2016-17 Football Previews – (Mountain West) – Aztecs
Looking for 2016 San Diego State Aztecs predictions? The Aztecs are coming off a nice 11-win campaign in 2015, and the key components of the offense and defense return. The Aztecs can expect to be among the class of the Mountain West Conference’s West division and should be firmly entrenched in the double-digit win territory again.
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2016-17 College Football Preview – San Diego State Aztecs
Head Coach: Rocky Long
2015 Record: 11-3
San Diego State Odds to win 2017 FBS Championship: +50000
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2016 San Diego State Aztecs Predictions: Team Strengths
Senior RB Donnel Pumphrey is already ranked second in SD State’s career school rushing leaders, and being just 300 yards shy of legend Marshall Faulk, Pumphrey can expect to smash that record this season.
He is the straw that stirs the drink for the Aztecs on offense. Pumphrey racked up 1,653 rush yards and 17 TDs in 2015, to go with 28 receptions (led the team) for 416 receiving yards and three majors.
Pumphrey might be the best player in the entire conference. His cause is furthered by a good offensive line led by OG Nico Siragusa and OT Kwayde Miller.
On the other side of the ball, all the key players are back from a defense that helped SD State out-gain opponents by 176 yards per game in 2015.
Namely, LB Calvin Munson and his 9.5 sacks, LB/DB Na’im McGee and his 81 tackles, and SS Malik Smith and his 77 tackles and five interceptions should assert themselves early and often.
Also, CB Damontae Kazee turned down the NFL to return for his senior season; he had eight picks a year ago and should be one of the MWC’s best defensive backs.
On special teams, kick returner Rashaad Penny is a dangerous cat, with a 33.5 yard average and three kicks he took to the house a year ago. Senior punter Tanner Blain is also a good one.
2016 San Diego State Aztecs Predictions: Team Weaknesses
There isn’t much to be concerned about with this team, as the attack is so run-heavy, at least while Pumphrey is wearing the maroon-and-black. Still, QB play isn’t a strength of this club, last year’s starter Maxwell Smith needs to be replaced.
The job should fall to sophomore Christian Chapman, who only needs to be a dangerous scrambler and manage the offense.
It’s a good custodial job to have – so long as he doesn’t turn the ball over, the coaching staff will be happy.
Coach Long has also had some trouble finding a reliable kicker.
This year the Aztecs will try sophomore John Baron II, who’s never had game action.
If he is a dud, they also bring in freshman Garrett Erickson. The team also must replace LS Jeff Overbaugh, who was as steady as they come.
No one thinks or worries about a long snapper, until they don’t have a reliable one.
San Diego State Aztecs 2016 Prediction: 12-1
This is a really talented football team in a weak division, in a fairly weak conference.
It’s entirely possible the Aztecs could run the table in 2016.
The toughest non-conference game they have is against the California Golden Bears and the Aztecs also avoid Boise State and Air Force, the two best programs from the Mountain division of the MWC.
So long as Pumphrey stays healthy and whomever is under center can manage the game, San Diego State should cruise to the West division crown.
2016 San Diego State Aztecs Football Schedule
- 09/03/2016 vs. New Hampshire 8:30 pm
- 09/10/2016 vs. California 10:30 pm
- 09/17/2016 at Northern Illinois 3:30 pm
- 09/24/2016 BYE
- 10/01/2016 at South Alabama TBA
- 10/08/2016 vs. UNLV TBA
- 10/14/2016 at Fresno St. 10:00 pm
- 10/21/2016 vs. San Jose St. 10:30 pm
- 10/28/2016 at Utah St. 8:00 pm
- 11/05/2016 vs. Hawaii 7:00 pm
- 11/12/2016 at Nevada 10:30 pm
- 11/19/2016 at Wyoming 3:30 pm
- 11/26/2016 vs. Colorado St. 9:00 pm
What do you think about our 2016 San Diego State Aztecs predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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