San Diego State vs. Boise State: Keys to an Aztec Win, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction
San Diego State closes out conference play against Boise State in Carson.
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San Diego State returns to Carson on Senior Night to square off with a trip to the Mountain West Conference Championship game against the Boise State Broncos.
WEEK 13: # San Diego State Aztecs (10-1, 6-1 MW) vs Boise State Broncos (7-4, 5-2 MW)
WHEN: Friday, November 26 — 9 AM PT / 10 AM MT
WHERE: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA
STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes FS1, by following this link.
RADIO: 101.5 KGB / XTRA 1360 / iHeart Radio App / SiriusXM ch. 383
SERIES RECORD: The series is tied 3-3, with the last meeting was a 19-13 Aztec victory at Boise State on Oct 6, 2018.
LAST WEEK: San Diego State came back to win against UNLV, 28-20, whereas Boise State shut out New Mexico, 37-0.
WEBSITES: GoAztecs.com, the official San Diego State athletics website | BroncoSports.com, the official Boise State athletics website
GAME NOTES (PDF): San Diego State | Boise State
ODDS (as of 11/23, via Vegas Insider): Boise State -2.5
SP+ PROJECTION: 50-50
FEI PROJECTION: Boise State by 5.7
PARKER FLEMING PROJECTION: San Diego State 51.15% win probability
Mountain West division titles are on the line Friday morning when Boise State and San Diego State meet in the 2021 regular-season finale.
Boise State is having a resurgent season under first-time head coach Andy Avalos. The former Oregon defensive coordinator returned to Boise State where he was a player 20 years ago. The Broncos must win to get a chance at the title game
San Diego State is on the cusp of earning its shot at the Mountain West Championship. They have not appeared in the Mountain West Conference Championship Game since winning in 2016. Win and they are in.
Three Keys for an Aztec Victory
1. Lucas Johnson needs to show up
Last week’s performance against UNLV was Lucas Johnson’s best San Diego State to date. He connected with Jordan Matthews for all 3 passing touchdowns, giving Matthews a receiving performance not seen since Colin Lockett donned the uniform in 2011.
In his last three games, Johnson is 51-of-74 (68.9 percent) for 467 yards, four touchdowns, one interception, and a pass efficiency rating of 137.06. Despite playing up to his potential in the last three contests, his performance against a really good defense in Fresno State was troublesome going 14-of-31 for 220 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions.
He’s turned it around since the loss and focused on limiting the mistakes.
Johnson threw one INT last week, but luckily San Diego State’s defense was able to bail him out the rest of the way. The Aztecs are 74-15 since 2011 when committing one turnover or less.
Boise State is right behind San Diego State in points allowed per game at 18.27 whereas the Aztecs sit at 17.36
In this unofficial rival game, San Diego State needs to play perfect ball to beat Boise State in the conclusion of the MWC regular season.
2. Boise State’s offense runs through Hank Bachmeier
Hank Bachmeier ranks 20th in the country in passing yardage averaging 259.7 yards a game and has an impressive touchdown-interception ratio of 3:1. The junior QB has only put up more than 300+ yards twice this year in a win against UTEP, and a loss against Nevada.
Boise State is intent on keeping Bachmeier upright and in the pocket where he has been the most effective. Since the start of November, he’s only been sacked 3 times compared to getting sacked 11 times in October.
Despite these impressive stats, Bachmeier has not faced the Aztecs in his 3-year career at Boise State.
San Diego State must find ways to disrupt Bachmeier’s rhythm because as UNLV’s Justin Rogers torched the pass defense over the top, the Broncos are more than capable of executing their game plan against the secondary.
Keep Boise State’s pass offense under 300 yards and the Aztecs have a shot at winning the game.
3. Stay within one-score
In this 10-year history of this rivalry, San Diego State’s three wins have been determined by one score. In their three losses, they have lost by 9+ points and gave up 300+ total yards.
Boise State’s defense has turned it around since losing to Air Force in October and has statistically kept up with San Diego State, much credit to Broncos’ coach Andy Avalos’ focus on defense.
Vegas and statisticians are predicting this game being determined by a field goal, which bodes well for the “home” team with the nationally recognized punter/placekicker in Matt Araiza.
Araiza, the finalist for the Ray Guy Award, did not kick field goals last week against UNLV but went 3/4 two weeks prior against Nevada. Going off the history between the schools, San Diego State will need every point from their kicker on Friday.
It’s going to be a close one here. San Diego State has struggled with their running game, that’s really how they won the first few games. But as teams have clogged up running lanes, Greg Bell does not look the same and his production has tapered off. SDSU will put up the points necessary, but San Diego State has stepped up in their 4th quarter defense. The question is, will Bachmeier overcome the Aztec defense? Signs are pointing to yes.
San Diego State 23, Boise State 24