“Aztecs Football–A Strange Season Starts”
San Diego State is headed to its 8-game football season.
They open the year against UNLV, in their ‘home away from home’, playing in Carson because of the pandemic.
Brady Hoke returns to take over the head coaching job. He brings with him two new coordinators in Jeff Hecklinski and Kurt Maddix.
SDSU returns a young veteran quarterback, 6-running backs, two tight ends, and a host of quality players on the back seven on defense.
Hoke replaces Rocky Long, who retired after going (65-31) with a host of bowl games appearances and wins over Power 5-schools. Oddly Long, a month after retiring, decided to go back to his alma mater,New Mexico, not as head coach, but defensive coordinator.
Training camp is nearly complete. The season awaits. A year of uncertainty is still part of our lives.
Brady Hoke comments:
Pleased where we are at, considering where we were this spring…./we are ready to play
New offense-need to clean things up with new coordinators
It’s not what we know, it’s what they know in formulating game plan for UNLV
We practice and compete hard here and bring our own energy to the game.
QB..Carson Baker had good camp-picked up nuances to offense..higly competititve..felt he was the leader to start us off.
Backup QB…Lucas Johnson-Georgia Tech will be the backup..we may have packages for him because he gives us something different running the ball…quarterback counter play…Baker gives us different things.
RB…Greg Bell…Chance Bell…Kaegun Williams…Jordan Byrd all do good things
Not ready to name a starting RB..we have alot of good options
We have 6-backs…alot of guys back there…all have pluses..our job to have right guy in the play at right time
Byrd on perimiter…Chase-Chance physical…Bell is an unknown to us-really good fall.
How Baker played in BYU game speaks volume about his readiness and composure…showed savvy and made great throws..
Offense did not score alot last year. We have alot of confidence we will move the ball and score points
We are still in virtual meetings…but will are able to have face-to-face meetings.
Zoom is a fine way to learn but guys have done a nice job staying together…and now practicing what they learned.
We must do what we do well….run the ball…get after it defensively.
Delayed start is benefit for us…we had all the Zoom meetings…it’s still not teaching learning on the field and playing the game. We have gone out and scrimmaged alot…alot of fundamentals for us.
We are always worried about accountability and making great decisions…staying in your bubbles…we have been very vigilant about all this…we hope to get thrtu this thing.
We won’t have any freshman starting this season…it is a talented class. The one thing you know ‘got to be ready to play young guys’ if the virus breaks out. We have given alot of reps to young guys.
Great leadership from Kyle Spalding and Zach Thomas have been special.
These 115 young me have been thru ups and downs….being paused…limited practices…this is not a normal senior year for lots of these kids…they have handled. it all.
We feel we are prepared. What we have accomplished is amazing. Adam Hall-strength coach-we have been lifting outside since March with different groups. What he’s done to help these guys get ready. Strength and medical staff have been spectacular.
Biggest challenge….UNLV..new coach….will be it Oregon’s offense or Stanford’s defense…with new Rebels staff..
There are some unknowns out there. Marcus Arroyo came from Oregon..his coordiantor came from Baylor…we looked at alot of their films. Can we stretch the perimiter…can we knock them off the ball.
From a defensive stand point, put a plan together. It’s not what we know..it’s what they know. We may be a bit more streamlined in our packages.
A couple of players have opted out, including Zedane Thomas-RB….we have been pretty clean…players had concerns….I could not imagine being 18-years of age and making that decision.
They have not named a quarterback, though Oblad likely we will be a starter….we cross the white lines, its football. Hopefully our guys are ready to handle dual threat QBs, and pocket QBs.
New Mexico-Colorado State cancelled because of virus. I am concerned about our team. Be around our bubble of people. Wear your mask all the time. If one of your friends has been at a party, then it’s like you were at the party…must be safe.
Mountain West Conference may have schedule issues to deal with cancelled games and the Air Force situation….I have to worry about the Aztecs.
History of Aztecs…when I took over the first time…I met Chuck Long…told him he recruited good kids but team was not tough…The staff we hired did a great job setting us in the right direction and Rocky added to that.
This will be different for us. We are stayig at Chargers hotel in Orange County that has all the experience of working with a team….food facilities. We went up there October 10th and we prepared that trip like a road trip so we have stayed in that mode.
My coordinators will be up in the booth for the game. I let Jeff-Kurt (coordinators) make the choice.
Carson Baker-starting QB
Grew up in San Diego..family had season tickets..went to Helix…awesome lead hometown team.
Jeff Horton recruited me…wasn’t heavily recruited…
Coach Hoke told me ‘we expect alot of you’
Confidence…not arrogance…confidence I can make throws anywhere on the field…
Think I will be a distributor to our guys…be accuarate
QB room is a great group of guys-we all competed hard.
Getting start against BYU end of last season…live game reps helped alot…feel speed-contact.
Gotten alot of reps in practice-feel very confident…alot of time in the system to be comfortable
Will bring energy without any fans in Carson
We had so much time to meet on Zoom to perfect the offense…very comfortable in all things we have to do.
Football is football…it’s 11-on-11… …with fans or no fans in stands.
Prediction…..Aztecs go (7-0) in the Conference.