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San Diego State vs. Penn State preview: Can the Aztecs rebound on the road?

San Diego State heads East to take on Penn State. What are the expectations for the Aztecs after their loss to South Alabama.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego State makes its way to Big Ten country to face off with the Nittany Lions of Penn State. The Aztecs coming off a stunning defeat at home to South Alabama, now has to regroup and play in hostile, but friendly Happy Valley.

San Diego State struggled mightily on defense, giving up over 500 yards of total offense to a struggling South Alabama squad.  The most alarming stat from the loss was the Aztecs allowing 241 rushing yards. Now San Diego State must try to find a way to slow down a rushing attack that looks to be hitting its stride.

Penn State comes in on the year at 2-1, losing its opener to Temple.  They've won their last two contest vs Buffalo and Rutgers respectively.  Since Penn State's opening week loss to Temple, the offense has been picking up steam, particularly in the rushing end.

In the last two games the Nittany Lions new two-headed monster of Akeel Lynch and true freshman Saquon Barkley who by the way was not even on the depth chart, has made their presence felt.  Over the last two games they have combined for 476 yards on the ground, and produced four touchdowns.

San Diego State will look to confuse the Penn State offense with their defensive front, and also look for the Aztecs to mirror what Temple did week one, and that is presure, presure, presure.  Temple sacked quarterback Christian Hackenberg 10 times! The Owls pressured, hit, sacked, and frustrated the quarterback for the last three quarters.

Hackenberg has been looking like an average quarterback to start the 2015 campaign. He's averaging 124 passing yards a game, has one touchdown pass, and has thrown three interceptions.

San Diego State in order to have a chance against Penn State must find a way to get the running game going, and the offense in general.

Mountain West Conference preseason aa-first team running back Donnel Pumphrey, and arguably one of the top, if not the best back in the league needs to find a way to get going.  He holds the key to the offense, and the Aztecs go as far as Pumphrey goes.


It's going to be a really tough game, and a long afternoon, if San Diego State can't sustain drives, and get the running game going.  As with every game, Donnel Pumphrey will be the key to the game.  The game will be close at halftime, but Penn State will pull away in the second half.

Penn State 37 San Diego 17