SDSU was one of the big turnaround stories of the 2010 season, improving on their 4-8 mark in '09 by finishing 9-4 and winning their first bowl game since 1969. Although head coach Brady Hoke has now departed to Michigan and their two star receivers to the NFL, the Aztecs still have a lot of talent left over from the team that gave the Frogs their biggest scare of 2010.
Grabbing most of the attention for SDSU is sophomore tailback Ronnie Hillman. Although he managed only 54 rush yards against the Frogs last year, he finished his freshman season with 1,532 yards and 17 TDs...including 6 games of 150+ yards and two of 200+. He played last year at 175lbs but has reportedly bulked up to 195. Under Patterson, TCU has historically done well against elite running backs- but Hillman will definitely put that streak to the test.
The other main names to know are Rocky Long, Ryan Lindley and Miles Burris. Long, who was previously the head coach at New Mexico (where he went 0-4 against TCU) from 1998-2008, takes over for Hoke as head coach in San Diego after two years as their defensive coordinator. Lindley is a 6-4, NFL prospect QB who has thrown for 9,537 yards and 67 TDs in his three years as starter- including the two 4th quarter bombs that nearly derailed the Frogs' season last fall. Burris is a 6-3, 240 Lombardi Award watch-list linebacker who led the Aztecs with 80 tackles and 9.5 sacks last year.