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

How does the Aztecs come away with victory against the Spartans?

NCAA Football: San Diego State at Fresno State Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego State Aztecs (5-1, 2-0 MW) hosts the San Jose State Spartans (2-5, 1-2 MW) on Friday in another match up of upper echelon, and burning garbage. San Jose State is coming off a victory against a bad Nevada team and have the daunting task of trying to defend Heisman-candidate Donnel Pumphrey.

The Aztecs are heavily favored in this contest, and it’s possible Pumphrey plays 1-on-11, but in all seriousness these are the Aztecs keys to victory in Friday night’s contest.

Keys to Victory

Receivers, need to get open.

San Jose State will undoubtedly stack the box against Pumphrey. Christian Chapman will have to use play action to keep the Spartans honest, but the last few games the Aztecs receivers have not created separation. Pumphrey will get his touches regardless, but easy scores and big gains can come off big plays in man coverage. It’s up to Mikah Holder to step up and get his targets, that’s if he suits up in time.

Give Them The Heisman

Pumphrey will see his touches, and depending on the previous key we can expect 25+ touches. San Jose State has trouble stopping the running game and it just seems unfair to go up against a potential Heisman candidate. In conference play, San Jose State has given up an average of 234 rushing yards per game. This just seems ripe for Pumphrey to continue to pad his stats and climb the ladder of the NCAA All-Time Rushing list.

Defense to shut down Deontae Cooper and Malik Roberson

The Cooper and Roberson are the Spartans’ 1-2 punch in the backfield. Cooper leads the two in yards from scrimmage and touchdowns (424 yards, 3 TDs) while Roberson is coming off a career day against Nevada (35 attempts for 139 yards). The Spartans will try their best to control the clock with these two in the backfield and keep the Aztec offense off the field. Good luck. Despite missing Na’im McGee and Randy Ricks, San Diego State still looks solid with Trey Lomax and Ronley Lakalaka stepping up for the 3-3-5.


I really don’t see the Aztecs losing this. They might lose the first quarter 0-7, worst case scenario. The Spartans defense will not stop Pumphrey, so expect a 190+ yards with 2 touchdowns. The Aztecs might struggle with the pass, especially if Holder ends up not suited. San Diego State 31, San Jose State 7.