San Diego State have to be kicking themselves in a big way. If it weren’t for the loss against South Alabama, who have now upset Mississippi State and the Aztecs, San Diego State would be sitting pretty with a record of 5-0. A perfect slate would have had them in the top 25, but they’ll have to settle for where they are at the moment. A loss to the putrid Fresno State Bulldogs will only compound the situation and remove them from the situation all together for the rest of the season. With a loss already on their resume, though, it’s pretty well impossible for them at this point to disrupt the top 10 rankings later in the year. It appears South Alabama plays when they want to play, with a couple of impressive wins under their belt.
The hard running Aztecs will turn their attention to the 1 win Bulldogs tonight. They have a victory over Sacramento State and that’s all she wrote. Do we even really count it as a win? Since the win, the Bulldogs have been on a four-game losing streak, with losses against Toledo, Tulsa, UNLV, and Nevada. Their closest effort came in overtime against Tulsa, a 48-41 loss.
To their credit, San Diego State has some impressive wins on the season. They haven’t beaten Alabama, Florida State, or anything but the Aztecs have picked up wins over California, and an easy win against Northern Illinois. The Cal win put them on the map nationally, well, with a few people anyway. It was enough to put them in the top 25 for a brief moment. San Diego State will look to pound their way to victory tonight against Fresno State.
This is one of those games you can’t go into it sleeping. I know San Diego State players are looking at this 1-5 team assuming it’s going to be a cakewalk game. That frame of mind can bite you if not careful. San Diego State cruised to an easy 26-7 win last week. Those are the kind of games they love to play. The Aztecs are not going to air the ball out forty times a game, or even thirty times for that matter.
They like nothing more than to run the ball with the leading rusher in the country. Donnel Pumphrey calls San Diego State home, and has led the nation in rushing yards. With 891 yards to his credit, Pumphrey is the clear leader on the ground. Fresno State will have to slow him down, it’s simple as that for the Bulldogs. Find out what I think transpires below.
San Diego State Aztecs vs. Fresno State Bulldogs NCAAF Betting Odds:
San Diego State -17(-110)
vs. Fresno State +17(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
San Diego State vs. Fresno State Pick:
This game is real easy to figure out what has to be done this evening. San Diego State will of course pound the ball with Pumphrey. This isn’t any surprise to anybody, they’re going to go with what works. However, when quarterback Christian Chapman has been called on, he’s played extremely well. Chapman has thrown 8 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. With Pumphrey running the way he is, it causes the linebackers and safeties to creep up, resulting in some opportunities downfield.
Not only can San Diego State run the football, but they are more than capable of stopping it as well. Note that the Aztecs are 9th against the run, allowing only 102 yards per game. Overall, their defense is 12th in FBS and are allowing 23.4 points per game. Subtract the Cal game and that number slips to 14.75 points per game. Fresno State doesn’t have anything near what Cal packs on offense.
In fact, the Bulldogs are scoring only 23.5 points per game, and are 95th in yards per game. This test should prove difficult for Fresno State to move the ball on. They shouldn’t be able to move on the ground, a unit which ranks 103rd in college football. Then what are they going to do? San Diego State is allowing only 211 yards per game through the air, so good luck with passing the ball. Another notable question is how are they going to stop the San Diego State ground game? Fresno State is DEAD last in FBS defending the run, 127th. Pumphrey will run at will on this defense, and might be in for his most impressive showing of the year. If San Diego State shows up with a pulse, they should win and win big.