#39 San Diego FCS Football 2019 Preview

San Diego Toreros
Overall Rank: #39
#1 Pioneer
 San Diego Logo
For the third straight season, San Diego reached the playoffs. But this time they did not win a game after pulling off two straight upsets in 2016 and 2017. The Toreros fell at Nicholls 49-30, but they once again dominated the Pioneer League. In fact, San Diego has not lost a conference game since October 2015. This year that streak could come to an end.
2018 Record: 9-3, 8-0
2018 Postseason: FCS Playoffs
Coach: Dale Lindsey (55-16 at San Diego, 55-16 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jim Jackson, Christian Taylor
Defensive Coordinator: Bobby Jay
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Emilio Martinez, RB, 710 yards
Passing: Reid Sinnett, QB, 34 yards
Receiving: Michael Bandy, WR, 1,698 yards
Tackles: Kama Kamaka, LB, 69
Sacks: Jacob Bergstrom, DL, 6.5
Interceptions: 6 tied with 1
Other Key Returnees: RB Terrence Smith, WR Michael Armstead, TE Dalton Kincaid, OL Aidan Valencia, LB Jack Michael, CB David Tolbert, DL Jake Wittwer, P Tanner Kuljian
Key Losses: QB Anthony Lawrence, WR Christian Brooks, OL Dan Cooney, LB Kim Mahoney, DB Arrion Archie, DL Connor Spencer, DL Jake Wittwer
Quarterback Anthony Lawrence has started the last 47 games for the Toreros. During his senior season he threw for 4,107 yards and 39 touchdowns. Replacing Lawrence will be impossible, but redshirt senior Reid Sinnett will give it a try. He has spent the last three years backing up Lawrence. The return of a handful of talented receivers, most notably Michael Bandy who caught 88 passes for 1,698 yards and 14 touchdowns, will help ease the transition. Tight end Dalton Kincaid had a great freshman campaign with 11 of his 24 catches going for touchdowns. Top running backs Emilio Martinez and Terrence Smith are back, but they will be working behind an offensive line that lost four starters, including All-American Dan Cooney. Aidan Valencia, who will be moving to left tackle, is a nice piece to build around, but the line needs to come together quickly.
The line on the other side of the ball could be an issue as well. Both starting tackles are gone and it will take a handful of players to replace their production. Kama Kamaka is back to lead the linebackers after tallying a team high 69 tackles. Replacing three-year starter Kim Mahoney, who tallied 66 tackles as a senior, will be tough. Nevada transfer Daq Irby may prove to be the best option. San Diego is going to give up quite a few points, but that has not been a problem in year’s past.
The Bottom Line:
San Diego is the clear favorite to win the Pioneer League, but the other teams in the conference will have some hope heading into the 2019 campaign. The Toreros are not used to be tested in conference play, but they do have three potentially very difficult road games against Davidson, Dayton and Stetson. San Diego still may reach the playoffs, but their perfect conference record will be on the line in 2019.
Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs
2018 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 121.4 (95th in nation, 7th in conference)
Passing Offense: 349.2 (2, 1)
Total Offense: 470.6 (16, 3)
Scoring Offense: 37.8 (10, 2)
Rushing Defense: 210.8 (97, 6)
Pass Defense: 250.3 (104, 9)
Total Defense: 461.0 (106, 9)
Scoring Defense: 29.2 (70, 4)
Turnover Margin: 0.33 (33, 3)
Sacks: 2.00 (63, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 0.67 (4, 2)