SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS (3-0) vs TOWSON TIGERS (1-2)
WHEN: Saturday, September 25th. Kick off at 12:30pm PT
WHERE: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA
LISTEN: XTRA 1360 SD Sports Radio or 101.5 KGB
HEAD TO HEAD: The Aztecs and Tigers will be meeting for the first time and are set to play again at the temporary home stadium for SDSU football at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.
Towson had its 2020 season canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic; they were 7-5 in its most recent campaign in 2019 and now look to stop SDSU’s momentum and pull off an upset, bringing their record back to .500 (2-2).
SDSU will be looking to go 4-0 as the heavy favorites in this one. If the Aztecs win they will have just their second 4-0 start in 40 seasons. A win will also continue their 13-game non-conference win streak and really set the tone coming into conference play.
The Mountain West has really been an exciting conference to watch so far. You love to see it.
KEY TO VICTORY FOR SDSU
The Aztecs are heavily favored but shouldn’t take this game lightly. Starting 4-0 would be huge going into conference play. Bottom line, the Aztecs just need to keep running the ball. They have rushed for over 200 yards in each of their three games to start the season, thanks to Senior running backs Greg Bell and Jordan Byrd.
Bell will certainly get the bulk of the carries as Byrd is the usual return specialist, but both guys are known for big plays and will definitely find success against Towson who allows 176 yards on the ground per game.
SDSU Head Coach Brady Hoke will either start Jordon Brookshire (foot) or Lucas Johnson behind center. Both quarterbacks have similar playing styles; both can run and both don’t pass often. Brookshire has thrown for 259 yards on the season (2 games) while Johnson has completed only 10 passes for 44 yards (1 game). Whichever QB chosen, you could expect the same outcome.
It’s likely Lucas Johnson who will be the signal caller on Saturday, and if he is, he will have to be efficient in the few passes he will throw (maybe a few downfield) and feed Greg Bell. The key to victory for the Aztecs will be overwhelming Towson with the run game.
KEY TO VICTORY FOR TOWSON
Towson will need to find their way in the endzone more than a couple times in order to keep up with SDSU. The Tigers average about 17 points per game and will have to do better than that, if possible. The Aztec run defense is leading the Mountain West, allowing just 57 yards per game, which the Tigers will have to overcome as well.
In order for an upset, Towson will have to get tricky and find ways to make big plays and big stops. Towson Quarterback Chris Ferguson threw for 269 yards and 2 touchdowns in his first game of his Senior year campaign, but has not got back to that rhythm since. If he can find holes in the Aztec secondary and his offensive line can give hime time to throw, the Tigers will have a chance.
Ultimately, the Tigers are hoping to be overlooked and catch the Aztec defense off balance. They need to come out firing and someone QB Chris Ferguson can look for is Senior Wideout Darian Street. In three games he has 8 receptions on 144 yards and a touchdown; Ferguson will look to Street to make some big plays in this one, which will the key to victory for Towson.
I see the Aztecs producing at least 200 yards in this one, and as of right now, they are 50-2 in their last 52 games when rushing for over 200 yards. They’ve done it in 3 games so far, why not 4 against the lightest opponent for the Aztecs this season.
If Towson can make some big plays through the air, they have a chance to hang on. A few takeaways would help, though the Aztecs haven’t made many mistakes on offense this year.
Goal for the Towson Tigers is to keep up and capitalize on mistakes. Goal for SDSU, keep doing their thing but don’t take any opponent lightly.
SCORE: SDSU 35, Towson 17