Special teams fuels special start for SDSU football program


SAN DIEGO — The special teams unit for the Aztecs this season will likely be one talked about for generations to come if it continues playing at the level it has.

“So many of these examples will forever be taught on tape for the future Aztecs to come,” Aztecs’ special teams coach Doug Deakin said.

They’ve already earned two Athletes Mountain West Special Teams Players of the Week honors, with Kaegun Williams awarded in the Aztecs’ win over Arizona and Matt Araiza honored for his performance against Towson. 

“He at times can be the defensive player of the game because of what he’s done with changing the field,” head coach Brady Hoke said. 

Araiza, a Rancho Bernardo High School alum, currently leads college football in punt average, punt yards, and point after touchdown percentage.

What might be most impressive, the junior leads the entire special teams unit in tackles this season with four.

“They’re probably happy knowing that I’m not just going to be the type of kicker that kicks the ball then watches and ‘Hey, good luck everybody,’” Araiza said. “I’m there with them and on the off chance that the returner gets by some of them, I’ll be able to fill a hole.”

It is something his special team coordinator loves pointing out in the film.

“I’m looking at the other 10 guys on the punt and kickoff coverage and I’m pointing out the laser pointer on the film, how come our punter or kicker is making this tackle and all 10 of you are watching? Or he’s running by you?” Deakin said. 

The Aztecs have Saturday off for their only bye week of the season. 

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