The San Diego State Aztecs will travel to Northern California on Saturday, November 4th, to play against the San Jose State Spartans.
With Fresno State losing last week, there’s still an outside chance for the Aztecs to play in the Mountain West Championship game, but they will need plenty of breaks.
In this piece we will take a look of what SDSU needs to do in order to pick up their second straight win.
Without further ado, I give you the keys to the game:
Aztecs on Defense
Stop the Run
San Jose State runs a pretty traditional offensive system. They run it in order to stay ahead of the chains. After running up the gut, they will try to exploit the middle of the field with play action plays. In order to wreck their entire offensive system, it’s imperative to stop them on the ground on early downs in order to force them into third and long situations.
Embrace the “Road Warriors” Mentality
So far in 2017, SDSU is undefeated on the road and hasn’t lost a road game since November of 2016. Sometimes a football team is just more focused when they are away from home and have an “us against the world” mindset. The Aztecs have been especially good on defense away from home, as they’re holding opponents to 15 ppg in 2017. Look for more of the same against SJSU’s struggling offense.
Aztecs on Offense
Do What You Do Best
After struggling on the ground for most of October, it seems that SDSU found their mojo in Honolulu. Rashaad Penny had a couple of highlight plays in that ballgame, including a ridiculous run in which he literally dragged a defender for ten yards. It was great to see the Aztecs getting back to basics and having success in the running game. It would be wise for coach Long to give his talented ball carriers between 45 and 50 rushing attempts in this game.
Built Cohesiveness on the O-Line
Probably no unit in football needs more live reps than the offensive line. After a couple of rough outings vs Boise State and Fresno State, the o-line looked much better last week. I think that this unit just needs time and they are playing a team that is small on the defensive line. Look for the Aztecs to dictate the game from the trenches early and often.
No disrespect to San Jose State, but this is probably the easiest game on the schedule for San Diego State and they should dominate. There’s a reason why SJSU has only won one game so far this year. Even Vegas has the Aztecs as a 24 point favorite, so expect this to be a blowout from the start. I think that SDSU will take out a lot of their frustration from the season on the Spartans.
I’m picking the Aztecs to win it by the score of 44-13.