San Diego State has a new starting quarterback – and a new wide receiver – as the Aztecs prepare to face Nevada on the road Saturday.
The team has decided to turn to Jalen Mayden after his standout debut Oct. 8 in a 16-14 win over Hawaii, just two weeks after playing 65 snaps at safety when SDSU played Toledo.
That means Braxton Burmeister becomes Mayden’s backup while shifting to wide receiver to get playing time.
The Aztecs’ (3-3, 1-1 in the Mountain West) offense has proven ineffective with the La Jolla Country Day alum at the helm, and he’s been injury-prone, having given way to Mayden while he dealt with concussion protocols. In his QB bow, Mayden ended up with 322 yards on 24-for-36 passing, in one game generating just six fewer yards than SDSU had tallied all year.
Head coach Brady Hoke said of Mayden, “One thing about Jalen, what he does in the pocket, he’s very composed. I think you can see that at times the pocket is coming down, but he’s really composed and gets the ball out quick.”
He noted though, that both Mayden and Burmeister will continue to have a role at quarterback.
“But look, he’s not done playing quarterback either,” Hoke said. “Remember what I said, there’ll be a package for him and what he does well. There will also be a package from a wide receiver standpoint.”
SDSU, coming off a bye week, heads to Reno to take on a reeling Nevada (2-5, 0-3 in the MW) team, losers of five games straight under first-year head coach Ken Wilson.
The Aztecs know they have an opportunity to re-boot for the reminder of the season. Wide receiver Tyrell Shavers said they are “nowhere close to the ceiling that we’re capable of reaching.”
“There are a lot of things going on that I feel like we just haven’t been able to come together as one yet and be able to perform and showcase our talents on the maximum, defensively as well,” the senior said.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.