San Diego State Football: Keys to an Aztec Victory against Air Force
San Diego State takes on Air Force at home Friday night.
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How San Diego State beats Air Force
San Diego State is coming off an upset victory against Boise State. They come home to host an Air Force team that blew out the Naval Academy last week by a margin of 35-7. Air Force has scored an average 31.4 points per game. This high scoring offense has flown into full patterns in San Diego losing 7 straight to San Diego State, including a loss to San Diego State at Qualcomm during the 2015 MWC championship.
Air Force plays tough and we’ll see how San Diego State responds to the adversity. San Diego State has the talent, but will talent win over brute force? Here’s how the Aztecs win on Friday night:
San Diego State went +1 in turnovers going into the half and knew they were stealing a win to the tarmac. They figured out how to confuse and frustrate Brett Rypien to force turnovers. When San Diego State rolls in conference play it’s because their defense makes plays to turn the ball over. The Aztecs must keep it going with Air Force.
Get off the field
The last team that ran the triple-option was Army during the Armed Forces Bowl and San Diego State couldn’t get off the field on defense. Army converted 13 of 18 third downs and 2 of 4 fourth downs with a time of possession of 46 minutes. The Aztecs did a pedestrian job against Air Force in 2017, allowing 31 minutes of possession. The game won’t be sexy, so it is imperative that San Diego State make the stops on third down and don’t let up on fourth down.
Move the ball
The last time these teams faced each other in the rain and thunder, San Diego State eked out a victory on the road. The run game was sloppy and it looked like the Aztecs were going to lose. The lightning delay allowed the Aztecs to regroup and start attacking through the air. The passing game allowed San Diego State to move the ball. Air Force has prepared for the heavy dose of running San Diego State does, but it is going to be up to Ryan Agnew how they get the ball downfield.
San Diego State has a tough battle ahead and losing to Air Force would erase progress from beating out Boise State. San Diego State has some chip on the shoulder not appearing in the top 25 this week. Being at home helps for the Aztecs, so expect San Diego State to keeps the same edge they brought to Boise and keep the momentum going.
San Diego State 24, Air Force 19