The San Diego State Aztecs (0-1) begin the first game of a three-game homestand against the Sacramento State Hornets (1-0) at San Diego County Credit Union Stadium on Sep. 8.
The Hornets visit SDCCU Stadium coming off a 55-7 win over St. Francis (Illinois) at home on Sep. 1. The 55 points scored by Sacramento State set a new program record.
The Hornets had a plethora of top performers against St. Francis. Sacramento State used three different quarterbacks in the game, with the top passer being Kevin Thomson.
Thomson was 11-for-12 for 224 yards and two touchdowns. The Hornets accounted for 402 total passing yards on the night. Backup quarterback Wyatt Clapper spent time leading the offense, as well. He went 7-for-11 for 148 yards.
Andre Lindsey and Jaelin Ratliff led the Hornets in receiving, with each receiver hauling in four receptions. Lindsey had 108 yards and a touchdown, which came on a 35-yard pass. Ratliff finished the game with 98 yards.
Sacramento State used seven different rushers, compiling 228 yards on the ground. The Hornets’ top running back was Elijah Dotson. He carried the ball seven times for 85 yards, averaging 12.1 yards per carry. He scored two touchdowns.
St. Francis is a team in Division II, and served as both the season home opener for the Hornets. Sacramento State finds themselves in this same situation when they go to San Diego State.
The Hornets are a FCS (Division I-AA) team that hails from the Big Sky Conference. Sacramento State finished the 2017 season with a 7-4 record overall, and finished in a second place tie in their conference at 6-2. Despite winning seven games, they did not qualify for the 2017 FCS playoffs.
The Aztecs are coming off a 31-10 loss to the Stanford Cardinal. San Diego State upset Stanford at SDCCU Stadium last season. Early on, it appeared as if they would sweep the home-and-home series, as they led 7-0 after the first quarter.
Juwan Washington was the Aztecs’ top offensive performer against Stanford. He ran 24 times for 158 yards and a touchdown.
Christian Chapman had a mostly proficient night under center for San Diego State. He was 10-for-15 for 113 yards. That doesn’t mean his night went swell, however. He was sacked five times by the Stanford defense, and hurried an additional four times.
When the Aztecs played against Stanford, all eyes were on Heisman Trophy candidate Bryce Love. San Diego State made him a non-factor, holding him to only 38 yards on 18 carries.
Where Stanford hurt the Aztecs was with the passing game. San Diego State had no answer for J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. He hauled in six catches for 226 yards, scoring three touchdowns. Aztec defensive lineman Noble Hall hauled in the San Diego State defense’s only interception of the night.
The Aztecs are eager to put that Stanford loss behind them as they prepare to open the home slate of their schedule. San Diego State returns to the friendly confines of their own home when they host Sacramento State.
Expect Washington to have a big night. Expect Chapman to look and feel much more comfortable in the pocket. Expect the Aztecs to dictate the tempo and flow of this game from start to finish. Don’t expect the Sacramento offense to have the same kind of success they had in their home opener.
San Diego State wins this one handily.