Aztecs At Stanford: Game Prediction and Preview
The Cardinal and Aztecs play game two of a home-and-home match at Stanford. The Aztecs won last year’s game in a heated battle.
Date: Friday, August 31
Game Time: 6:00pm PST 9:00 pm EST
Venue: Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, CA
Stanford (0-0) vs. SDSU (0-0) Preview
Stanford faced off against the Aztecs last season. SDSU played “lights out” and won 20-17.
The Cardinal starts this season ranked #13, while the Aztecs, who delivered three straight ten-win seasons, will again have to prove they are worthy of a ranking better than #41.
Even Stanford coach David Shaw expressed disbelief in the Aztecs’ current ranking.
The Cardinal face USC, Oregon and Notre Dame in September. Lose again to the Aztecs, and they could start the season off balance.
Conversely, if the Aztecs win, they could be on track for a very big season, and a 4-0 record against the Pac-12.
Why Stanford Will Win
Stanford has a potential NCAA top-five offense this year including a strong passing game; arguably the nation’s top running back, and a strong offensive line.
Bryce Love managed a pretty good game last year against the Aztecs. Love will be on the Aztecs’ minds and will be covered thoroughly. He will likely be used as a decoy as much as he runs the ball. Also, expect to see him catching passes. He is healthy, so watch out.
The Cardinal passing game will be formidable. Quarterback Keller Chryst played poorly against the Aztecs last year completing 9-of-20 passes for 72 yards and was picked twice. Did the fallout from his performance lead to his Tennessee exodus?
Quarterback K.J. Costello is healthy, and he is expected to take very good care of the ball this time. We may see a minor air assault, and the Aztecs secondary must be ready.
Why San Diego State Will Win
Rocky Long’s Aztecs are a defensive powerhouse. This will be disruptive to Stanford’s offense.
The Aztecs offense is solid, and this year Stanford’s defense is arguably the worst / least experienced it has been for well over a decade. So, the Aztecs will have to be careful to disallow Stanford’s offense play time.
Juwan Washington is a formidable running back with speed and great vision. He will be supported by a veteran offensive line.
Quarterback Christian Chapman is back as the underrated veteran field general who very rarely turns over the ball. While the Aztecs run the ball, Chapman is a strong passer and will run for the chains.
The SDSU defensive line is a force to be reckoned with. The defense gave up just 132 rushing yards per game last season. They are among the nation’s best. The Aztecs special teams are also formidable. Kicker John Baron II is a Lou Groza finalist.
What Will Happen
The unanimous prediction has been that David Shaw’s Cardinal will defeat the Aztecs. This is the safe declaration that everybody predicts.
Nonetheless, Stanford has major challenges with a surprisingly soft defense.
This will be a fierce battle, but Rocky Long’s Aztecs offense should be stronger than Stanford’s defense. Conversely, while Stanford’s offense is one of the nation’s best- San Diego State defense is also one of the nation’s best.
A contrarian prediction: the season opener will be a higher scoring game than last year’s 20-17 match, and the Aztecs will manage a 24-20 upset.
Game Prediction & Line
Stanford 20, San Diego State 24
Line: Stanford -14.5, o/u: 49.5