San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Football looking to make adjustments over bye week, keep bowl hopes alive

An outlook for the rest of the season as the Aztecs look to take advantage of a weekend without a game
Isabella Biunno
Members of the San Diego State cheerleading team lead the Aztecs football team onto the field before a game during the 2023 season at Snapdragon Stadium.

The San Diego State football team is searching for answers during their bye week as their hopes for a bowl game remain up in the air.

Bowl Eligibility 

The reeling Aztecs (2-4, 0-2 Mountain West Conference) are in danger of not reaching bowl eligibility and will have to flip the script.

To be bowl eligible, the Aztecs must win at least six games and finish with a winning percentage of at least .500.

Last year, the Aztecs started the season 2-3 before going on to win five of their final seven games to earn a bowl bid. This year, the Scarlet and Black face an eerily similar situation.

Since 2010, SDSU has participated in a bowl game 12 of the last 13 seasons, including 10 straight appearances from 2010-2019.


It has been a struggle for the Aztecs offense to find a “go to” option in the passing game. Through six games, no Aztec player has recorded double digit receptions in a game. Only once has an Aztec player eclipsed 100 receiving yards and that was wide receiver Baylin Brooks, who finished with 117 receiving yards against Boise State.

Through six games, the Aztecs defense has not held a single opponent to under 10 points in a game. The Aztecs pass defense has also surrendered 250 passing yards or more in four of six games. They also had a performance that resulted in 189 passing yards given up to the Air Force Falcons on just seven pass attempts.


Through six games, the Aztecs are ranked 119th out of 130 teams in points per game (19.3 ppg). Defensively, the Aztecs are ranked 104th in points per game surrendered (30.8 ppg).

On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Jalen Mayden is top five in the conference in total passing yards (1064 yards) and completion percentage (61.1%). In the receiving department, Brooks has emerged as a big play threat for the Aztecs. Brooks is currently fifth in the conference in average yards per reception (17.4 yds).

The defensive unit has racked up eight interceptions, good for second most among 130  teams. A primarily man to man coverage team has resulted in five different players recording an interception, including three interceptions by safety Cedarious Barfield.

Cornerback Noah Tumblin leads the conference with eight passes defended. Opposite Tumblin, cornerback Dezjhon Malone has recorded six of his own passes defended, good for third in the conference.

Upcoming matchups

The Aztecs’ remaining slate of games are all against Mountain West Conference opponents. The Scarlet and Black will begin the second half of their season with a date at Hawaii. Hawaii will feature quarterback Brayden Schager, who is currently the conference leader in passing yards and touchdown passes.

The Aztecs will return to Snapdragon Stadium to host Nevada on Oct. 21 and Utah State for Homecoming on Nov. 4. Utah State is second in the conference in points per game (37 ppg). The Aztecs will also face the challenge of blocking Utah State linebacker MJ Tafisi Jr, who is second in total tackles in the conference (43 tackles).

For the final road games, the Aztecs will travel to Colorado State and San Jose State before wrapping up the regular season at home against No. 24 Fresno State on Nov. 25.

Fresno State is second in the conference in points per game allowed (17 ppg). The Aztecs will face the task of covering Fresno State wide receiver Erik Brooks, who is second in the conference in receiving yards (540 yards).

The Aztecs will regroup post bye week with a matchup against Hawaii at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex.

About the Contributors
Mac Pham, Staff Writer
Mac Pham is a Journalism major and a senior transfer student from Palomar Community College. He joined the Daily Aztec in 2023. Writing stories, story telling, reading and talking to people is something he enjoys doing, so he figured why not talk sports with that. His favorite aspect of sports writing is being an analyst and breaking down the details of a football or a basketball game. In his spare time, Mac is an avid swimmer and likes to play basketball. He hopes to be a sports writer whose calling card is writing articles filled with sports analysis. Mac is bilingual in Vietnamese.
Isabella Biunno, '23-24 Photo Editor
Isabella Biunno (she/her/hers) is a photographer for The Daily Aztec. She is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada where she was a part of yearbook and publications for nearly six years. She is a first-year Psychology major with an emphasis in neuroscience, and she plans to go to graduate school for Occupational Therapy. She loves photography, editing, and creating, and she can’t wait to continue shooting content for the DA. One thing she is passionate about outside of photojournalism is being involved in the disability/Autism community. She is a part of SDSU’s Adapted Athletics club, and she worked as an Instructor at a company back home called Inclusion Fusion where she was able to work with people with disabilities. Although her career-related passions fall in the healthcare field, she enjoys taking pictures and covering photo events just as much. She looks forward to expanding her experience as a photographer as well as capturing some astounding shots this year.