San Diego State Aztecs (1-3) only win came against FCS schools Southern Utah, while New Mexico State (2-2) just beat their rival New Mexico on a drive that ended the game. Neither team is good, the Aztecs have a very good quarterback in Ryan Lindley, but the line must protect him better because he was sacked three times and threw four interceptions. Coach Brady Hoke has no plans to replace Lindley even with the poor performance against Air Force last week.
The Aztecs strength on offense is the passing game with QB Lindley and the top recevier is Vincent Brown who on the year is averaging 138 yards per game and 8.5 catches per game. Now if the running game were to show any signs of life then SDSU might actually be a competitive team, but instead their offensive line has not push and is not making any holes for whoever is playing running back. The rushing game is last in the Mountain West at 70.5 yards per game. Now that does include quarterback sacks and is 30 yards less then eigth place New Mexico.
The Aggies on the offensive side are nothing special and are only managing a snails paces 287 yards per game. New head coach DeWayne Walker from UCLA is a defensive coach, but those numbers are way less then what New Mexico State has averaged in the pace. Last year they were 80 yards better in 2008 then 2009.
Unlike in years past the rushing game is leading the way for NMSU with Seth Smith who is averaging just under 100 yards per game, while the passing game is 117th out of 120th in the country. To put that passing game into perspective of the four schools -- Georgia Tech, Army, Navy, and Air Force-- that run the option NMSU is only better then the service academies.
There is a good reason this game is not on television, neither school is able to move the ball all that well. Both teams have bad defenses so it is not out of the question for the offenses to look adequate. The Aztecs actually have some big play ability with the passing game, but that will only work if the Aztec line can protect Lindley and give him some time to pass the ball.
The home team gets the edge, and I am foolishly putting faith in the Aztec passing game to lead them to victory -- how many times will I get burned before I learn my lesson. San Diego State is my pick, but not confident in that decision.