#25 SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS (4-0) vs NEW MEXICO LOBOS (2-3, 0-1)
When: Saturday, October 9th. Kick off is at 6pm PT
Where: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA
How to Watch: FS1 (Fox Sports)
Head-to-Head: The last time these two teams faced was on Nov. 3rd, 2018, as the Aztecs won 31-23. SDSU has won the last 7 meetings in a row dating back to 2009.
With their second 4-0 start in 40 seasons, the Aztecs are ready to send a message and force their way to a record-breaking season.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, SDSU has a 96.1% chance of beating the Lobos of New Mexico. Starting the season 5-0 (first time since 2017) and 1-0 to start conference play, the Aztecs will certainly be set up for success the remainder of the season with a win.
KEY TO VICTORY FOR SDSU
The Aztecs have 4 solid running backs, all seniors. Greg Bell, Jordan Byrd, Kaegun Williams and Chance Bell. Each back has potential for a big game. Especially Greg Bell, who has rushed for over 100 yards in 3 of his last 4 games.
Byrd, who is a usual big play threat is also the punt and kick off return man. He has already returned a kick to the house and has plenty of upside potential for big gains every time he is given the ball.
I expect Greg Bell and Jordan Byrd to have great games in this one, but with the some-what lopsided level of competition, expect Williams and C. Bell to get some touches, especially if a lead is established early.
The Aztecs are 51-2 in their last 53 games when rushing for 200 yards. They have rushed for more than 200 yards in each game so farthis season, so the key to victory for the Aztecs is to rush for another 200 and keep the winning streak alive.
Defense will also be key for the Aztecs, especially the run defense. They have allowed an average of 46 yards per game on the ground. But, the Lobos love to pass, so the Aztec secondary will need to step up. SDSU is no stranger to the interception as they have 6 on the year, but slowing down the Lobos’ pass game and forcing mistakes will certainly give the offense motivation to score.
KEY TO VICTORY FOR NEW MEXICO
New Mexico QB Terry Wilson has thrown for 931 yards and 7 touchdowns this season and I look for him to have a big game, which he’ll need in order to out score the Aztecs. SDSU has allowed an average of 243.8 yards per game through the air compared to 46 yards per game on the ground. If New Mexico can find holes in the Aztec secondary, they’ll have a chance in this one.
Key for a New Mexico win will be the big play. Execution will have to be at an all time high, offensively and defensively.
The Lobos have allowed 143 yards per game on the ground and 206 yards per game through the air, so they’ll will need to find ways to make big stops, especially in the second half. The Aztecs have outsourced their opponent 63-0 in the third quarter.
New Mexico has lost their last 3 games in a row after starting the season 2-0. They were outscored by their opponent 92-23 during the losing streak, including a 34-0 loss to #7 Texas A&M and losing last week to conference foe Air Force, 38-10.
The Lobos will be looking to flip the script and get even on Saturday at Dignity Health Sports Park.
For the Lobos, a couple of big plays on offense and a strong showing on defense will be essential in keeping up with the undefeated Aztecs. Finding a way to stop the run game will force SDSU to pass, which they don’t do often. Capitalizing on mistakes will also be key in a win for the Lobos.
Depending on who starts at quarterback for the Aztecs, whether it be Jordon Brookshire or Lucas Johnson, you can expect the same kind of outcome. Both QB’s combine for 42 completions on 77 attempts, 452 yards and 4 touchdowns. They can both scramble and make efficient throws, so the Lobos will have their work cut out for them.
I see the Aztecs rushing for 200 yards for the 5th consecutive time this season, starting conference play 1-0 and continuing their undefeated season (5-0).
SDSU 28, NEW MEXICO 14