2018 San Diego State Aztecs Season Win Total Picks and Predictions for NCAA Football
2017 Record: 11-3
2018 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 8.5
2018 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Over'
Rocky Long has been getting it done in the Mountain West for nearly 20 years. He had three years off in between a decade at New Mexico and his current gig with San Diego State. And as he enters his eighth season with the Aztecs, this program is as strong as ever and focused on making a third conference title game in four years.
How healthy is this Aztecs program? They have made cameos in the Top 25 each of the last two seasons. And last year in back-to-back weeks they took down Pac-12 foes, winning at Arizona State before coming home and beating No. 19 Stanford. The Aztecs outgained their conference opponents by over 140 yards per game - No. 1 in the Mountain West - and they have 14 starters back and ready to go this fall.
Long is a defensive guru. And last year's stop unit was No. 11 in the country in total defense. The Aztecs were in the Top 25 in scoring defense and pass defense, and they have depth and experience at all three levels.
San Diego State will need to replace leading rusher Rashaad Penny and his 2,248 rushing yards. But then again, at this time last year they were wondering how they could replace 2,200-yard rusher Donnel Pumphrey off the 2016 team. Long just finds running backs. And last year's second-leading rusher, Juwan Washington, is next in line.
The Aztecs have all five starters back from a massive offensive line. Last year three of their starters were freshmen. Now a year older and stronger, this year's running game could be even better because of the O-line.
San Diego State will again take on Stanford and Arizona in the first three weeks of the season. They are flipping venues, though, meaning they open at revenge-minded Stanford before hosting Arizona State two weeks later.
SDSU also has to play its two biggest conference games on the road. Last year they lost to Boise State and Fresno State at home in back-to-back weeks, ending their hopes of a MWC title. This season they open league play at Boise State and have to travel to Fresno for a key Nov. 17 tilt.
Those are the four toughest games on SDSU's schedule. And, frankly, it's not even close. This season's win total suggests that they will lose all four of those games. I don't think so. Long has guided this team to a 64-29 record over the last seven years (nine-win average), and the Aztecs are 32-9 over the last three seasons. I don't see anything about this team that suggests a step back, so I will peg them at 9-3 and just getting 'over'.
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