Aztecs feeling a bit overlooked as football season approaches – NBC 7 San Diego

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In 2021, San Diego State won a program-record 12 games, the last of which was a two-touchdown win over UTSA in the Frisco Bowl, and finished the season in the Top 25. They likely would have won the Mountain West championship game had they not missed nearly half of their starters due to a COVID outbreak.

This year, they have eight players on the All-Conference preseason squad, more than any other program, including Defensive Player of the Year Patrick McMorris and Special Teams Player of the Year Jordan Byrd.

And for some reason, the media covering the conference doesn’t even think they’ll win their division.

Pre-season vote allows SDSU to finish 2n/a in the western division behind Fresno State. Head coach Brady Hoke was a little miffed by this, but tried not to look miffed by it.

“It’s obviously good to be recognized. It’s 2n/a, yet. I think over the course of the season there will be recalls,” Hoke said.

The bulletin board material is real, and the Aztecs just turned five months of it.

“Obviously we won 12 games last season, so to see that, you take it as a bit of disrespect,” running back Chance Bell said.

“It’s just another moment to prove people wrong. We always say we have a chip on our shoulder. We were always considered underdogs, for a long time,” says linebacker Caden McDonald.

The common refrain of the 100e San Diego State football season where you start is not important. Where you end up is everything.

“You can’t win a championship based on pre-season predictions, that’s the media,” Bell said. “You just have to have that chip on your shoulder, dress up and play.”

All eight players who landed on the MWC All-Conference team are seniors. They’re an experienced and talented group that’s going to have a much better quarterback situation than they did in 2021. Additionally, College Football News has the Aztecs as the highest-ranked team in the entire conference, not just the division. .

There has never been a season as anticipated as this one, and not just because of the talent on the pitch. This is because of the field itself.

Snapdragon Stadium will be open for business for the season opener Sept. 3 against Arizona in a nationally televised game usually reserved for the powerhouse SEC. It’s the first time since 1966 that the Aztecs have had a stadium of their own, and for players who have lived through the last few seasons while it was under construction, they can’t wait to finally get a sense of high-energy normalcy. .

“We had COVID without fans (in 2020). We’re in Carson, two hours away, with minimal fans just because of the trip,” says McDonald. “So now, being back, the first year, it will be open, the 100e season, and fans will only have a 10-minute drive to campus… it’s going to be electric. It’s going to be a game-changing atmosphere, that’s for sure. Home advantage will be unlike any other.

Imagine the first time they come out of this tunnel in front of a sold out crowd. McDonald’s has a pretty good idea of ​​what that moment will be like.

“I’ve walked it 100 times so far. I think about it every day. First game. 12:30 kick-off. I have chills. I have goosebumps thinking about it right now. I can not wait. It’s gonna be amazing. I have a little tears in my eyes thinking about it. It’s gonna be really awesome.

And, most likely an extremely successful 100e season. Despite what we lame media types might think.

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