San Diego State vs BYU: Three Keys for an Aztec Victory
The Aztecs end their 2020 season in Provo
The Aztecs go to Provo against the ranked Cougars.
WEEK 13: San Diego State Aztecs (4-3, 4-2 MW) at BYU Cougars (9-1)
WHEN: Saturday, December 11 – 7 PM PT / 8 PM MT
WHERE: LaVell Stadium, Provo, UT (63,470)
ODDS: BYU -16.5
SERIES RECORD: BYU leads the all-time series 27-7-1. San Diego State held the Cougars without a touchdown, winning 13-3.
3 Keys for Victory
Brookshire Has to Win It
Last week, the Mountain West Wire took a chance on Carson Baker, but for Brady Hoke, the answer was Jordon Brookshire all along. With the change to Brookshire, starting Baker against BYU would have been a recipe for disaster. Despite his benching, Baker is apart of the small fraternity of Aztec quarterbacks to have defeated BYU any time, any place.
Against a well-rested Colorado State Rams, Brookshire’s presence improved going 14/24 for 130 yards and 1 touchdown. His arm isn’t impressive nor is his accuracy, so against the Cougars, it’s going to be on Brookshire to complete more than 50% of his passes and find a way to get his running backs involved.
Hold Zach Wilson in Check
Zach Wilson’s 2020 season has been remarkable. Through their run, Wilson has put up 2964 yards, 27 touchdowns, and only 3 interceptions this season and will likely eclipse the 3,000-yard mark on Saturday. The way Wilson has thrown the ball has been a throwback to BYU’s old WAC days. The Cougars have the personnel that gives Aztecs nightmares, more so than previous opponents. Mountain West Wire has circled this matchup going into the COVID season as the most intriguing matchup on the schedule for the Aztecs.
It’s going to be a tough ask for the 3rd ranked defense in FBS to hold the Cougars under 300 yards, especially with Wilson’s propensity to throw the deep ball.
Change The Mental
Three. As in the Aztecs have won in Provo three times since their WAC days. Think of the greats who have been on the sidelines of Aztecs football since the 1980s like Marshall Faulk and Sean Payton. These Aztecs on Saturday were barely old enough to know the 2000 victory in Provo under head coach Ted Tollner.
Current head coach Brady Hoke was one replay fiasco away from winning one in Provo in 2010. Close followers of the Mountain West would remember that as the blown fumble review by the ties of the BYU alumni in the review booth.
So here it is, Brady Hoke has to address some juju here. BYU is coming off a stinging loss after going across the country to take on Coastal Carolina, and ending their outside chance of getting into the CFP.