San Diego State Aztec: Defending Mountain West Champions

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by OsirisMonster, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. OsirisMonster

    OsirisMonster Walk On

    Jul 9, 2010
    The San Diego State Aztecs come into 2014 looking to defend their Mountain West championship. Like last year, TCU and Boise State provide the biggest conference threats to their success. Both teams sport better talent then the Aztecs, though the talent disparity is less than in previous years. The Aztecs have suffered some significant turnover on both offense and defense and coach Osiris Monster is hoping the youth on the roster can step up and deliver.

    Offensively the Aztecs are feeling the loss of HB Ronnie Hillman. His 95 SPD and 97 ACC along with 93 BTK will be missed. Replacing him is SR HB Adam Muema. Muema may be a step behind Hillman with 89 SPD and 92 ACC but he has already proven himself on the field stepping in for Hillman after he went down with a week 3 injury and missed most of last season. A bruiser, Muema brings an 87 BTK and 91 TRK to the field. Backing up Muema and taking on the critical second HB role in the offense is JR HB DeSaan Hardwick. Hardwick compliments Muema’s power rushing with a burst of 93 SPD and 96 ACC.

    Acting as the signal caller for the Aztecs is junior college transfer Oliver Goolsby. Goolsby takes over for the inconsistent but productive Bernards having beat out pre-season favorite JR Chad Jefferies. Goolsby lacks much of the mobility that Bernards brought to the table but his 91 THP and 87 THA provides a significant upgrade to the passing attack that coach Osiris Monster hopes will result in less INTs.

    Perhaps the greatest additions to the Aztecs are the three TE additions to the team. Led by 5 star recruit Ben Jackson out of Florida, these TEs join the sole returning Sophomore Nick Matthews. Ben Jackson is being highly touted by coach Osiris Monster as an integral part of the offense. A versatile player, Jackson can line up on the line in the traditional TE position or slide out play WR. Last season’s backup TE Bryce Quigley has moved over to starting FB and will play a more H back role for the Aztecs. Coach Osiris Monster is excited to see what he can accomplish with such excellent receiving threats out of pro style looks.

    Defensively is the area the Aztecs feel the most pain. The one bright point on the defense is the defensive line with solid seniors at all three positions. Both defensive ends and the defensive tackle from last year are returning to anchor a line that played strong against the run. The problem will be at the line backer position. Only one of the four starting line backers will return this year. A pass rush specialist, Jason Ball had a strong freshman year starting at OLB and looks to build upon that success this season. Joining him will be strong side Sophomore OLB Jacob Steevnson, and Sophomore MLBs Mike Harris and Fabian Jones. Sporting an all sophomore linebacking corp could cause defensive problems for the Aztecs. The secondary sees vast improvement over the linebacking corp with three returning players combining with a true freshman. Coach Osiris Monster hopes his defense can hold together long enough to slow down opposing defenses but realize that games could quickly turn into offensive wars fast.

    The Aztecs definitely play a more difficult schedule this year than last year but are still expected to compete for the conference title. The season starts off with a three game road trip that kicks off against #15 North Carolina State, moves to #45 Mid Tennessee State in week 2, and ends at #5 Oregon in week 4. They then host a trio of games at home that starts with a week 6 game against #78 Kansas, week 8 against #73 Navy and the start of conference play against #30 Boise State in week 9. Conference play continues on the road in weeks 10 and 11 against #109 Wyoming followed by #119 New Mexico. They return for three more games in week 12 hosting #108 Colorado State, #88 Air Force, and rival #97 UNLV. Once again the season ends on week 15 on the road against #13 TCU in a game that could decide the Mountain West title yet again. Coach Osiris Monster hopes to enter conference play with a 3-2 record and run the conference table again to end up 10-2 and conference title for the second straight year. All eyes in San Diego will be focused on the week 4 matchup against #5 Oregon. A win in Oregon would be huge for the Aztecs.

    Asked about what changes to expect in the Aztecs offense and defense coach Osiris Monster had this to say. “We don’t expect to change much, especially on the defensive side. We are sticking with the 3-4 defense and will work on our containment style defense. Offensively expect us to mix in more of the TEs in the mix with some 2 TE sets that we didn’t use last season due to lacking TE depth. Other than that most of the formations we have are the same formations we used in previous years.”

    Speaking about the possibility of a coaching move during the off season coach Osiris Monster had this to say. “I received a few offers to coach other schools. The only ones meaningful were at Iowa State and Kentucky. Honestly the Kentucky position was hard to pass up on but I’m excited about the new kids coming into our program and the chance to work with them. Sure a move to the SEC and success with a team like Kentucky in a conference like the SEC would be amazing but I’m sure staying with San Diego State is what’s in the best interest for me.”

    Finally we asked coach Osiris Monster which game he looked forward to the most this season. “Our conference matches are always important to us including our game against rival UNLV. That said I’m really looking forward to visiting Sun Belt territory as we play Mid Tennessee State. Apparently coach Cheez took some offense at comments I made after our bowl game last year. Time to see if his team can live up to his own hype.”

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