San Diego State at Nevada Preview: 3 Keys for an Aztecs Football Win
The Aztecs face off against the undefeated Wolf Pack.
How do the Aztecs walk away with a victory in Reno?
WEEK 12: San Diego State Aztecs (3-1, 3-1 MW) at Nevada Wolfpack (4-0, 4-0 MW)
WHEN: Saturday, November 21 – 12:30 PM PT / 1:30 PM MT
WHERE: Mackay Stadium, Reno, NV (30,000)
STREAM: FuboTV – Get a seven-day free trial by clicking here.
ODDS: San Diego State -1.5
SERIES RECORD: San Diego State leads the all-time series 7-5. In the last meeting, San Diego State lost at home, 17-13.
Three Keys for an Aztec Victory
1. limit the mistakes
Off the bat, San Diego State’s offense must limit the mistakes. Since starting the season and despite being +1 in turnovers, the offense has coughed up the ball seven times, with three interceptions from the quarterback position alone. Compared to being four games in from 2019, +4 turnovers. This year the game where they were in the negative in turnovers? The only loss to San Jose State.
Granted, dropping in Lucas Johnson against Hawaii last week now sparks some sort of QB controversy. Regardless of who’s under center, the key to winning is protecting the ball and making smarter choices with the passing lanes.
2. contain carson strong
Carson Strong is on pace to crack 3,000 yards this season and when compared to last year in their victory in San Diego, Strong went under 150 yards of passing. The redshirt sophomore has 1500+ yards of passing and has a TD:INT ratio of 12:1. Sure, two of those games were against New Mexico and Utah State, but it doesn’t account for the consistency to average 300+ yards and three touchdowns a game.
Carson Strong could torch the Aztecs’ liability on defense— their deep corner coverage. San Jose State and Hawaii were able to take advantage of big plays over the top. If the Aztecs can line up at the line of scrimmage and pressure Strong, this could be the way, and probably has to be the way.
3. win at the line of scrimmage
Through the first month of play for the Aztecs, the defense was going to have to carry a lot of their offense. The running game has started to kick into high gear, but the defense is covering for a lot of the Aztecs’ mistakes. The big guys on defense and the linebackers behind them have made teams one-dimensional. No team has broken 300 yards of total offense and half their opponents did not break 100 yards of rushing offense. They absolutely know that winning on Saturday in front of a nationally-televised audience instead of an SEC school, gives the NCAA a business card from San Diego State.
Aztecs don’t name a starting quarterback and allow a two-quarterback system with Baker and Johnson. Both quarterbacks won’t throw over 100 yards, but the stable of running backs will carry them for 3 touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Strong puts up a mediocre day with 2 touchdowns, but in the second half the Aztecs defense clamps down on his production, and tries to get Toa Toua more involved, but comes up short. The Aztecs’ defense saves the day again in front of the CBS audience.
San Diego State 24, Nevada 20