2008 San Diego State Aztecs Football Preview
San Diego State's 2007 Record: (4-8, 3-5 MWC)
2007 Bowl: none
SDSU Head Coach: Chuck Long (7-17 at San Diego State, 7-17 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Del Miller
Defensive Coordinator: Bob Elliott
Returning Leaders for SDSU:
- Rushing: Brandon Sullivan, RB, 220 yards
- Passing: Kelsey Sokoloski, QB, 119 yards
- Receiving: Darren Mougey, WR, 368 yards
- Tackles: Russell Allen, LB, 119
- Sacks: Siaosi Fifita, DE, 3; Jonathan Soto, DE, 3
- Interceptions: Vonnie Holmes, CB, 4; Aaron Moore, CB, 4
Other Key Returnees: S Corey Boudreaux, WR Vincent Brown, C Trask Iosefa, LB Luke Laolagi, LB Andrew Preston, G Mike Schmidt, DE B.J. Williams
Key Losses: G Fred Amano, S Ray Bass, RB Brandon Bornes, OG Brandyn Dombrowski, OT Mike Kravetz, DT Ornan Nwansi, QB Kevin O’Connell, DE Nick Osborn, OT Will Robinson, WR Chaz Schilens, TE Steve Schmidt, WR Brett Swain
The good news is Coach Chuck Long is in year three of his tenure at San Diego State. He has a lot of his players in the program and year three is always considered the year that a new coach can start to turn things around. The bad news is this is a team that won four games last year and quarterback Kevin O’Connell can take a majority of the credit. And now he is gone. Junior college transfer Ryan Lindley is the probable starter, but he might be in for some trouble during his debut campaign.
San Diego State's Strengths:
While the offense retools, the defense has to step up. The unit ranked last in the conference in just about every statistical category thatanybody keeps track of, but at least there is experience. And this is still a young group, despite a majority of players returning from last season. There are only six seniors on the post-spring two-deep roster, but it is time for the youngsters to start playing like veterans. Linebacker Russell Allen is one of those seniors and this will be his defense. The linebacker tallied 119 tackles and should develop into a solid leader in the middle of the field. And as long as everybody else follows suit, the Aztecs defense will move up a spot or two from the bottom.
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San Diego State's Weaknesses:
Not only is the offense losing O’Connell, nine starters are gone in total. Guard Mike Schmidt and center Trask Iosefa have a little experience, but SDSU could depend on up to seven redshirt freshmen to see some playing time on the offensive line. Last year’s line was not great by any means, but Lindley might wish he had them back this year. Sophomore Brandon Sullivan and junior Atiyyah Henderson are the unfortunate running backs who will have to carry the load while Lindley and the o-line are adjusting to playing at this level. Sullivan, a former fullback, will take the short yardage duties, while Henderson has the speed and the skills to reach the endzone on any given play. For now, the team will hope those two can live up to their potential. Otherwise the offense will struggle.
The Bottom Line for the Aztecs:
The progress is slow, but it is there. The record might even take a small step back this year, but that does not mean the team does not have young talent and quality depth coming into the program. It will not happen this year, it might not happen next year, but one of these days San Diego State will go back to a bowl game.
2007 San Diego State Aztecs Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 103.92 (105th in nation, 9th in conference)
Passing Offense: 272.67 (28, 2)
Total Offense: 376.58 (73, 5)
Scoring Offense: 25.08 (76, 6)
Rushing Defense: 241.50 (118, 9)
Pass Defense: 256.67 (94, 9)
Total Defense: 498.17 (115, 9)
Scoring Defense: 34.42 (103, 9)
Turnover Margin: .50 (27, 3)
Sacks: 1.25 (107, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 2.50 (85, 6)
By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Guest Writer
Check out all of the 2008 college football previews online through College Sports Fans.