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San Diego State vs. Fresno State: Keys to an Aztec Victory

Aztecs against the Bulldogs? Keep it Simple, Stupid.

NCAA Football: UNLV at San Diego State Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Last we left the West-division leading San Diego State Aztecs, they started their 2016 conference schedule by running over the UNLV Rebels 26-7. To no one’s surprise Donnel Pumphrey and the trail of running backs behind him were key to get the Aztecs back on track for the conference play. On Friday, The Aztecs resume their rivalry against Fresno State for the oil can. Here are the keys for an Aztec victory.

Stick To The Running Game

Through the first two games of conference play Fresno State has given up over 200 rushing yards per game, so San Diego State must be licking their chops at the thought of open pastures against the Fresno State defense. Last week Pumphrey rushed for 141 yards and 1 touchdown on 31 attempts against an aggressive defensive front led by Tau Lotulelei. The running game has always been the breadwinner, and the with a susceptible Fresno State defense they won’t stop Friday.

Stout Defense

There’s no question that the San Diego State can shut teams down. UNLV didn’t complete a pass until the second half and ended with 122 yards of total offense. Though Na’im McGee is officially ruled out for the season, it’s important to see who can step up in Rocky Long’s defense. For this game McGee absence won’t be vital to shutting down the Bulldogs offense.

Let the Supporting Cast Shine Some

Pumphrey is the obvious workhorse for San Diego State as well as dark horse Heisman-trophy candidate. However, getting Rashaad Penny more involved would be key. Penny scored a receiving touchdown last week, tying Micah Holder with 3 receiving touchdowns for the team lead. I’ve been saying this for a year now, Penny’s big play ability on offense and special teams are huge for San Diego State.


Easy win for SDSU because the Bulldogs are garbage with their only win this season coming off of FCS Sacramento State. This seems like cut and paste from last week’s keys to victory, shoot even last year’s keys to victory. San Diego State 41, Fresno State 10.