The San Diego State Aztecs (5-3, 4-0) will look to keep their momentum going as they travel to face the Colorado State Rams (3-4, 1-2) in a Mountain West Conference matchup Saturday afternoon. San Diego State has won four straight and seven of the last eight meetings between the schools; that includes a 38-14 win as a 22.5 point favorite at home on October 13, 2012 in the most recent matchup.
San Diego State has reeled off four straight wins after downing Utah State 48-14 last week at home. Colorado State had lost two straight and four of five before upending Air Force 38-23 on the road. This contest is slated for a 3:30 pm ET kickoff from Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network. San Diego State is currently favored by 3 points with the over/under set at 50 points in this contest.
San Diego State has really turned things around after a 1-3 start and seems poised to clinch a berth in the Mountain West title game. The Aztecs pummeled the Aggies as they outgained Utah State 429-239 and had 19 first downs compared to 16 for the Aggies. San Diego State forced the lone turnover in the game and scored on six straight drives in the first half to race to a 34-7 edge on the scoreboard. The Aztecs dominated the clock as they held the ball for 37:15 and limited Utah State to 22:45 in the contest.
The Aztecs are an average offensive team at best as they are 120th in passing offense (142.9 yards per game) and 32nd in rushing offense (206.4 yards per contest); San Diego State averages 27.4 points a game while they are 24th in scoring defense by allowing 18.9 points per game. The quarterback play has been dismal for San Diego State; their two quarterbacks have combined to hit just 49.1 percent of their passes, average 7 yards per pass attempt for 1,143 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. Donnel Pumphrey leads the Aztecs with 182 carries for 910 yards with 10 scores while Chase Price contributes 101 carries for 521 yards and two scores on the year. Pumphrey leads the team with 19 receptions for 249 yards and a touchdown while Mikah Holder has 15 receptions for 230 yards and three scores plus Eric Judge has 12 grabs for 243 yards and two scores; no other player has more than seven receptions. Donny Hageman has booted all 27 extra points and is 10 of 14 on field goal attempts this season with a long of 54 yards.
Colorado State has had two weeks to prepare for this one and they went into the bye feeling good after their win over Air Force. The Rams reeled off 24 straight points after Air Force climbed to within 14-13 to put the game away. Colorado State outgained the Falcons 456-406 in a game that saw both teams turn the ball over once. The Rams finished with 22 first downs while Air Force had 21; the Falcons had the edge in time of possession by a 31:35 to 28:25 margin but all that matters is what the scoreboard shows.
The Rams are averaging 253.1 yards per game (tied for 44th in the nation) through the air while contributing 164.4 yards per game (77th in the nation) on the ground. Colorado State is narrowly outscoring their opposition so far this year despite their losing record as they score 28.3 points per game while ranking tied for 74th in scoring defense by allowing 27.3 points per contest. Nick Stevens has completed 121 of 201 passes for 1,486 yards with 13 scores and six interceptions while Coleman Key is 21 of 42 for 251 yards with three touchdown passes and three interceptions. Jasen Oden is the team’s leading rusher as he has 117 carries for 523 yards and four touchdowns while Dalyn Dawkins is next in line with 72 carries for 345 yards and two scores. Five players have double digit receptions for the Rams with Rashard Higgins leading the way with 41 receptions for 543 yards and four scores; Joe Hansley has 18 grabs for 272 yards and five scores while Xavier Williams has 17 catches for 213 yards and two scores. Wyatt Bryan has hit 24 of 25 extra points and eight of 12 field goals this season with a long of 42.
San Diego State is 5-0-1 ATS in their last six in October, 4-0 ATS in their last four overall, 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven after an ATS win, 4-1-1 ATS in their last six against teams with a losing record and 4-1 ATS in their last five road games against teams with a losing home record. Colorado State is 1-4 ATS in their last five against teams with winning records, 1-4 ATS in their last five in October and 1-5 ATS in their last six after allowing less than 170 yards through the air.
The Rams have to feel good after winning against Air Force but coming off a bye may have blunted some of that momentum. San Diego State has pulverized the opposition in their four game win streak and they haven’t been slowed, even with mediocre quarterback play. Look for the Aztecs to ride the ground game and get the win in this contest for their fifth straight victory.