SAN DIEGO – The buzz is starting to build for the San Diego State football program. Back-to-back wins against Pac-12 opponents, including a triple-overtime triumph Saturday over Utah, were bound to bring attention to the team, even among some voters in the AP Top 25 Poll.
This weekend, the Aztecs host Towson with the chance to open the year at 4-0, a feat only one other SDSU team – the 2017 squad – has matched in the past 40 years.
But as far as head coach Brady Hoke is concerned, there’s still plenty of work to be done.
“We gotta go back to work with everything,” Hoke said. “We gotta play better for 60 minutes and we haven’t done that. That’s our goal and we got to get ourselves back to it. We did that yesterday and we need to do it the rest of this week.”
The team believes they have yet to play their best football. They’re also wary of a potential upset by Towson despite SDSU’s 2-0 record against Power Five opponents.
“Right now is as important as anything,” Hoke said. “Like I told the coaches, this is going to be the hardest week of coaching. Everybody’s gonna pat these guys on the back and all that and to be dead honest with you, we haven’t done a damn thing.”
Towson, out of the FCS, is coming off back-to-back losses including a 35-7 defeat at the hands of North Dakota State. The Jackrabbits are currently ranked as a Top five team in the FCS, so Towson already has seen what talented teams can do.
“They want to run the ball, they have a good-sized o-line, they’re very physical up front and they’re trying to run downhill,” said Jonah Tavai, a senior defensive lineman. “We’re going to take the challenge and we’re gonna see what our defense does against an offense that prides themselves on that.”
The Aztecs’ defense this season has exceeded expectations, leading the conference with 12 total sacks. Towson combats that with an offense that has totaled just three touchdowns in the past two games.
“We’ve gotta go out and play 60 minutes of football and we have not played 60 minutes of football,” Hoke said.
Offensively, quarterback Jordan Brookshire remains questionable with a foot injury which opens the door for freshman Will Haskell to take some reps alongside Lucas Johnson this weekend.
“Jordan threw some yesterday, he’s feeling better, “ Hoke said. “If we played tomorrow, he would not start for us but as the week goes on we’ll see where we’re at.”
Kickoff against Towson is slated for 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Carson.