San Diego State (3-0) at South Alabama (2-2)
Saturday October 1, 5 PM on ESPNews
Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
The 19th ranked San Diego State Aztecs are coming off of a well deserved bye week. Now 3-0 and riding a 13-consecutive game winning streak, the Aztecs look to defend their undefeated record on the road in Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
The South Alabama Jaguars are coming off of their second win of the season, where they barely squeaked out a 41-40 win at home vs the Nicholls Colonels.
What to watch for
This Saturday will be the first time the Aztecs have played a football game as a Top 20-ranked team since 1977 (16). Since being given the 22-ranking after defeating Cal, the Aztecs have seen many critics, Fans of the snubbed teams took to Twitter to question the ranking system, claiming that the Aztecs wins were not strong enough to argue a decent rank. Those of us who have been watching the team all year know that they definitely do deserve their given rank. So watch for the Aztecs to prove that they really are a legit contender.
Last season South Alabama handed the Aztecs one of their three losses. The Jaguars were able to put the team away in overtime, defeating the Aztecs 34-27 at Qualcomm Stadium. This should give the guys more motivation to go out and steal one in their stadium. Expect a hard-fought game from both sides.
Kazee vs Everett
Geral Everett is the Jaguars leading receiver. He has put up 290-yards on 21 catches, resulting in two touchdowns. He has been the favorite target for Jaguars’ QB Dallas Davis this season. He will see plenty of targets and that will keep Damontae Kazee busy. Look for Kazee to do his usual work and shut down any attempts that Davis looks to give Everett this Saturday.
Kane Wommack vs D.J. Pumphrey
Kane Wommack is the Jaguars defensive coordinator, and we all know who Pumprhey is. So far, no defense has been able to stop the Aztecs and there hasn’t been an answer for Pumphrey either. He has run up the numbers each week and made huge impacts against every defense he has faced thus far. So watch to see if Wommack can put together a scheme to slow the Heisman candidate down and make him less of an impact on offense. A tough task for the Jaguars coach.
The number 19 ranked Aztecs need to prove to the nation that they are not to be messed with. The Aztecs know that they now have national attention and everything they do can and may be criticized or praised nationally. This can either be a positive factor because it makes them more motivated to show their capabilities, or it can be negative as some players may allow this to get into their heads and effect their game. Number 19 on the field for the Aztecs has the ability to give the Aztecs a lead, or make big plays during what seems like any moment he wishes to do so.
As we’ve seen a couple of times this season, the Aztecs seem somewhat undisciplined from time to time. They have averaged 11.33 penalties for 94 yards per-game. That is not good. The Jaguars on the other hand have been able to keep it cool with penalties averaging only 5.75 penalties for 53.0 yards per-game. South Alabama may be able to capitalize on the Aztecs mistakes especially with a home-field advantage.
South Alabama has struggled to put points up this season. Both of their victories have come by only one point each, and both of their losses have come by five and 15 points. They are averaging only 23.5 points per game this season, while the Aztecs are averaging 39.3. If South Alabama isn’t able to keep the Aztecs from scoring, which I predict they won’t, they there is no way for them to win this game. I think the Aztecs come out of the gates swinging with their heads high and don’t let up. Final score 42-24, Aztecs add one more to their winning streak
It’s not really necessary to call this a bold prediction any more, but I feel like when you predict a player to rush for over 200-yards it should be. The Jaguars are shaky on run defense and shouldn’t have an answer for number 19 as he rushes for 220+ yards and finds the end zone three times, one TD will be by reception.