Three Keys to an Aztec Victory
Win the first quarter
SDSU has outscored opponents 62-0 in the third quarter so far this season, which has been necessary to overcome their repeated first-half struggles in their three home games so far.
Coach Hoke emphasized the importance of starting faster during the bye week. When asked during his Tuesday press conference how they can start faster, he stated, “it’s better preparation during the week” instead of the need to change any particular game day routines.
In their first three homes, the Aztecs have fallen behind in the first half by ten points once and seven points twice. In their two wins, New Mexico has outscored their opponents 28-3 in the first quarter while being outscored 21-7 in their three losses in the first quarter. It is imperative for the Aztecs to start fast and take an early lead in this game.
Hold New Mexico to less than 33% conversions on third down
SDSU is 49-5 the last 54 games. It has held the opposition to a 33% or less conversion mark on third downs.
The Lobos have a 28% conversion percentage through five games this season, which is ranked 125th in FBS, while the Aztecs have held their opponents to 28% conversion percentage through four games this season, ranked 9th in FBS.
If the Aztecs’ defense can win on first and second down and force 3rd and long situations where the Lobos are forced to pass, they will continue to succeed on third downs and give their offense more chances to score.
Win the turnover margin
SDSU has now committed one turnover or less in 20 of its last 25 games and are 37-2 the previous 39 times they have won the turnover margin.
In the two games they have won this season, the Lobos have had a +4 turnover margin while having a -4 turnover margin in their three losses. The Aztecs have a +2 turnover margin in their four games this season, all wins. Whichever team wins the turnover margin will have a very high probability of winning this game.