Utah State vs. San Diego State Game Preview: Three Keys for an Aztecs Win

Utah State vs. San Diego State Game Preview: Three Keys for an Aztecs Win

NCAAF

Utah State vs. San Diego State Game Preview: Three Keys for an Aztecs Win

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The Aztecs host the Aggies of Utah State at SDCCU stadium in San Diego.  Here’s the path to victory for the Aztecs and how to tune in.

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The Aztecs are 12-1 against Utah State.

 

WEEK 4: Utah State Aggies (1-1) vs. SDSU Aztecs (3-0)

WHEN: Saturday, September 21st— 7:30 PM PST / 10:30 PM EST

WHERE: SDCCU Stadium, San Diego, California (70,561)

TV: CBSSN

STREAMINGFuboTV – Get 7-day free trial to watch this game

RADIO: 101.5 KGB / XTRA 1360 / Fox Sports InlandEmpire (IE) 1350

SERIES RECORD: Aztecs are 12-1 in the series.

LAST MATCHUP: October 28, 2016 | Aztecs won 40-13 for 10th straight

ODDS: SDSU +4.5

 

Utah State (1-1) comes off of an early bye week to face SDSU (3-0) in San Diego this weekend at 7:30pm PST.  The Aggies are riding on a high from a successful 2018 campaign, but after Matt Wells packed his bags for Texas Tech and Gary Andersen took the helm (once again).  They started off with a surprising loss against a beatable Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

Rocky Long’s Aztecs, on the other hand, had a catastrophic 2018 season end, but are now 3-0 in non conference play.  They held FCS powerhouse Weber State, as well as a struggling UCLA, and then easily steamrolled New Mexico State- as they should have.

Right now the Aggies are projected to win, but the Aztecs are proving hard to beat.  The Aggies also enter this game with more on the line than San Diego State.  A loss could take the Aggies out of Mountain West Championship contention- so expect them to play with a sense of desperation.

 

Three Keys to a San Diego State Victory

1. Keep the Utah State Defense Guessing

A lot has been written by sleepy reporters based on the East Coast and in the Midwest that the Aztecs will run, run, run the ball and not much else.  If the Aggies aren’t doing their homework, they’ll be thrown off by the new Aztecs spread formation, and even more thrown off if quarterback Ryan Agnew connects with 70% of passes.  It’s no secret that the Aggies don’t have a highly effective secondary as well, so this could encourage the throwing game even more.

What’s more: the talented Juwan Washington is questionable for Saturday’s game, but NO WORRIES.  Jordan Byrd and Chance Bell each ran for over 100 yards last week averaging roughly 6 yards a carry apiece.  Chase Jasmine averaged nearly six yards per carry until injuring his ankle. It’s safe to say Running Back University fully capable.

Then there’s option #3.  Whenever an opening emerges, Ryan Agnew has a tremendous knack for picking up first downs by running for the chains.

All of this means, a very well-rounded Aztecs team has successfully formed a highly productive, multi-dimensional offense, and this will undoubtedly keep the Aggies guessing.

2. Put the Pressure on Quarterback Jordan Love

The difference maker in the game against Wake Forest was without question the three interceptions that Love threw when he was under pressure.

Jordan Love is a great quarterback, so it has been said.  If he is facing an ultra-aggressive 3-3-5 formation with mid linebacker Kyahva Tezino, one of the nation’s best, the pocket will collapse quickly as Love tries to pass to players being guarded by one of SDSU’s very best secondaries the team has seen in decades.

Love will face one of the nation’s top ten defenses on Saturday night, and they will test his mettle.  The Aztecs defense will be putting immense pressure on Love, and they will be creating many opportunities to turn the ball over.

3. Handle With Care

We don’t know if the 2019 Utah State team is as formidable as last year’s Aggies.  What we do know is there are at least seven starters returning, and that amounts to veteran players making veteran plays.

Last year the Aggies took stripping the ball to a new level and forced countless turnovers.  The Aztecs are pretty good about handling the ball as it is: but this team will be trying to force the issue.  SDSU must be ready for one of the nation’s leaders in forced turnovers in 2018 to try and capitalize on aggressive takeaways.

Prediction

Most every social media outlet and news article has pegged Utah State as the probable victors.

With a change in coaching and a shaky start, it’s quite possible that the Aggies aren’t as rock solid as last year.  Meanwhile, the Aztecs have been solid for YEARS aside from last fall’s crash.  So far, they look like the Aztecs we knew from 2015 through mid 2018.

Aztecs defense is much more solid than anticipated, and Agnew is more commanding than expected.  Even special teams are making strong contributions.

The Aztecs are going to turn heads as they take this win away from the favored Utah State Aggies to make it eleven straight.  Aztecs will prevent Aggie first down opportunities, and their offense will keep Utah State confused.  Rocky Long will manage the clock effectively, and Brady Hoke will be the eyes in the back of his head.

Utah State 17, San Diego State 28

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