Will San Diego State Make A New Year’s Six Bowl Game in 2018?
Is this the year for SDSU?
Since Rocky Long took over the head coaching job at San Diego State, they have been one of the top mid-major college football teams in the country. In the last few seasons, the Aztecs have had double-digit wins and 32 overall in three years. They have beaten Pac-12 opponents like Stanford, Cal and Arizona State; plus a few of the top AAC teams in bowl games. This season, the Aztecs will look to win their tough matchups on the road. If they do that, SDSU will have a great shot of making the NY6 bowl game.
The Aztecs return about 72% of their starters from 2017 (16 of 22), but the starters that left the Mesa had great careers at San Diego State. First Round selection Rashaad Penny had a tremendous senior season with 2,248 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. Also, they lost former starting Tight End David Wells and Kameron Kelly. The big question that is asked is how will the Aztecs make up by losing star running back Rashaad Penny? Another gap on the team is Rocky Long needs to find two new starters in the secondary.
Another roadblock is going to Stanford in Week 1 and playing another Pac-12 school in Arizona State — who may or may not be good — Boise State and Fresno State are on the schedule. Winning out will get them in a big-time bowl game and even losing the opener to Stanford would not automatically eliminate them from consideration.
Here’s some good news, for Aztec fans they return senior quarterback Christian Chapman. In addition, they have everyone from the offensive line coming back. The big guys will help lead big holes for junior Juwan Washington. Last season, they had a difficult time early when they had three freshmen on that line. On the defensive line are seniors Noble Hall, Chibu Onyeukwu, and Anthony Luke. Also, on defense is seniors Ronley Lakalaka and Parker Baldwin who will probably lead the team in tackles.
The Bottom Line
The Aztecs have a great team and fantastic coaching staff so don’t be surprised if they make a New Years Six bowl game. The team just has to have the mindset of one game at a time and not look too far in the future.