San Diego State Aztecs (2-2, 1-0 Mountain West) at Fresno State Bulldogs (2-3, 1-0 Mountain West)
Time: 7 p.m. Pacific Time, 10 p.m. Eastern Time
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: SDSU broadcast is on The Max 105.7 FM and The Mighty 1090 AM.
Fresno State broadcast is on ESPN Fresno 940 AM.
Odds: Bulldogs are favored by 3 points.
Game previews: Aztecs clash with divisional rival Bulldogs / Q&A with The Collegian about Fresno State football / Fresno State football: 3 Key to Defending the Oil Can
Keys to the game:
SDSU: Run first and then some more
SDSU will be led by true freshman quarterback Nick Bawden without the services of injured quarterback Quinn Kaehler. The freshman has a stronger arm and better legs than Kaehler, but he definitely lacks the experience needed to feel comfortable in a game like tonight's. Therefore, the Aztecs will lean heavily on running backs Donnel Pumphrey and Chase Price against a Bulldog defense that allows 232.4 rushing yards per game. SDSU's ground game will set up the offense and ease Bawden into the flow of the game. Eventually, Pumphrey and Price will open up a few deep play-action pass opportunities for the young quarterback.
Fresno State: Jump ahead early
This game could belong to the Bulldogs if quarterback Brian Burrell keeps the momentum from his three-touchdown performance against New Mexico and attacks the country's 94th-ranked secondary early and often. If the Aztecs fall behind early, SDSU offensive coordinator Bob Toledo would be forced to rely on the passing game, and that would be a lot of pressure to put on a true freshman quarterback making his first NCAA start. These two teams are equal on paper in almost every category, but an early two-touchdown lead for the Bulldogs could spell SDSU's doom.