2018 Frisco Bowl: San Diego State Aztecs vs Ohio Bobcats Preview
San Diego State returns to Texas to win a bowl game.
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San Diego State steers away from a 4-game losing streak.
Currently, San Diego State is riding a three-game losing streak right into a bowl game showdown in the suburbs of Dallas, TX. Rocky Long’s Aztecs have had three weeks to look at themselves in the mirror and see who they are. San Diego State hasn’t played in almost a month and is up against Ohio from the Mid American Conference (MAC).
The Ohio Bobcats finished 2nd in the MAC and is one of 7 MAC teams bowling. Currently, Ohio has the bettor’s edge at -3 that sits in the middle of the two fan bases.
San Diego State looks to break their losing streak and come home with some more DXL Frisco Bowl swag, but Ohio is a formidable opponent for Running Back U. Here are the things to know for the Frisco Bowl matchup between the Mountain West and MAC:
Aztecs Defense has to travel
Going into Wednesday’s matchup, San Diego State has given up an average of 26.4 points in the last 5 games, compared to 18.4 points in their first 7 games. There needs to be more accountability on defense, besides NFL prospect Kyahva Tezino. It’s hard to put San Diego State in a position to win when they are trailing.
Despite those forthcomings, San Diego State is still 20th ranked defense in FBS. They are 6th in first downs allowed, and allow only 94.5 rushing yards per game.
Ohio’s rushing attack is 9th in FBS at 262.2 yards per game and their third-down efficiency is at 9th in FBS at 48.3%. The numbers don’t lie. The San Diego State Aztecs have to stop the run and get off the field. It’s going to be a long day if they allow more than a 100 yards of team rushing.
Criticism of the Pro-Style Offense
During their losing streak, there has been the focus from San Diego media on Rocky Long’s offensive philosophy. San Diego State has had talented running backs for half a decade, but feeding the running back in two-minute drills isn’t winning football. The offensive line has underperformed the last four games which have given little room for the running backs to work. Christian Chapman still looks like he can’t get the job done through the air. If faced with another two-minute drill to win a bowl game, does Chapman do it?
Ohio Runs More than SDSU
Ohio, too, runs a run-first offense, averaging 43 run plays per game. Compared to San Diego State’s average of 34 run plays per game. Ohio has two late-round NFL prospects on the offensive line in Joe Lowery and Joe Anderson, who are also first-team MAC. Quarterback Nathan Rourke is a true dual-threat. Despite throwing for over 2000 yards, Rourke rushed for over 800 yards with 13 touchdowns. Being a run-oriented offense, Papi White is has racked over 800 yards of receiving.
If you think San Diego State was a run-first team, Ohio is closer to a run-only team.
San Diego State could run into some trouble because of their liabilities in the secondary. They haven’t been able to make turnovers and capitalize on them. I still don’t see how Rocky Long fixes the offense in the month off, nor do I see his guys in the secondary making plays. The front seven can handle the run, so I expect a low scoring game. San Diego State keeps it close, maybe enough to sneak a win.
Prediction: San Diego State 20, Ohio 17