Aztecs, Mountain West Eye Fall Start Of Football Season
The San Diego State Aztecs will play football this fall.
The Mountain West Conference has announced that its 2020 football season will get underway Oct. 24. San Diego State is planning to play an eight-game regular-season schedule.
The regular-season schedule is yet to be released, but the conference has scheduled its championship game on Dec. 19.
Mountain West has partnered with New Jersey-based Quest Diagnostics to implement COVID-19 testing protocols during the season. All athletes, coaches, trainers and on-field personnel will be required to undergo antigen testing three times per week.
The season and the ability to have fans in attendance are subject to approval from state and local public health officials.
Football coach Brady Hoke said testing for COVID-19 needs to be a top priority.
“I’m more worried that we're getting accurate testing that we can really rely on," he said. "And that it's going to be rapid testing.”
The announcement to return to the gridiron follows Thursday’s decision by the Pac-12 to return to the field Nov. 6 for a seven-game football season.
The decision by Mountain West reverses its Aug. 10 vote to postpone college football until after the fall.
Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said the decision to play football this year was carefully calculated.
“It didn't just happen in the last week, or based on anybody else’s decision," he said. "But more that, we’ve been working on this for months now.”
While there is a return to football for SDSU this fall, the Aztecs will not be playing on their home field this year.
The Aztecs will play home games at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson this season because of the construction on SDSU’s new campus and stadium in Mission Valley.
The decision to play in Carson allows the university to continue its work on the construction site adjacent to SDCCU Stadium, with the new stadium scheduled to open in fall 2022.
“I think it's a great place for us to go. We are excited about our presence in Los Angeles County,” Hoke said.
The Aztecs are coming off a 10-3 season, including a 48-11 victory over Central Michigan in the New Mexico Bowl.
SDSU was nationally ranked for a pair of weeks and recorded its fourth double-digit win season in the last five years.