A Glance at the 2017 SDSU Aztec Football Season

Credit: The Mighty 1090

 

Times have not been better for SDSU football since the Marshall Faulk days.

The Aztecs are coming off back-to-back Mountain West Conference Championships. In 2015, the Aztecs finished with a record of 11-3, while going undefeated (8-0) in Mountain West play. Last year they also finished 11-3, but 6-2 in conference play.

The football team is also coming off of convincing back-to-back bowl game wins, defeating Cincinnati 42-7 in 2015, and defeating Houston 34-10 last year. History has to go back to the 1966 and 1967 seasons, when they won the Camellia Bowl both years, to find the last time SDSU football won a bowl game in consecutive seasons.

The 2016 season was a very exciting one, featuring a dominant defense which ranked 12th in the nation in yards allowed per game (320) and 19th in points scored (21.0).

The Aztecs also ranked sixth in the country in total rushing yards with 3,680. The SDSU running game was dominant, with all-time NCAA leading rusher, Donnel Pumphrey, leading the way rushing with 2,133 yards, which was the most in the nation. The second-string back, Rashaad Penny, also put up 1,005 rushing yards. It is the first time in SDSU history the team had a 2,000 and 1,000 yard rusher in the same season.

Pumphrey reached an incredible milestone, passing Ron Dayne (6,397) for the most all-time rushing yards with 6,405 yards for his career. Although, the NCAA didn’t start counting bowl statistics until the 2002 season, and Dayne’s rushing yards, including bowl games, sits at 7,125, respectfully.

The 2016 season is one for the books for the San Diego State football team, but it is time to look ahead into the 2017 season.

Key Player Departures:

Running Back: Donnel Pumphrey (Drafted by Philadelphia Eagles)

Offensive Lineman: Nico Siragusa (Drafted by Baltimore Ravens)

Defensive Back: Damontae Kazee (Drafted by Atlanta Falcons)

The three play-makers above departing will be felt the most. The trio played key roles for the Aztecs in both of their conference championship seasons.

Other notable departures include:

LB Calvin Munson (New York Giants)
DE Alex Barrett (Detroit Lions)
SS Malik Smith (Houston Texans)
OT Kwayde Miller (Baltimore Ravens)
OT Daniel Brunskill (Atlanta Falcons)
WR Eric Judge
Punter Tanner Blain
OG Arthur Flores

A look at the Aztecs’ 2017 schedule and predicted outcomes.

Sat, Sep 2 vs UC Davis 5:30 PM
Sat, Sep 9 @ Arizona State 8:00 PM
Sat, Sep 16 vs Stanford 7:30 PM
Sat, Sep 23
@
Air Force
4:00 PM
Sat, Sep 30
vs
Northern IL
7:30 PM
Sat, Oct 7
@
UNLV
TBD
Sat, Oct 14
vs
Boise State
7:30 PM
Sat, Oct 21
vs
Fresno State
7:30 PM
Sat, Oct 28
@
Hawaii
TBD
Sat, Nov 4
@
San Jose State
TBD
Sat, Nov 18
vs
Nevada
7:30 PM
Fri, Nov 24
vs
New Mexico
12:30 PM


Looking at the schedule, it’s safe to say the Aztecs will have seven very likely wins against UC Davis, Northern Illinois, @UNLV, Fresno St, @Hawaii, @San Jose St, and Nevada.
I’d say the Aztecs’ biggest challenges are Stanford, @Arizona State, and Boise State. Luckily the Aztecs play Stanford and Boise at home, which helps their chances. Playing at Air Force, and also a rising New Mexico program at home, are also notable tough games.

The SDSU Aztecs are capable of winning every single game on their 2017 schedule. It won’t be easy by any means, but it certainly is doable. My prediction is the Aztecs finishing 10-2 in the regular season. I see the team losing to Stanford, but beating Arizona State. It’ll be a tough task running the tables in MWC play, so I see one loss there as well. My best guess would be against Boise State.

If the Aztecs run the table and escape the regular season undefeated, or even with one loss, they will make some national noise and be in the talks for a New Year’s Six bowl.

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Grant Muenchow

Born and raised in San Diego. Undergrad at Cal State University, Northridge. Sports, Music, & Travel.


This article has 3 Comments

  1. Now that the Aztecs won’t have to compete in attendance with the woefully inept under- achieving Chargers and overpriced to boot. They can grow to prominence under the capable hands of coach Long. They can model USC when the Rams and Raiders left LA. They will definitely , in the years to come, move up in the national rankings. I envision them to be NCAA champs one day. Why not? As they continue winning , the best high school. athletes will want to go there.

  2. I love Rocky Long! He’s true team player, love how he turned down a bigger contract so he could give his coaches raises! True class act!

  3. I gotta apologize to Rocky Long, I did not think he had it in him. The last 6 football seasons have been the best Aztecs teams I have ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of bad Aztecs football teams over the last 40 seasons. My hope is that there is a plan of succession in place as well as a LONG TERM vision for the program….which previous administrations were woefully inadequate to handle. It would be a crime if the program fell backwards because of inept political and administrative foolishness and arrogance.

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