The New Mexico Lobos and San Diego State Aztecs wrap up their regular seasons on Black Friday. This is the end of the road for New Mexico, as they will not be playing in a game following today. The best they can do is a record of 4-8 with a win today. That of course is not enough to reach a bowl game, so in essence, this is their bowl game. Meanwhile, San Diego State can bolster their portfolio for a decent bowl invite. Despite having a record of 9-2 at the moment, the Aztecs will not be playing in the Mountain West Championship. Boise State and Fresno State will battle it out for the conference championship. That has to sting some for San Diego State, but they lost to both of them earlier in the season. Their best win game early in the year against Stanford, a 20-17 win.
We had New Mexico last week against UNLV and lost in discouraging fashion. New Mexico took the lead late on a Lamar Jordan scamper from 41 yards out with less than 2 minutes remaining. The New Mexico pass defense couldn’t hold up, though, as UNLV marched down the field in around a minute to snatch the lead right back. That’s what can happen with a bad pass defense, and it’s been hurting New Mexico all year long. On senior night, it found a way to rear its ugly head and prevent Lamar Jordan from going out in his last home game as a winner. Not just a winner, but scoring the winning touchdown, which was ultimately wiped out.
Losing like that can be a gutting feeling for a team, especially against a beatable squad like the UNLV Rebels. UNLV kept their bowl hopes alive, as they must beat Nevada this week to get to 6 wins on the year. Conversely, New Mexico aren’t playing for anything in this one but pride. While it’s been a frustrating year for New Mexico, they could close out the year with a big upset against the Aztecs. San Diego State took care of Nevada with ease this past Saturday night, 42-23. The Aztecs gave up a couple of deep plays to Nevada, but other than that, the Wolf Pack were shut down. They certainly won’t have to worry about deep bombs from New Mexico, as they operate out of the triple-option. Get our free New Mexico vs. San Diego State pick below.
New Mexico Lobos vs. San Diego State Aztecs Betting Odds:
New Mexico +20(-110)
vs. San Diego State -20(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
New Mexico vs. San Diego State Pick:
Rashaad Penny is the best player in the country that no one is talking about. He put on a performance for the ages against Nevada, as he compiled 429 all-purpose yards. It broke a San Diego State record, and should have been the cherry on top to have him as a finalist for the Doak Walker Award. Despite being the leading rusher in the nation, he was not selected as a finalist. He has 1,824 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. That should have been more than enough, but playing the Mountain West undoubtedly was the only reason for keeping him out of the Doak Walker picture. There are plenty of people who believe he should have a seat at the Heisman ceremony, never mind just the Doak Walker Award.
Penny will have a couple more games to show why he’s the best in the country. He will look to parlay his success at San Diego State into a career in the NFL. The Aztecs are averaging 251 rushing yards per game, 14th in the country. They don’t air it out often, but Christian Chapman has thrown 11 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. If they asked him to become more of a part of the offense, I don’t think it’d be much of a problem for him. He’s only thrown 1 interception since the opening week. The Lobos are 96th in the FBS against the pass. We can assume that Penny will do damage on the ground. There should be opportunities for Chapman all game downfield.
The Lobos are averaging just 21.6 points per game for 112th in the nation. Their triple-option hasn’t looked so good this year. They’ve picked up yardage against bad defenses, but against the good ones it’s been tough. They have been outgained in four of their last six games. Against a comparable opponent, New Mexico lost 38-0 to Fresno State. Wyoming also blasted them for a 42-3 final.
San Diego State are allowing just 113 yards per game against the run, 11th in the country. New Mexico rarely opens it up deep, which is what hindered them slightly against Nevada last week. Over a month ago, there were rumors surrounding player mistreatment under head coach Bob Davie. If players are complaining about Davie, it’d make sense given the lack of effort from them on the field this year. If the Aztecs did any form of homework on the New Mexico triple-option, they should be fine in this game. After the up and down emotions of thinking they won, and then losing last week on senior night, may have took the last remaining bit of motivation out of their tank. Penny should be motivated to put together another standout performance after getting shunned. San Diego State will get the cover if they come to play on Friday.