San Diego State Offense
San Diego State’s offense was the worst to had been in three years, yet during their freefall at the end of 2018, they got a little bit better. That would have helped them stay in a few games, but their defense, which they depend heavily on, did not help out their efforts and was a big reason for the downturn.
But that was last year. This year, things are going to change. Stylistically. Long is changing up his offense as they are ditching the under center approach to their offense and utilizing a spread formation. Will it work? Long says they will stay with their run-first philosophy, but they will look a little different. It will take a while to properly execute this new style, though they have plenty of experience to help them out.
The strength of the offense will come from senior running back Juwan Washington who ran for 999 yards last season. Washington has nice balance and can stay low and can make a defender look the fool with a simple head juke. It no question that he is going to be the focus of the offense, but who will be tossing the ball around?
San Diego State 2018 Offensive Stats
Last season, Ryan Agnew took over for Christian Chapman, though they both played in more than half of the season. Agnew played in 12 while Chapman played in seven. As it looks, Agnew will have the start come fall, but the bigger question is if any of the quarterbacks will be ready to make the change to a spread offense? Though the philosophy will be the same, the QBs might struggle to execute early on. There is quite a difference between taking a snap under center and taking on in shotgun. For both the QB and the center.
Though the Aztecs intend to stay run-centric, they still need to utilize their receivers to help open up the ground game. San Diego State loses their two top receivers, but they should get some good production out of Tim Wilson, Ethan Dedeaux, Parker Houston, BJ Busbee, and Kobe Smith, all of which only caught between 100 and 370 yards last season, but each of them averaged over 11 yards per catch. If they can quickly assimilate to the spread, they could do some damage through the air.
But that is the thing. San Diego State will have only had one game worth of experience in the new formation by the time they meet UCLA. Will they properly execute their offense against the Bruins? UCLA wasn’t great against the run last year, and as of now, I can only foresee a small improvement off of that. If the Aztecs can somehow dominate the ground (which is entirely possible) and have a decent passing game, they should be able to get down the field efficiently. It just depends on how good the defense is.