The 24 ranked San Diego State Aztecs go to Laramie, Wyoming to face off against the Wyoming Cowboys in what could be part one of the Mountain West Championship Game.
The Aztecs are cruising through the conference schedule while they wait to see who they match up against from the Mountain division in the championship game. They soundly beat Nevada last week 46-16 with a potent run game that no one in the conference could stop.
Meanwhile the Cowboys are home on the range and licking their wounds coming off a incredible loss against UNLV. They know that this home game against the Aztecs is their last shot at a spot in the championship game.
Keys to Victory
Earlier this season when San Diego State finally entered the top 25, they were immediately upset by South Alabama. Call it coming down from a high or overlooking their opponent, but what remains is the sting of entering the loss column and losing a number in front of their school. San Diego State knows the Cowboys are looking for some payback and they are talented. There is a reason why the Cowboys upset Boise State and how they can put basketball numbers on UNLV. Everyone on the Aztecs roster must stay focused to pull this victory out.
Last year, the Aztec defense held home turf and only allowed a field goal in the game. This year Wyoming RB Brian Hill looks to be a big threat to the defense. Hill’s 1,417 rushing yards is 3rd in FBS and with mobile QB Josh Allen, this could be a long day for the defense. However, the outlook favors the Aztec defense if they continue to shut down opponents running game. The Aztecs have not given up 100+ rushing yards since opening MW play against UNLV, and only other time the Aztecs gave up 100+ yards was against Northern Illinois. Note that SDSU is 2nd in FBS in rush defense, giving up 86.4 yards per game, so it will come down to who stops Hill and Allen.
Running the ball
Last week, Rashaad Penny out gained Donnel Pumphrey, 208 to 198. The entire team rushed for 474 yards. Pumphrey broke 6,000 yards in his collegiate career. There’s absolutely no way this Wyoming defense bottles up the running backs. The Wyoming defense averages giving up 164.7 yards per game. Pumphrey is on his way to being the all-time leading rusher in NCAA, and look for Pumphrey to tack on 150 yards on Saturday.
Wyoming will strike first and keep an early 7-0 lead through the first quarter. Pumphrey and friends will shift gears and put up two score before the half. SDSU’s defense will bend a bit because of Allen, but after the half they will toughen up and turnovers will stop Wyoming from getting started. San Diego State cruises again and crushes Wyoming’s dreams.
San Diego State 35, Wyoming 14.