come down to the conference games. Last season they were 4-4 in conference play with almost every game decided by less than one possession. If they can bounce back from the shaky end of the 2018 season and find ways to win close games in the fourth quarter then this team could end up in the Mountain West Championship.

What’s Probably Going to Happen: 8-4. Looking at the schedule with a little less optimism, I think there will be a few games that the Aztecs will lose in the fourth quarter next year that will just barely leave them out of the Championship game.