San Diego State Football: First Look At The 2023 Schedule
The Aztecs look to rebound from a disappointing 2022. Does next fall’s schedule do them any favors?
Contact/Follow @michaelbraydaly & @MWCwire
Brady Hoke’s Squad Is Looking For Another Winning Season
As part of the Mountain West Conference’s schedule release, San Diego State released its 12-game schedule for the 2023 season. With less than six months before the season kicks off, San Diego State gave football fans a glimpse of what next season will look like.
Our 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣3️⃣ 🏈 schedule is out! Let’s get it… https://t.co/wznuOfUw1i pic.twitter.com/ZUFIZyPEYD
— San Diego State Football (@AztecFB) March 2, 2023
Here’s what the week-by-week schedule looks like with Bill Connelly’s preseason SP+ rankings, where San Diego State is 80th overall, in parentheses:
Saturday, August 26 – vs. Ohio (104)
Saturday, September 2 – vs. Idaho State (79th among FCS teams)
Saturday, September 9 – vs. UCLA (21)
Saturday, September 16 – at Oregon State (31)
Friday, September 22 – vs. Boise State (68)
Saturday, September 30 – at Air Force (77)
Saturday, October 14 – at Hawaii (131)
Saturday, October 21 – vs. Nevada (107)
Saturday, November 4 – vs. Utah State (118)
Saturday, November 11 – at Colorado State (119)
Saturday, November 18 – at San Jose State (103)
Saturday, November 25 – vs. Fresno State (67)
What are the biggest initial takeaways?
1. The non-conference schedule could be make or break for San Diego State
Three of the four non-conference opponents won at least nine games in 2022. Those teams are Ohio, UCLA, and Oregon State. This will be an extremely tough test for the Aztecs to get past an Ohio team that finished 2022 with a 10-4 record. The Week 0 matchup will be Ohio’s second consecutive game against a Mountain West opponent. In the 2022 Arizona Bowl, Ohio defeated Wyoming in overtime.
In Week 1, San Diego State will get a reprieve against Idaho State. In 2022, the Bengals went 1-10. This will be the second year in a row that Idaho State will visit San Diego State.
The last two non-conference games will be against two of the best teams in the Pac-12, UCLA and Oregon State. San Diego State will host UCLA in Week 2 and will take dreaded trip to Oregon State on Saturday, Sept. 16. Based on the difficulty of playing Ohio, UCLA, and Oregon State, it is a real possibility that San Diego State could finish its non-conference schedule with a 1-3 record or a 4-0 record. How the Aztecs start the season could decide the team’s bowl eligibility in December.
In the last few seasons, it has been customary for San Diego State to play at least one Pac-12 team. San Diego State faced UCLA in 2019 and went up against Arizona in 2021 and 2022.
2. Looking to take advantage of four home games in August and September
Despite a tough non-conference schedule, San Diego State will look to take advantage of playing against Ohio, Idaho State, and UCLA at home. When the conference schedule opens on Friday, Sept. 22, San Diego State will host Boise State in San Diego. This will be San Diego State’s second season at Snapdragon Stadium and the Aztecs will try to make it a difficult environment for road teams to play in.
3. The importance of having a winning conference record
Last season, San Diego State’s 2-2 non-conference record put the team in an early hole. San Diego started conference play off with a road loss to Boise State, which sent the Aztecs to a 2-3 record through September. For this upcoming season, San Diego State will try to avoid collapses and close calls against Mountain West opponents.
In 2022, San Diego State ended the season with a 7-5 overall record and a 5-3 record in Mountain West play. With another challenging 2023 non-conference schedule, the Aztecs will need to win at least five games in the Mountain West.
Hardest stretch: vs. UCLA, at Oregon State, vs. Boise State
Easiest stretch: at Hawaii, vs. Nevada
Guaranteed wins: Idaho State, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado State
Guaranteed losses: Oregon State
Worse than 50/50 games: UCLA, Air Force, Fresno State
50/50 games: Ohio, San Jose State
Better than 50/50 games: Utah State
Preliminary projected record: 8-4