Posts Tagged ‘2022 Aztecs’

2022 SDSU Football Preview

Posted: July 28, 2022 in Uncategorized
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2021’s 12-2/7-1 will be difficult to beat in 2022, yet provides the reason to play. After two years on the road (Carson, CA is 113 miles away from SDSU. Carson was not a home game no matter how Carson was spun), the Aztecs return home. Home is now Snapdragon Stadium. Brand new Snapdragon Stadium with a ribbon on top.

2022 Aztec Offense

Quarterbacks: Braxton Burmeister (142/255 including 14 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions) starts the season. Granted, the Aztecs do not have the greatest record pertaining to transfer quarterbacks, yet I hold hope that our Virginia Tech transfer’s 2021 total of 1,960 yards provides a proven path to enhance last year’s Aztec qb production. However, if Mr. Burmeister stumbles, Will Haskell takes the snaps. Mr. Haskell took 7 snaps in 2022, thus the flag of experience does not apply. Mr. Haskell provides a level of athleticism never before seen in an Aztec qb.

Running Backs: Initially Chance Bell (341 yards and a 4.7 yards per rush in 2021), Jordan Byrd (246/6.6) and Jaylon Armstead (he wet his feet with 24 rushing attempts for a beginner’s 3.1 ypr) provided an above average crew of running backs. However, the arrival of USC transfer Kenan Christon (5.7 ypr during his two years in L.A.) vastly improves the Aztec offensive backfield. Anticipate the ever creative offensive coordinator, Jeff Hecklinski, to occasionally employ the quick feet of Cam Davis and Martin Blake especially as the season progresses.

Wide Receivers: The acrobatic Jesse Matthews (57 catches for 642 yards averaging 11.3 yards per catch) will be coupled with last year’s surprise development, Tyrell Shavers (18/213/11.8). T.J. Sullivan, Mekhi Shaw, Brionne Penny and Darius De Los Reyes rotate through the third receiver spot in search of extended playing time. This group should benefit from Mr. Burmeister’s ability to throw a football 40 yards downfield which was a rare, rare sight the last two seasons.

Tight Ends: The University of Washington transfer Mark Redman joins Jay Rudolph during two tight end sets. If these two catch the football, they become part of Mr. Burmeister’s options. If not, prepare to block, block, block.

Offensive Line: A tad thin. A couple of injuries could spell trouble. Left guard, Kyle Trombley, sustained an injury during spring practice. He is not due to return until midway through the season. The Oklahoma State transfer Cade Bennett moves into Mr. Trombley’s spot. Left tackle Jonathon Harrison brings limited experience. The strength of the line is center Alama Uluave. Right guard and tackle features Ross Ulugalu and the formidable Brandon Crenshaw-Dixon. My “a tad thin” is found in the five remaining offensive linemen waiting behind the above mentioned starters. Offensive line coach Mike Goff will have plenty of coaching to deliver during the month of August. A worst case basis is solved by the tight ends impersonating tackles.

2022 Aztec Defense

Defensive Line: A definite strength in 2022. Keshawn Banks (defensive end), Jonah Tavai (defensive tackle), his brother and Hawaii transfer Justus Tavai (dt), Nassir Sims (dt), Daniel Okpoko (de), Garrett Fountain (de) and Wyatt Draeger (de) provide experience and smarts. Tulsa transfer Deven Lamp (de) hopes to return from injury as the season begins.

Linebackers: While not as deep as the defensive line, the core group enjoys similar experience and smarts. Caden McDonald (49 tackles), Michael Shawcroft (55 tkls) and Seyddick Lakalaka (44 tkls) are the starting three. Washington transfer, Cooper McDonald (yep, brother of Caden) registered 26 tackles in 12 games in 2022. Plenty of room to grow as an Aztec. Vai Kaho and Brady Anderson will add to their games played experience this season.

The Back Five: Defensive coordinator Kurt Mattix is true to the spirit of Rocky Long’s 3-3-5 arrangement, thus my reluctance to label the defensive backfield with traditional positions. A combination of Noah Avinger (15 tkls), Dallas Branch (20 tkls), Noah Tumblin (32 tkls) and Dezjhon Malone will be the first faces viewed by opposing wide receivers. Waiting behind them will be Patrick McMorris (90 tkls) as the deep guy along with Cedarious Barfield (39 tkls) and CJ Baskerville (39 tkls). Davaughn Celestine, Kyron White and Isaiah McElvane will increase last year’s time on the field.

2022 Special Teams

Punter: Jack Browning needs to average 40 yards a boot.

Kicker: Jack Browning (does special teams coordinator Doug Deakin possess a budding Matt Araiza? Most likely, no) needs to convert 100% of his extra-point attempts and 3 of every 4 field goal attempts, and all will be well enough. If Mr. Browning struggles as kicker, anticipate David Delgado in his place.

2022 Aztec Schedule

Snapdragon opens with Arizona on September 3rd. Aztecs win

Snapdragon game two is Idaho State. Aztecs win.

The first road game is Utah. Aztecs first loss.

Return to Snapdragon against Toledo: Aztecs win.

Mountain West play begins at Boise: Aztecs win.

The first MW home game is against Hawaii: Aztecs win.

After an off week, SDSU travels to Nevada: Aztecs win.

At Fresno State follows. Aztecs lose.

UNLV rolls into town: Aztecs win.

San Jose State arrives. Aztecs win (as long as Nick Nash is kept under wraps).

Albuquerque in mid-November often features whack-a-doodle weather. Aztecs win.

The final MW game and home game of 2022 is Air Force. Aztecs win.

An appearance in the 2022 MWC championship is not guaranteed. A bowl game is guaranteed.

Go Aztecs.