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Q&A With Mt. West Connection On The Aztecs

Quinn Kaehler will be making his first FBS start Saturday against Oregon St. What else do we know about the Aztecs?
Quinn Kaehler will be making his first FBS start Saturday against Oregon St. What else do we know about the Aztecs?
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon St. will be taking on San Diego St. Saturday down at Qualcomm Stadium, and at 0-2, the Aztecs aren't exactly where anyone expected the defending Mt. West Conference champions to be, especially with 17 returning starters.

As a result, former Oregon St. assistant coach Rocky Long, who has headed up San Diego St. the last 2 years, made a quarterback change during the bye week to try to address the struggling start.

Things are certainly shook up down south.

To get some answers on the state of affairs with San Diego St., we got together with Jeremy Mauss of the Mt. West Connection, the best source for info. on all things Mt. West. Obviously.

Thanks, Jeremy, for taking the time to run things down for us!

You can also read what Jeremy was wondering about about the Beavers, and our answers.

The Aztecs have played just two games: one against FCS Eastern Illinois, and one against Ohio State. How much is known for certain about the team?

You probably know as much as I do. The defense was supposed to be a strength and it has clearly shown to not been all that great, and have issues stopping the run and the pass. Rocky Long's 3-3-5 defense is supposed to have athletes all over the field and make plays, and they have those athletes, but nothing is happening.

Offensively, running back Adam Muema's ankle injury has brought that unit to a stop, and Adam Dingwell under center has done nothing to prove himself in the time he has played. Dingwell's poor play has earned him a spot on the bench. What I know is that the team has looked just awful, and at this rate will not even be able to make a bowl game, and they can forget about attempting to be a possible candidate to win the West Division of the Mountain West.

This one's obligatory: SDSU QB Quinn Kaehler will get his first NCAA start Saturday against the Beavers. What can you tell us about the JuCo transfer?

In his first ever FBS action against Ohio State, on the road, he played better than expected. He went 22 of 36 for 219 yards with a touchdown and a pick. That was far and away better than Adam Dingwell would have done against the Buckeyes.

When he entered the game against Ohio State, it was just on the second possession, so the game was still early on, and Ohio State was winning just 7-0. He was seeing the best that Ohio State was bringing when he entered. He can sling the ball. as he had 4,044 yards, 38 TDs, 12 INTs and completed 60.5 percent of his passes at Diablo Valley College. With the off week in between Ohio State and Oregon State, he should be up to speed and be able to some success on Saturday.

For the second consecutive game, starting RB Adam Muema will try to return from an ankle injury. If he is healthy, how can he help the Aztecs anemic running game?

He is the Aztecs running game. The injury was a low ankle sprain, which usually heals quickly, but he aggravated it early on against Ohio State. The other running backs just aren't up to being at the same level as Muema. With him healthy and playing well, then the defenses can not just focus on the passing game and getting to the quarterback. The defense will have to respect the play action and not just sit back and wait for the quarterback to pass, or just go on a blitzing spree by not respecting the running game.

Unlike Muema, it appears LB Derek Largent will not play this weekend. How will a struggling Aztecs defense deal with the loss?

He is one of the better linebackers that the Aztecs have, but the way the defense has been playing it might be a better idea to get a new face in his spot to see what they are capable of doing.

San Diego State surrenders 41 points per game. Do you see the Beavers eclipse that?

I have no reason to say otherwise, especially after seeing how Oregon State's Sean Manion carved up Utah's secondary last week. Basically, whatever scenario that is asked about this game, I will take something worse for the Aztecs. This San Diego State team gave up 40 points to a FCS team and lost by three touchdowns, and it would surprise me if Oregon State does not score at least 40 points.

Sounds like it could be a long day for the Aztecs! Here's hoping the Beaves don't take a win for granted, though, and wind up being the victim of a bounce back!