San Diego State vs Stanford
Saturday, September 16, 7:30 PM on CBSS
Aztec Warrior Stadium, San Diego, California
After defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils this past week, the Aztecs will look to keep that momentum as they finish off this Pac-12 doubleheader. San Diego State (2-0) is going up against number 19 ranked Stanford (1-1) this Saturday at Aztec Warrior Stadium.
The Stanford Cardinals are coming off a tough loss to fellow Pac-12 team USC. The Trojans bested Stanford 42-24 last week. Overall, Stanford has looked decent in just about every statistical category. Frankly, USC was just a better team.
San Diego State has an all-time record of 1-3 against Stanford. They will look to improve that record come Saturday. Vegas and many college football experts are not counting out the Aztecs. Stanford are only nine-point favorites to win the game, according to Las Vegas betters.
Stanford is a very good football team that is sure to give Rocky Long and his kids a hard time. They play a similar game to SDSU. Rocky Long was asked how Stanford compares to his own team. He said, “Stanford’s a very fine football team that does a lot of things the same way we do. They’re going to try to run the ball on us and we’re going to try to run the ball on them. They’re going to try to defeat the run, just like we’re going to. Then probably a couple of skill guys will determine the game on a pass play or two and probably the kicking game will have a big (impact) on who wins or loses.”
One thing, or perhaps two things, that are encouraging for an Aztec victory is Stanford is without two of their best players on both sides of the ball. They lost defensive end Solomon Thomas and running back Christian McCaffrey to the NFL draft. However, Stanford, as they always do, has filled those rather large voids with running back Bryce Love and defensive lineman Dylan Jackson. Look for these two to be difference makers on Saturday.
If San Diego State is going to pull off the upset and beat Stanford, Rashaad Penny is going to have to have another fantastic game. I’m sure Penny will have no problem doing that. The senior running back has had no problem putting up monster numbers and huge games thus far in the young season. In fact, Penny has won the first two Mountain West offensive player of the week titles to prove his excellence.
Head Coach Rocky Long will be feeding Rashaad Penny the ball the entire game because he knows that is what needs to happen in order to win the ballgame. Although, he knows that Stanford will be looking for run, so he’ll probably mix in a past or two here and there to keep the Cardinal’ defense honest.
San Diego State’s defense has looked a little shaky this season. The secondary has been the most concerning part of probably the entire team this year. The Aztecs have been torn apart when the opponents pass the ball. San Diego State has allowed an average of 278 passing yards per game in these first couple games. Rocky Long and the defense will look to fix that in these coming days of preparation.
Another key to an Aztec win is establishing the pass. If Chapman can play consistently, and wide receivers Mikah Holder and Quest Truxton can find some success, it will keep the Stanford defense very off-balance and anxious. If the pass game is strong to go along with the run game, the Aztecs are sure to score a lot of points.
Neither San Diego State or Stanford have any key players injured, so this game will be a fair match-up, and it will be fun to see how the Aztecs compare to Stanford.
If the Aztecs can run the ball like they have been and hold on to the ball, they should have no problem putting up points against Stanford. The defense needs to step it up and play to their full potential so that they can stop Stanford’s balanced offense. Stanford is going to run the ball a little more than they usually do because quarterback Keller Chryst hasn’t been playing very well and running back Bryce Love looks like a potential Heisman candidate.
A win against Stanford will definitely put the Aztecs into the top 25. The question is, where in the top 25? This will be determined by how bad San Diego State is to beat Stanford.
The Aztecs will look to win this game and solidify themselves as a real New Year’s Six candidate.