SDSU Aztecs 3 keys to victory in Frisco Bowl against UTSA Roadrunners

Justin Treung, SDSU Athletics

Justin Treung, SDSU Athletics

Here are the three keys for an SDSU victory over UTSA in the Frisco Bowl.

Hold UTSA to 20 points or less.

The Roadrunners average 38 points per game (12th in FBS) and have scored over 50 points in their past two games. Their only loss of the season against North Texas came when they scored 23, their lowest output of the season. Against UNLV earlier in the season, they only scored 24 in a seven-point victory. Despite playing without running back Sincere McCormick, the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year, the Roadrunners still have a very dangerous offense. 

The Aztecs scored 26.5 points per game this season (80th in FBS) but did not score more than 28 points in any of their last eight games (20.9 average). Allowing the Roadrunners to approach their average would make it nearly impossible for the Aztecs to win this game. The Aztecs vaunted defense (17th in FBS, allowing only 19.5 points per game) will need to come up big one more time this season by putting pressure on quarterback Frank Harris, keeping him contained in the pocket, not allowing big passing in the secondary.

Justin Treung, SDSU Athletics

 

Win the turnover battle

SDSU’s 34 turnovers since the start of the 2019 season are tied for seventh-fewest in the country. Both teams have been excellent this season in the turnover categories. The Aztecs’ +0.54 turnover margin per game (+7 overall) is 28th in FBS. UTSA was even better, holding a +1 turnover margin per game (+13 overall), 3rd in FBS. 

In their lone loss against North Texas, UTSA lost three fumbles in wet and rainy conditions. These three were 25% of their season-total 12 turnovers. In SDSU’s two losses, they lost the turnover battle, committing five of their season-total 14 turnovers in those contests.

Whichever team can continue their stellar overall turnover margin on the season and avoid multiple turnovers will win the game.

Justin Treung, SDSU Athletics

 

Rush for at least 200 yards

The Roadrunners rush defense was ranked 10th in FBS and had only allowed six rushing touchdowns through 11 games this season. In their final regular-season game at North Texas, they allowed 340 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns alone. While they are still ranked 14th in FBS, allowing 111.5 rushing yards per game, their rush defense has shown cracks in the last few games.

The Aztecs are 52-2 the last 54 times they have rushed for at least 200 yards, including 5-0 this season. However, those five games were the first five of the season. The Aztecs have not come close to rushing for 200 yards in their past eight games. Running for first downs, winning the time of possession, and keeping the high-powered UTSA offense off the field will be crucial to an Aztec victory. 

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Andre Haghverdian on Email
Andre Haghverdian
Avid sports fan and historian of basketball, baseball, football and soccer. UC San Diego and San Diego State alumni living in America's Finest City. Diverse team following across multiple sports leagues, but Aztecs come first in college athletics.
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