SDSU vs. Nevada: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction
The last 4 meetings between the Aztecs and the Wolf Pack have been decided by a combined total of just 15 points.
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Suddenly the Aztecs show offensive potential. In the Mountain West all eyes will be on this game to see if SDSU is back.
WHEN: Saturday, October 22nd — 7:30 p.m. PST / 10:30 p.m. EST
WHERE: Mackay Stadium in Reno, NV (30,000)
WEATHER: Partly cloudy, low of 29 degrees, winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.
TV: CBS Sports Network
LIVE STREAM: fuboTV (Watch for free)
RADIO: 101.5 KGB / XTRA 1360 / iHeart Radio App / SiriusXM ch. 383
SERIES RECORD: This is the 15th matchup between the Aztecs and the Nevada Wolf Pack. SDSU maintains an 8-6 series lead.
LAST MEETING: SDSU defeated the Wolf Pack in Carson, CA, 23-21 on November 13, 2021.
WEBSITES: GoAztecs.com, the official San Diego State athletics website
ODDS: Wolf Pack +6.5
Reno, NV- Rested up after a bye week, the Aztecs travel out to the “Biggest Little City In The World” on Saturday night to square off against the Nevada Wolf Pack at Mackay Stadium.
On paper, this match looks like a dull pairing between two offensively challenged teams. But the winds of change have blown in the Aztecs’ offense camp, where coach Brady Hoke has shaken things up.
With the return of Jeff Horton as offensive coordinator, and Ryan Lindley as new quarterbacks coach, the Aztecs have new mojo. They found a hidden gem in tight end Jalen Mayden, who performed exceptionally well in the role of quarterback, where he managed to do everything that SDSU had expected to see out of injury-prone grad transfer Braxton Burmeister.
Suddenly the Aztecs show offensive potential, and in the Mountain West all eyes will be on this game to see if San Diego State is back.
WHY THE WOLF PACK WILL WIN
Despite losing to Hawaii, quarterback Nate Cox finished the game with 188 yards on 22/37 passing. He didn’t turn over the ball, and his yards per attempt were 5.1. Cox carried the football 6 times for 44 yards, ending the contest with 7.3 yds per carry for Nevada.
Defensive back Bentlee Sanders was selected by the AP to be a mid-season All-American. Sanders managed 2.0 TFL, 22 tackles, and five interceptions. Tyson Williams made 29 tackles, 4.0 TFL, one sack, and one interception in seven games for the Wolf Pack, and the Wolf Pack’s Dom Peterson executed 10 tackles, 4.0 TFL, and three sacks in seven games.
The Wolf Pack’s defense could give the Aztecs offense a run for their money, and their tenacity could impact SDSU’s ability to advance the ball, by putting serious pressure on quarterback Jalen Mayden and forcing mistakes.
WHY THE AZTECS WILL WIN
SDSU has made big changes. Braxton Burmeister, cleared from concussion protocol, handed the quarterback reins over to tight end Jalen Mayden, who surprised EVERYONE recently after starting for SDSU and throwing for 322 yards, completing 24 of 36 passes, and not turning the ball over. Burmeister moves to wide receiver and will back Mayden up as quarterback.
In addition to that, Nevada head coach Ken Wilson doesn’t seem to mind losing. The Wolf Pack have lost five straight games for the first time since 2017. Losing against the Aztecs will mark the first time they’ve dropped six straight since 2000- year one of the Chris Tormey tenure- when the Pack lost seven straight games.
While the Wolf Pack has been losing on the field, Wilson insists they’re winning with morale, so at least they have that.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN
Aztecs defense and special teams will get the job done. With Jalen Mayden as quarterback, the Aztecs offense unlocks their pass game, activating skilled wideouts Jesse Matthews, Tyrell Shavers, Brionne Penny and Braxton Burmeister(?) downfield. Chance Bell and Jordan Byrd will produce rush yardage, so the Aztecs offense will be a source of strength for a change.
The Aztecs will register the win in Reno bringing their record to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in conference. The Wolf Pack will drop a sixth straight game, and the question of whether coach Wilson is up for the job will loom.
Final Score: Wolf Pack 13, Aztecs 20