This coming Saturday, September 4th, the San Diego State Aztecs officially kickoff the 2021 football season. It will also officially be 21 months since the general fans have been able to watch their Aztecs play football live in person. The last game taking place back in December of 2019, when SDSU dismantled the Central Michigan Chippewas in the New Mexico Bowl. A game that happened to be the curtain call for Coach Rocky Long’s tenure at SDSU.
Let’s go through the checklist of changes that have taken place since then:
• A new head coach
• Both new coordinators
• A global pandemic
• The demolition of ‘STADIUM’–rendering the Aztecs football team homeless
• The groundbreaking and already halfway completed new home in Aztecs Stadium
• The official removal of the school’s Aztec warrior mascot
• And of course the amazingly sick updated ‘Piedra del Sol’ Aztecs football helmets
Quite a lot going on there up on Montezuma Mesa you’d say. The most important change affecting this season is an item I’ve left off the list. But the having to play another season away from the beautiful city of San Diego and instead relocating to the confines of Carson, California’s Dignity Health Sports Park, aka “the old stubhub center”, aka “the stubby”, aka “Dean Spanos’ halfway house” aka the “house that Landon built”.
But if having to play just one season with fans in attendance to witness this relocation atrocity means that SDSU will finally own our brand new Aztecs sacrificing temple of football, so be it.
First on the list for this season’s opponents at the Stubby is SDSU’s historical punching bag, New Mexico State. The Aztecs own a 10 win to 1 loss ratio vs the Aggies, with an 8 game win streak coming into Saturday’s matchup. New Mexico State kicked off this season last weekend versus regional rival UTEP, in what fans call, the battle of the I-10.
I don’t think the Aggies of New Mexico State could have played worse than they did on Saturday evening. They were blown out 30-3 by the UTEP Miners… yes the UTEP Miners won 30-3 Saturday night. UTEP has projected 3 or fewer wins, just let that sink in. Essentially the Aztecs should easily handle the Aggies this weekend because we might as well be playing a D2 school.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Aggies were forced to play a spring season against FCS opponents. Sadly, they only ended up playing 2 games in 2020 and quite frankly those went just as bad as the UTEP game. Despite not playing anyone good from the FCS, they had one close win and one brutal loss. The Aggies totaled 189 yards on offense. I repeat, 189 total yards. In addition, they ran 72 offensive plays to average a sarcastically amazing 2.63 yards per play. That’s barely enough YPP to get a first down on 4 tries. Surprisingly enough the Aggies had 20 first downs somehow. They must have paid off the refs because there’s no way 2.63 yards a play gets you 20 first downs.
Enough ranting on how bad the Aggies are. The Aztecs come into the season opener with the big news that Jordon Brookshire is named the starting QB. This was a shocker to most of Aztec Nation as most fans felt he won the lottery because of how favored Lucas Johnson was coming into camp. The QB decision shouldn’t matter for this game however, as the Aggies may be worse than Jordon’s high school varsity team.
Most Aztec fans are interested to see how Jordon has improved because, to be honest, he was quite brutal in his early 2020 action. Though recent news broke from the coaching staff, that Jordon had to overcome a lot of challenges leading up to his two starts–including a bout with COVID.
Other offensive standouts include the Bells. Greg and Chance Bell lead a stacked and experienced running back room with 4 seniors and a JR transfer who will see little to no time potentially. These running backs should have a very easy time generating big-time rushing plays with our experienced O-line. Combine that with an Aggie defense that gave up 203 yards on the ground to UTEP, one of the worst teams in the nation. I can see this running back stable running all over the Aggies for I believe 300+ rushing yards.
Overall, this will be a good opportunity to get our offense and defense connected, try new plays, and execute the little things we will need in close games. It will be good to see our 2nd and 3rd deep guys on the roster get almost a full half of playing time hopefully.
Lastly, it will just be great to finally watch Aztec football after a pandemic year with restricted football and no fans. My score prediction is 48-6 Aztecs.
For a little fun to end it off, let’s take a look at the betting lines throughout the Mountain West Conference and pick some winners!
NMST@ SDSU- As stated above I like -31.5 Aztecs and the over 51
Fresno st @ Oregon- Although Fresno showed out against Uconn, give me the ducks -20.5
San Jose St @USC- SJSU played a team worse than NMST and has to go to SC, this shouldn’t be close. UScowards -15
Nevada@Cal Berkley- Cal is not good and Nevada has a very underrated SR QB/WR duo in Doubs/Strong. I like Nevada to win outright. If you disagree i’d recommend Nevada +3
Utah St@Washington st- Utah state fell off of a cliff since Jordan Love went pro. Not much to say besides I like Wazzu -17
If a Mountain West team game is NOT listed it’s because there’s no line (because the opponents are non-FBS)
Gamble safely, legally, responsibly. And always, GO AZTECS!