We did a quick Q&A with Ryan Schuler, the sports editor for The Daily Aztec, the San Diego State newspaper. Here our questions, and more importantly, his answers:
Most Washington fans are probably not too familiar with San Diego State's roster outside of maybe Ryan Katz. Who are some offensive and defensive players to look out for?
RS: Tight end Gavin Escobar and wide receiver Colin Lockett are standout players on offense. Escobar was all-conference last season and is big and strong with great hands. Lockett is in his second year at the position after switching from defensive back, but has amazing speed.
On defense, look out for cornerback Leon McFadden and linebacker Jake Fely. Fely is a bit undersized, but teammates are raving about him after a great fall camp. McFadden was named the Mountain West Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Keith Price and McFadden were high school teammates.
There was kind of a big fuss made over Rocky Long's comments about not punting. What are your thoughts on that?
RS: Long emphasized at the last press conference that he is still toying with the idea and that everyone will have to wait until the first game. SDSU has a new punter and placekicker for this season, so I am torn on the idea. I'm just not sure SDSU has the offense to move the chains at will.
The Aztecs run a 3-3-5 defensively. What unique challenge will that give the Husky offense, and what has been the best way that teams have beaten it in the past?
RS: The 3-3-5 defense requires linebackers to play almost a hybrid role, where they must be able to put pressure on the quarterback, while also being able to drop back in coverage. This means the linebackers are more dynamic and athletic than Washington could be used to. The 3-3-5 also allows teams to throw in a lot of different blitz packages.
The two teams that spanked SDSU last season were Michigan and Boise State. Against Boise State, SDSU had a lot of early turnovers that led to easy points for the Broncos, and Kellen Moore just had too good of passes to stop.
The UW defense is very much in flux after overhauling the coaching staff on that side of the ball. What do you think will be SDSU's plan to attack Washington's new 3-4 look?
RS: This was the focus of Long's most recent press conference. He said he does not have a clue about what defense Washington is going to run. The coaching staff has looked at Wilcox's tapes from Tennessee, the the schemes do not seem to match what he is doing at Washington. Long compared it to going through a dark tunnel. SDSU's plan is to be prepared for everything.
A lot of people have complaints about the Pac-12 Network. Do you get it? What are you initial thoughts?
RS: That's a great question. I don't get it at my house. Hopefully, I can find a restaurant around San Diego to watch it. All I know about it is it's very new.
RS: As much as it hurts me to say this, I'm going Washington 37-24.