The San Diego State Aztecs offense has been through a lot in the first quarter of the NCAA football season. They have a record of 2-2, lost their top receiver Ezell Ruffin, and their starting quarterback Quinn Kaehler. They will be at Fresno State on Friday, October 3rd with a true test on the road. With a new starting quarterback and a receiving crew in flux, it looks like the offense will look to the ground game for the lead.
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The new starting quarterback in the Aztecs offense will be true freshman Nick Bawden out of Los Gatos High. He measures in at 6 ft, 3 in. and is a student of the game. He has impressed the Aztecs coaching staff with his continuing study of the offense and the passion he brings to the game. Bawden probably thought he would get a year or two to learn the offense but he is being thrown into the fire in week 5. The coaching staff will do whatever they can to get him ready for this game but it will be up to the other pieces to come through.
The ground game continues to roll over their opponents. Donnel Pumphrey had 167 yards and 4 touchdowns off of 22 carries against UNLV. With a freshman quarterback coming in for his first start, a running back coming off a great performance is a great asset. The San Diego State Aztecs always likes to get their running game going with the double punch of Pumphrey and Chase Price and they will take that into their game against Fresno State. Look for Pumphrey to have a big game on the road against Fresno State.
When the Aztecs need to pass, look for junior wide receiver Larry Clark to get the call. Since Ruffin has gone down, Clark has been the favorite target in this unit. It is expected the run game will be depended on with Bawden starting but watch for tight ends to be targeted in the red zone when necessary. Aztecs have many big tight ends on the roster and have many possibilities in the red zone.
For this offense to succeed, they need Donnel Pumphrey to stay healthy. If Bawden can take control as a game manager then this offense can succeed against Fresno State. That game is Friday, October 3rd at 7 p.m. Pacific time.