According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the San Diego State Aztecs have a 66% chance of beating the Wyoming Cowboys this Saturday afternoon in the Mountain West Championship Game.
Here is a comparison by position groups that reveal which team has the edge for the final showdown.
Aztecs: Christian Chapman has had a successful year throwing for 1,781 yards, which includes 19 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. Despite these numbers, Chapman has only thrown for more than 200 yards in three games all season. Although, Chapman’s true potential possibly hasn’t shown because the Aztecs’s have relied on the success in running the football.
Wyoming (Advantage) : Josh Allen has also had an excellent year for the Cowboys. He has thrown for 2,748 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. Through 12 games, the Cowboys have throw for 229 yards/game in comparison to 150 yards/game for the Aztecs. Allen threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns against the Aztecs when they defeated them 34-33 at home on Nov. 19th.
Aztecs: One of the main targets all season long for San Diego State has been Mikah Holder. The junior WR has 24 receptions for 513 yards and five touchdowns this season. His season high came during the Aztecs home opener against the University of New Hampshire when he had four receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
Wyoming (Advantage): Meanwhile, Cowboys’ WR Tanner Gentry has had a dominant all around season. The senior WR has accumulated 62 receptions for 1,132 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has six games with more than 100 receiving yards this season, but he was limited to 4 catches for 58 yards against the Aztecs during their last meeting.
RB: This is a toss up (especially with Pumphrey’s recent struggles), but the second ranked rushing yards leader in the nation give the edge to the Aztecs.
Aztecs (Advantage): All season long, the Aztecs have relied on an undersized beast named Donnel Pumphrey. Overall, he has rushed for 1,908 yards and 15 touchdowns through 12 games. Pumphrey currently sits third (6,180) among NCAA FBS career rushing yards leaders, and he needs 99 rushing yards to pass Ricky Williams (6,279) and 217 yards to surpass Ron Dayne (6,397) for the number one spot. However, Pumphrey has been quiet the pass two games against Wyoming (76 yards) and last week against Colorado State (53 yards).
Wyoming: As well, junior running-back Brian Hill has had a great year for the Cowboys. He has ran for 1,674 yards on 307 attempts, has 21 touchdowns, and has ran for at least 100 yards in nine games. Hill had a solid performance against the Aztecs two weeks ago when he ran for 131 yards on 31 carries.
Aztecs (Advantage): Despite coming off one of their worst performances last week against the Colorado State Rams, the Aztecs have been solid defensively all year long. The Aztecs only allow a little over 20 points/game and concede 318 total yards per contest. As well, the Aztecs have had two shutouts this season and two games when they allowed only a field goal. Overall, the Aztecs are ranked #12 in the nation for total defense.
Wyoming: The Cowboys defense also had a poor performance last week during the Cowboys’ 56-35 loss to the University of New Mexico. Specifically, they gave up a whopping 568 rushing yards, eight touchdowns, and nearly 700 total yards. The Cowboys will need to try to slow down the dominant duo of Donnel Pumphrey and Rashaad Penny. As a result, the Cowboys give up about 200 rushing yards/game and will need to contain the Aztecs’ running game if they want a chance to win the MWC.