BCI previews the Bearcats Hawai'i Bowl opponent San Diego State Aztecs

Christmas Eve the Cincinnati Bearcats will face the San Diego State Aztecs in the Hawai'i Bowl at 8 pm on ESPN. Bearcat Insider is taking a look at the Aztecs offense and defense.

December 24th on ESPN at 8 pm Eastern Time San Diego State Aztecs will face the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Hawai’i Bowl.

The Aztecs are 10-3 (8-0) and the Mountain West Conference Champions, in their conference championship game they beat Air Force 27-24.


The Aztecs offense is led by offensive coordinator Jeff Horton. Horton has the Aztecs averaging 31.4 points and 378.3 yards per game this season.

Because of an injury to starting quarterback Maxwell Smith it seems the Bearcats will have to face redshirt freshman Christian Chapman. Chapman started in the MWC Championship game which the Aztecs won. In that game Chapman threw for 203 yards on 9 of 14, 1 touchdown and ran for 32 yards on 6 carries. He played in 8 games this season, but mostly in mop up duty.

It’s not a secret that the Aztecs are a run first team as running back Donnel Pumphrey has run for 1,554 yards and 16 touchdowns. Running back Chase Price has almost run for 1,000 yards himself as he has 940 yards and 6 touchdowns.

The teams leading receiver is Donnel Pumphrey who has 27 catches for 397 yards and 3 touchdowns. The leading receiver that is actually a receiver is Mikah Holder who is second on the team with 23 catches in first in yards with 425; he also has team leading 5 touchdown receptions.


The Aztecs defense is led by defensive coordinator Rocky Long. Long has his Aztecs allowing 17.2 points and 278.9 yards per game.

The heart of the defense is linebacker Calvin Munson who is the team leader in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks. Munson has 91 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 9 sacks, 2 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles. This team last has three other players with at least 70 tackles linebacker Jake Fely 77, defensive back Na’im McGee 72 and defensive back Malik Smith 72.

Defensive back Damontae Kazee leads the team with 7 interceptions. Kazee also has 69 tackles and 14 passes defensed.

This unit is the backbone of this team so it should be interesting in Hawaii.

San Diego State Aztecs Depth Chart - 2015
Regular Offense
WR Mikah Holder Eric Judge
TE Daniel Brunskill David Wells
LT Kwayde Miller David Servatius
LG Nico Siragusa Robert Craighead
C Arthur Flores Austin Maass
RG Darrell Greene Robert Craighead
RT Pearce Slater Joe Salcedo
WR Jermond Hazely Curtis Anderson III
QB Christian Chapman Jake Rodrigues
FB Dakota Gordon Nick Bawden
HB Donnel Pumphrey Chase Price
Base 3-3-5 Defense
LDE Jon Sanchez Jordan Watson
NT Alex Barrett Noble Hall
RDE Kyle Kelley Julian Rochelin
LOLB Jake Fely Austin Wyatt-Thayer
MLB Ryan Dunn Randy Ricks
ROLB Calvin Munson Ronley Lakalaka
CB J.J. Whittaker Billy Vaughn, Jr.
SS Malik Smith Derek Babiash
FS Na'im McGee Parker Baldwin
SS Kameron Kelly Trey Lomax
CB Damontae Kazee Pierre Romain

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