The 2018 SDSU football season get under way in big time fashion today as the Aztecs the on #13 ranked Stanford on the road. This game is every bit as important as it seems to the Aztec’s hopes of making this a season of national recognition, and while they can’t count on the power going out at the stadium at a key time this game should look a lot like last season’s 20 - 17 SDSU victory.
What to look for in Stanford:
The lowest common denominator is Bryce Love, the offensive dynamo of a tailback who defenses more contain than stop. Love is the kind of talent that will always require a defense’s attention so he opens up the passing game for some action and this will mean a heady workload of single coverage for Tariq Thompson and the SDSU secondary. Up front the battle will be between Noble hall and the Stanford line to see if he can force Love to run on the perimeter where the speed of the Aztec linebackers can come in to play. On the defensive side Stanford has a tremendous secondary that will make it hard for Christian Chapman to connect on a ton of deep balls. Their major question of defense is their toughness up front, they were hit hard by graduation after last season and are starting almost an entirely new defensive front seven who have raised a lot of questions about their ability to physically dominate the line, which should give SDSU fans excitement about the possibility to run the ball.
What to look for in the Aztecs:
If everything goes according to plan (which I know is a dangerous statement) there should be little to no change or drop off from last year’s style of football and level of production. Juwan Washington is talented and we are finally going to see if he can fill in the roll of full time back as well as he has been projected to. What should give Aztec fans confidence in that happening is the offensive line and how well they have progressed in the last calendar year. Last season there were questions and inconsistencies on a young line but after a year of experience they are healthy and organized and should have a great opportunity to dominate the line of scrimmage against Stanford, look for the name Dominic Guidino to become a fan favorite after seeing the holes he will open up for Washington. On the defensive side there is no doubt that Tariq Thompson will be tasked with single handedly shutting down the deep passing threat so that the rest of the defense can get up front and try to slow down Bryce Love. The linebackers will have a huge test in this one to see if they are at all improved from last season.
This one will end up getting a little wild and the score will get high but stay close the entire game and will come down to the last team with the ball will win. Weather or not you want to call SDSU winning an upset is up to you but I will say 31 - 28 Aztecs to open up the season.