Countdown To Kickoff - San Diego State

 

By W.G. Ramirez, Special to TheMW.com.

SAN DIEGO STATE

  • Predicted Finish - Second in the West Division
  • Retuning/Lost Lettermen - 35/22
  • Returning/Lost Starters - 12/13
  • Key Returner - Senior LB Derek Largent

The Skinny – San Diego State's gritty, blue-collar approach starts at the top, and coach Rocky Long is hoping his team can apply that strategy at the beginning of the season to avoid a repeat of last year's dreadful start. Linebacker Derek Largent heads a defense that ranked 53rd nationally overall and 22nd against the rush. Having Largent healthy all season will help solidify the stop unit. Flying under the radar is senior quarterback Quinn Kaehler. The prototypical gunslinger threw for 3,007 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, as he played in 12 and started the final 11 games for the Aztecs. He ranked 29th nationally in passing yards per game (250.6), despite not playing in the season-opener and coming off the bench at Ohio State.

Says Largent, on the linebacker corps - "It's exciting at San Diego State because we have a lot of depth at linebackers we're two or three deep with two or three solid guys behind the starters, that can come in and make plays. We're going to be a bunch of hard-nosed hitters and that's what we're going to pride ourselves on, is just playing harder than the other team."

For a complete preview, watch San Diego State's "Countdown to Kickoff" preview video below: