SDSU vs. San Jose State- Preview
The San Diego State Aztecs will be looking to improve their record to 3-0 when they face the San José State Spartans on Friday night.
Both teams enter the game with perfect 2-0 records and are each coming off dominant wins last week.
The Aztecs handily defeated Utah State 38-7 last week, while the Spartans took down New Mexico 38-21.
In the win over the Aggies, Carson Baker looked much better, completing 18 of 27 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Baker did not turn the ball over, and although he only had a QBR of 49.6, he did what he needed to get the Aztecs a win.
In the Spartans’ win over the Lobos, Nick Starkel, former Texas A&M and Arkansas quarterback, absolutely thrashed the New Mexico defense. The senior quarterback threw for 467 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions.
In two games this season, Starkel has thrown for 693 yards on 73.7% completion, along with seven touchdowns and one interception.
The powerful Spartans’ pass offense will be a very intriguing matchup to watch against an Aztec pass defense that had allowed only 109 pass yards per game this season.
San José State’s offense is very one-dimensional as they haven’t gotten the run game going at all this year. On 58 rushing attempts this season, they have only gained 166 yards for 2.9 yards per rush. Their longest rush of the season is only 10 yards.
This Aztec defense has only allowed 91.5 rush yards per game, so it seems likely that San Diego State will be able to shut down a mediocre rush game that only averaged 3.5 yards per rush last week. If San José State wants to win this game, they will need to win it in the air against a stellar SDSU pass defense.
In their two games this year, San Diego State has allowed only six and seven points, respectively.
For the Aztecs to win this game, they need to stick to what has been working so far: the ground game. A program with several elite running backs, San Diego State has found their new star in Greg Bell.
After rushing for 111 yards in the season opener, Greg Bell continued his strong play last week as he ran for 157 yards and a touchdown on 22 rushes, good for an eye-popping 7.1 yards per rush.
Chance Bell also ran for 98 yards on 10 rushes. Even with Greg Bell as the workhorse, this team has great options behind him with Chance Bell, Kaegun Williams, and Jordan Byrd.
This amazing running back play would obviously not be as effective without the elite blocking from the offensive line. Three SDSU offensive linemen were named to the PFF National Team of the Week last week, showing how dominant this group is.
The SJSU offensive line has only allowed one sack all year, so the Aztecs may have a tough time getting to Starkel. Starkel’s favorite target, Bailey Gaithers, already has 18 catches for 318 yards this season.
The Spartans have allowed 193 pass yards per game and 177.5 rush yards per game, so if Carson Baker can again play safe, turnover-free football and the run game gets going again, SDSU should win this game.
If the Aztecs can limit Nick Starkel and the Spartans passing game, as well as continue their elite ground game, SDSU should be able to come out with their third win in as many games this season.
San Diego State will be looking for their eighth straight win against San José State.
The Friday night game will be at 6:00 pm PT on CBS Sports Network.