San Diego St vs San Jose State
Saturday, November 4, 7:30 PM on ESPU
Spartan Stadium, San Jose, California
This Saturday, November 4th, the Aztecs (7-2) take on the Spartans (1-8) in San Jose.
The Aztecs won the last matchup against San Jose State last year by a score of 42-3. SDSU is favored in this game by 24 points.
The Aztecs are coming off of a bounce-back victory against Hawaii. They won in paradise 28-7, while Rashaad Penny set a career high in rushing yards with 253 yards and two touchdowns. Penny is now the FBS leader in all-purpose yards with 1,799.
San Jose State is coming off of a loss to BYU by a score of 41-20. The Spartans only victory in the 2017 season was against FCS school Cal Poly SLO.
The Aztecs’ defense ranks 14th in the nation in yards allowed per game at 305.0, while San Jose State ranks near last at 122 in the nation, allowing 493.2 yards per game. It is hard to say the Spartans weakness is their defense, when their offense ranks 116 with 330.4 yards per game.
The Spartans have struggled mightily on both sides of the ball in 2017, which is ultimately the reason for their 1-8 record overall.
San Jose State has surrendered the 3rd-most rushing yards a game in all of college football. One game after rushing for 253 yards, Rashaad Penny will likely put up similar numbers, if not more.
San Jose State running back Tyler Nevens is coming off his best game of the season against BYU. He carried the ball 26 times for 112 yards.
Freshman quarterback Montel Aaron has been pretty impressive for the Spartans in 2017. He has thrown for 928 yards, with 74 completions on 124 attempts. He has also thrown for eight touchdowns, and only three interceptions. He missed three games earlier in the year, but has looked very impressive since returning. In his two games since coming back, he has posted a 63.6 completion percentage, thrown for 520 yards, and four touchdowns. The Aztecs will need to limit Aaron’s production, and not give up any big plays to prevent an upset.
Christian Chapman has had some recent struggles, as the young offensive line has been inconsistent at times this year. Chapman completed just five passes against Hawaii for 83 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Chapman and the offensive line need to perform well against the Spartans to build some confidence going into the end of the season.
The division leading Fresno State Bulldogs had a surprising loss last week against UNLV. Fresno State embarrassed the Aztecs a week before, beating them 27-3 in San Diego. With their loss, the Aztecs’ goal to win the Mountain West conference regains momentum.
Fresno State has one of the most difficult remaining schedules in the Mountain West. They play BYU this week, which is a non-conference game, but then have to go to Wyoming to take on one of the best quarterbacks in football, Josh Allen. The last game of the season isn’t any easier as they have to play Boise State.
The Aztecs, on the other hand, have a weaker remaining schedule, as their three remaining opponents have a combined record of 5-20. The Aztecs are only one game behind Fresno State in the division, but the Bulldogs hold the tiebreaker edge as they won the head-to-head matchup. If the Aztecs can win out, and Fresno loses to Wyoming and Boise, then the Aztecs will secure a trip to the Mountain West Conference championship.
The Aztecs should have no problem taking care of San Jose State this week, and expect Rashaad Penny to put up another ridiculous line. I think the Aztecs’ offense will flourish, while their defense will make San Jose State’s offense struggle to put up points. I predict a 38-3 Aztecs win.