Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mountain West 2010-San Diego State Aztecs

2009 Record: 4-8 (2-6)
Head Coach: Brady Hoke (2nd season, 4-8...38-46 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Al Borges (2nd season)
Defensive Coordinator: Rocky Long (2nd season)
2009 Bowl Game: Not there yet

Offense: Ryan Lindley may bet the best returning QB next to Jordan Wynn and Andy Dalton in the MWC. He tossed 23 scores last season, byt also tossed 16 picks, which will need to be fixed for SDSU to make the next level in 2010. As many as 5 backs are vying to become the starting RB in 2009, and whomever grabs the job will be asked to amp up a nearly non-existent running game. If that happens, Lindley will be less compelled to try and make all of the place, which will cut down on his miscues. WR Vincent Brown is an NFL prospect, and averaged 111 yards per game in 2009. WR DeMarco Sampson and TE Alston Umuolo will be nice complementary targets in the passing game as well. The line is getting an infusion from several JC signings, and again, their play can determine how Lindley operates and becomes better in 2010.

Defense: SDSU runs out of the 3-3-5 set, which is pretty common in the MWC. All 3 linemen return up front, and all 3 (DEs BJ Williams, Jacob Tauanuu, and DT Ernie Lawson) are seniors in 2010. Miles Burris will be the lone returning LB, as Andrew Preston was moved from LB to the Aztec position in Rocky Long's defense. The Aztec is a hybrid saftey/LB spot. Brandon Davis returns at safety, as does Dey Juan Hemmings. Jose Perez was the lone CB returning as a starter.

Special Teams: Lane Yoshida returns as the PK after an abysmal 2009 season for him. You have to bet that he'll be pushed by someone from the start of fall camp. On the flip side, Brian Stahovich boomed for 43.8 yards per punt in 2009, and is the best punter in the conference.

2010 Schedule

Wins: 9/4 Nicholls State, 9/11 @ New Mexico State, 9/25 Utah State, 10/23 @ New Mexico, 11/27 UNLV

Toss Up Games: 11/30 @ Wyoming, 11/6 Colorado State

Losses: 9/18 @ Missouri, 11/9 @ BYU, 10/16 Air Force, 11/13 @ TCU, 11/20 Utah

7 wins would be enough to get the Aztecs bowling in Hoke's second season as coach. This staff is solid and experienced, and they are making progress with the Aztecs, and this schedule should provide the opportunity to turn heads.

Outlook: Progress, definately. Bowl game, maybe. Better team from 2 years ago, without a doubt. The Aztecs are building, and Brady Hoke got smart by turning to the JC ranks to build the roster and improve depth and talent, especially on the O-line and at RB. Lindley is a junior, so if the Aztecs miss a bowl this season, Lindley will get them to one in 2011.

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