San Diego State Football Early Preview: FCS Sacramento State Hornets
The Aztecs open their season against Sacramento State.
A way-too-early look ahead to Sacramento State vs. San Diego State.
Looking to the start of 2020 season San Diego State hosts the Sacramento State Hornets. The FCS team from the Big Sky Conference opens the slate of games that will take the Aztecs to Ohio the following week, before hosting UCLA on September 19.
The September 5 matchup will be the first meeting between the Aztecs and the Hornets. Sacramento State went 9-4 last season to advance to the FCS playoffs before falling in the second round to Austin Peay, 42-28.
A Closer Look at Sacramento State
2019 Record: 9-4, 7-1 Big Sky
Head Coach: Troy Taylor
Notable Players: QB Kevin Thomson, RB Elijah Dotson
Coach Troy Taylor got the team amped up in his first year, ending a 21-year playoff drought, before losing to Austin Peay. His team’s effort led to national recognition as the 2019 FCS Coach of the Year. Taylor was formerly an offensive coordinator at Eastern Washington and more recently Utah, before returning to Northern California in 2019.
The dual-threat QB offense that Taylor led at Utah gives the Hornets life. QB Kevin Thomson was named Preseason FCS 1st Team All-American. He finished the season 3,835 yards of total offense with 27 passing touchdowns and 12 rushing touchdowns. Along with RB Elijah Dotson, FCS Preseason 1st All-American who went for 742 rushing yards, 702 receiving yards, and ended with 11 total touchdowns. This is a dynamic offense that can put numbers on a struggling defense.
The Hornet defense is just as impressive. They held 2019 opponent Arizona State to only 19 points in their 19-7 loss. Sacramento State was competitive through the whole game but did not convert opportunities in the Red Zone.
Brady Hoke has his work cut out for him as his first stint back as Aztecs’ head coach. With COVID-19 playing a lot into this season, Spring Ball did not occur and next time Aztecs can gather would be sometime in July. With Ryan Agnew gone, the quarterback needs to be sorted through and with no real successor to a running back, it’s going to be more running-back-by-committee in 2020.
On defense, a lot of playmakers are gone and standouts Trenton Thompson and Tariq Thompson enter their senior year.
It’s definitely too early to figure out how the Aztecs will look like on offense.