One of the things which can make the San Diego offense so dangerous is how well Quinn Kaehler distributes the ball. Over the course of this season nine Aztecs have gathered in more than ten receptions. Among those are both main running backs Adam Muema and Donnel Pumphrey. Seven San Diego players have at least one touchdown reception and five have multiple.
The distribution is impressive on paper and dangerous on the field. But among all those targets two stand out.
Junior Ezell Ruffin leads the team in receptions and yards while Senior Colin Lockett leads all Aztec receivers in touchdowns. Together the two receivers account hauled in 45% of all receptions, 56% of passing yards, and 47% of touchdown passes. It's not as if you can ignore the other seven players who make up about half of the passing game but locking down Ruffin and Lockett may go a long way towards shutting down the San Diego State University offense.
Ruffin had a modest but promising sophomore campaign, breaking San Diego Chargers receiver Vince Brown's school record for yards per catch. This year he has blossomed into one of the more potent receivers in the Mountain West conference during his junior season. He's come a long way since competing for the running back slot in 2010. The dynamic kid from Wilson High in Long Beach was quickly moved from half back to receiver as a true freshman but it took two years for him to get on the field.
Lockett also took the long road to receiver. In 2010 he played 11 games on defense and special teams, but in 2011 he was moved over to receiver and immediately was productive enough to be named to the Phil Steele All-Conference team. His production had dipped a bit since that 2011 season but as a compliment to Ruffin he can be a deadly receiver.
The Senior Lockett also adds a dynamic if seldom used running threat. He broke a 48 yard touchdown run in San Diego State University's season opening loss to Eastern Illinois. During his career has has 13 carries for 190 yards and a score with longs of 48 and 43 yards.
When Buffalo has struggled on defense it's been to teams with multiple receiving threats. With two standouts and a stable of weapons behind them Sand Diego may present Lou Tepper's unit with one of their biggest challenges of the season.
It will be up to Najja Johnson and the UB secondary to slow down the SDSU receivers long enough for Khalil Mack, Colby Way, and Adam Redden to do damage in the backfield.