According to recent rulings by universally respected institutions such as the Supreme Court of the United States and the NCAA, gambling is actually good. With that important stamp of approval secured I am here once again to provide you with some sweet, sweet action on the 2018 San Diego State football season.
Before you make your Over/Under picks on the this year’s Aztecs, let’s review your selections last year.
- A full 46 percent of you faithless cowards did not think Rashaad Freaking Penny would be able to reach 2,000 rushing yards. Idiots.
- Half of you thought Christian Chapman would throw for 2,500 yards. LOL.
- On the other hand most of you were pretty clear-eyed in your assessment that the Aztecs’ defense was not going to be the 1985 Chicago Bears. Indeed, the ’85 Bears probably would have forced Army to punt at least once. Maybe even twice??
But it’s a new year and we have new propositions for you to be wrong about! On with this year’s Over/Unders*.
Juwan Washington: rushing yards
Juwan Washington may be an exciting playmaker who “killed his sensei in a duel and never said why” but he’s not a freakish NFL first-round talent like Rashaad Penny. Please do not misconstrue this as a diss. Juwan is going to have a great year, it’s just that expecting him to match Penny’s absurd level of production (2,248 yards) is unrealistic. That said, with a battle-tested offensive line, he … actually might? Still, it’s best to be conservative here.
Christian Chapman: passing yards
Guys, did you hear? Rocky Long said* that Christian Chapman might be the best SDSU quarterback of all time! Chapman himself has hinted that they just might open up the passing game this season! You’re … you’re not buying any of this are you? Chapman is more than his game manager rap (see: game-winning drive against Stanford) but the thought that he’s going to become Houston Oilers-era Warren Moon — or even SDSU Aztecs Ryan Lindley — is adorable. You know that thought experiment about killing baby Hitler if you had a time machine? Offensive coordinator Jeff Horton would probably first use his time machine to kill baby Gus Dorais. Keep that in mind when pondering picking the over.
Editor’s note: Rocky actually said “there’s an argument” Chapman is the best-ever Aztecs QB. Important distinction.
Kahale Kuio Kalani Michael Wodehouse Warring: receiving yards
With top target Micah Holder gone, don’t be surprised to see athletic tight end Kahale Warring become Chapman’s security blanket. Warring caught 18 passes for 248 yards as David Wells’ backup last season. Another fun fact: the translation of “Kuio Kalani” is “Gavin Escobar.”
Literally any wide receiver: Receptions
If the speedy Fred Trevillion figures out how to consistently catch thrown footballs he might become SDSU’s best wideout since Jeff Webb. That “if” is doing a whole lot of work in that sentence. Let’s see … who else? I know who Tim Wilson is because he wore No. 93, which was weird and thus notable. He doesn’t anymore. Also I believe the son of some early 90’s Atlanta Braves star is in this group. Was it Ron Gant? Jeff Blauser? Not sure. Possibly both. That is pretty much the extent of my knowledge of the SDSU receiving corps. I hope they educate me quickly.
Tariq Thompson and Ron Smith: Combined interceptions
When you think back at the pass defense last season, it’s easy to remember Stanford QB Keller Chryst throwing for, like, six yards. It’s easy to forget the pass defense kind of struggled at times. The Aztecs dropped from 26 INTs in 2016 to only 14 in 2017. Two guys in particular should help stem that trend. Sophomore warrior safety Tariq Thompson showed a nose for the ball (5 INTs) in his outstanding breakout season. Ron Smith — a pick six machine in 2016 — will now step into the shutdown cornerback shoes of Damontae Kazee and Kameron Kelly, meaning he must now snag the game-sealing interception against Arizona State. Anything less is failure. No pressure, Ron!
Team defense: sacks
Last year’s struggles against the pass included a weak pass rush. SDSU’s sack total dropped from 38 to 23. Alleged Josh Allen dingdong punching hero Noble Hall is moving back to tackle where he was more productive in 2016. Both ends — Chibu Onyeukwu and Anthony Luke — are seniors. Should be better, right? Please?
Games pre-empted by the fourth quarter of some AAC blowout with 3,000 people left in the stands
The Aztecs play five (5) games on CBS Sports Network this season.
Remember the days when the San Diego State football team used to lose at least four games every single year? I call that era “my entire experience watching San Diego State football until 2015.” The Aztecs have lost just three games in each of the last three seasons. They have three road games (Stanford, Boise State, Fresno State) where they will probably be underdogs, plus a possible rematch with Boise should they reach the title game. Oh and a bowl opponent, which will probably be Ball State or UTSA or some crap. Does SDSU maintain its run of almost greatness?
Weeks ranked in the AP poll
A win over Stanford probably breaks the Aztecs into the Top 25 immediately, so there’s that. But with a (likely) loss? Better beat Boise State in the MWC opener. If the Aztecs lose both those games they probably won’t be ranked at all unless they win the conference. If even then. SDSU’s most realistic hope at the Top 25 might be through the back door, taking a couple of regular season losses but winning the title game and the Las Vegas Bowl and slipping into the final poll — just like it did in 2016.
*Meet me on the ground level of Parking Structure 12, under the bridge to West Commons. Cash only. Password is KEVIN ACEE’S OFFICE.