Team preview: San Diego State

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(All information as of June 20, 2007)


At his introductory press conference in December of 2005, San Diego State coach Chuck Long declared his goal was to "win now." The 1985 Heisman Trophy runner-up and former Iowa star brought great expectations to a program that hadn't had a winning season since 1998.

What Long didn't envision when he talked of a quick return to prominence for the Aztecs was the rash of injuries that derailed the 2006 season. San Diego State had 18 players undergo surgery during Long's first year and lost seven offensive players that were listed as starters when they suffered a significant injury, including its top two quarterbacks.

The result was a 3-9 season, the MWC's most impotent offense (14.2 ppg) and a defense that ranked next to last in points allowed (27.1 ppg).

"I knew we had a challenge going into last year, and the injuries compounded that," Long said. "When you build a strong foundation you can overcome injuries. We just didn't have that foundation in place. Eventually we are going to get stronger."