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No. 21 Aztecs Host Fresno State On Saturday In The Annual Battle For The Oil Can

#21 SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS (7-0, 3-0) vs FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS (6-2, 3-1)

WHEN: Saturday, October 30th. Kick off is 7:30 pm PT.

WHERE: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA.

HOW TO WATCH: CBS Sports Network

HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Battle for the Oil Can started in the 1930’s when an oil can from the city of Fresno was found at the San Diego State campus.

According to Jacquelyn Glasener and Jim Herrick of the Fresno State Alumni Association, cars back then needed extra oil to go long distances, and since fans from Fresno would drive the long stretch on highway 99 to San Diego to watch the game, they would bring an extra oil in a can for their cars just in case.

Once the 2011 season started, the two teams started playing for the Oil Can Trophy. From their first meeting until now, the Aztecs have the better record against the Bulldogs at 30-25-4.

Being the 60th meeting between the two teams, it has been rather even. SDSU beat the Bulldogs 17-7 in their last meeting on November 15th, 2019, and have won just 4 of the last 10 meetings.

The San Diego State Aztecs are looking to stay undefeated and start the season 8-0 for just the second time in program history. The only other time the Aztecs started 8-0, (year) they didn’t lose a single game.

Fresno State is coming off a huge conference win against the Nevada Wolf Pack. With some momentum on their visit to SDSU, they will be looking to end the Aztecs undefeated season and prove they are the team to beat in the Mountain West.

KEYS TO VICTORY FOR SDSU

The Aztecs will continue their game plan of running the ball any chance they get. With such a strong running back core in Greg Bell, return man Jordan Byrd, Kaegun Williams and Chance Bell, it is hard to stop the run game.

San Diego State is the second ranked offense for rushing with over 200 yards per game (207) but is also the second worst at passing with only 121 yards per game. Getting the run game going early and finding the endzone will be the key to victory for the Aztecs.

SDSU has the number one defense in the conference, allowing just 279.4 yards total per game. The Aztecs are a top rushing defense in the country (ranked 4th) allowing 79.6 yards per game.

Coming off a win against Air Force, a run heavy team, the Aztecs will have to change the game plan because of the successful passing offense in Fresno State.

The only issue with being such a good rushing defense, the passing defense and secondary may not be as good. The Aztecs have the second most interceptions (9) in the conference, but most touchdowns scored against SDSU are passing touchdowns.

Fresno QB Jake Haener has thrown for 2,582 yards and 22 TD’s, which is three times the amount all three SDSU quarterbacks have put together in 7 games.

Fresno State will be looking to throw the ball a lot considering the tough rushing defense from the Aztecs. If SDSU can cover well in the secondary and stop Haener from having a good game, the Aztecs will stay undefeated and continue their historical season.

KEYS TO VICTORY FOR FRESNO STATE

Fresno State wins games when Jake Haener plays well. Haener has thrown for 250+ yards in all but one game this year and has been the leader of the team when it comes to scoring with 22 passing touchdowns on the year which is tied for 6th in the nation.

If Haener can find ways to exploit the Aztec secondary, the Bulldogs will take the win and end SDSU’s perfect season.

With SDSU having a strong defense overall, it will be crucial for Fresno State to score as much as possible, preferably in each quarter, keeping up with the Aztecs.

Fresno is the 2nd ranked offense in scoring with 36 total touchdowns and 35.6 points per game. SDSU is right behind them (ranked 3rd) with 27 total touchdowns and 31 points per game.

After beating then #13 UCLA earlier in the year, the Bulldogs reached a ranking of #18. To be back at that point they will have to be at their best on offense. On the other side of the ball, Fresno State is ranked 5th and has allowed the third fewest rushing yards in the conference.

If they can hold the run and capitalize on offense, the Bulldogs will walk away with their 7th win of the year.

PREDICTION

The SDSU Aztecs are looking to stay undefeated, beating another tough conference team in Fresno State. They are 52-2 in their last 54 games when rushing over 200 yards, which they average 207.

No. 21 Aztecs Host Fresno State Aztecs will rush for 200 yards and find the endzone a few times on their way to their best start in program history since 1970.

The Bulldogs have a few good wins on their resume. They know how to win. Their offense will be the biggest question in this matchup. Fresno State will have to at least put up their averages and stop the gritty Aztec run game. Ranked as the number one offense overall in the Mountain West, they will have to prove it to beat SDSU.

SCORE:

SDSU 30, FRESNO STATE 28