UNLV vs. SDSU: Three Keys To An Aztecs Win
The Aztecs seek a dominant win against UNLV at SDCCU Stadium. For this game the A-team is back and ready for action.
Christian Chapman and Juwan Washington start on Saturday. Can the Aztecs beat UNLV by more than 8?
Tony Sanchez’s Runnin’ Rebels (2-7, 0-5 Mountain West) hope to end a six-game losing streak in the 7:30 p.m. PST game, televised by ESPN2. Rocky Long’s San Diego State (7-2, 4-1) is the 21-point favorite.
Three Keys To An Aztecs Victory
1. Show up
In this case “showing up” means the Aztecs must break out of playing to the level of their competition. They barely escaped with the win against San Jose State after defeating the mighty Boise State on their own blue turf. In both cases, the Aztecs put just enough petrol in the tank to eek out a win.
With quarterback Christian Chapman at the helm and Juwan Washington playing tailback, will the Aztecs finally blow a game out this season? Or will they inject the game the same amount of drama as an episode of This is Us?
2. Shut down Armani Rogers (or Max Gilliam)
Quarterback Armani Rogers has been nursing an injured toe since UNLV played Arkansas State, and he is not 100 percent currently, but he plans to play against San Diego State. Max Gilliam is slated to start Saturday.
A big key to Aztecs victory will be squarely and firmly stomping Rogers’ bad toe (just kidding- that would be unsportsmanlike).
The real key to their success: the Aztecs must deploy their menacing brand of rush defense to collapse the pocket and stop the Rebels from advancing the ball. It will be key for Kyahva Tezino and company to push the Rebels back as they attempt to advance. Watch for big tackles for loss and sack attacks.
3. Give Juwan Washington the Ball
UNLV may be the Runnin’ Rebels, but San Diego State football is without a doubt the Runnin’ Aztecs. Juwan Washington is one of the top running backs in the nation, and had he not broken his collarbone, he would likely have flirted with the 2,000-yard barrier.
Watch for Washington driving to blow past the 1,000-yard mark even having missed six games. He was solid with 95 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 11 carries to help San Diego State beat New Mexico 31-23.
Washington will be ready to go big, and it’s a safe bet that he will try to run for over 200 yards against UNLV.
If the Aztecs perform as expected, John Baron II won’t have to save their bacon again by nailing another ridiculous 40 or 50-yard field goal. The Red Baron could use some relief, so let’s hope Chapman and Washington toe the line once again.