San Diego State vs. Colorado State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Aztecs and Rams.
When: Saturday, Nov. 26 – 9:00 p.m. ET
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
TV Broadcast: CBSSN
San Diego State (9-2) was riding a six-game winning streak that began on Oct. 8 with a 26-7 win over UNLV, and it effectively ended this past weekend. A week after the Aztecs took down Nevada on the road, 46-16, they were on the road at Wyoming. And the Cowboys defeated Rocky Long’s team, 34-33. San Diego State is still in first place in the Mountain West’s West division, though.
As for Colorado State (6-5), it’s sitting in fourth place in the Mountain division. The Rams had picked up back-to-back wins over UNLV and Fresno State, but they then went on the road and fell to Air Force, 49-46. This past Saturday, though, Colorado State hosted New Mexico and defeated the Lobos, 49-31.
The Aztecs lead the all-time series with the Rams, 20-13. And San Diego State has taken the last five matchups with Colorado State, including last season’s 41-17 win in Fort Collins.
What To Know About San Diego State
The Aztecs got a solid showing from quarterback Christian Chapman in the loss to Wyoming. He completed 15-of-26 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns. Quest Truxton caught two passes for 50 yards, one of those was for a touchdown. Parker Houston also reeled in a scoring strike as one of his two catches for eight yards.
Donnel Pumphrey led the team with five receptions for 52 yards, but he was bottled up for the most part on the ground, which is an uncommon occurrence to say the least. Pumphrey managed only 76 rushing yards on 17 carries, and he was unable to sneak into the end zone. Rashaad Penny led the team with 79 rushing yards on five carries.
What to Know About Colorado State
Rams quarterback Nick Stevens wasn’t asked to do a lot through the air in the win over New Mexico, but he was definitely efficient. He completed 9-of-10 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Gallup caught one of those touchdowns and finished with five catches for 116 yards. Nolan Peralta ended up with one grab that resulted in a 19-yard touchdown.
The running game was absolutely dominant for Colorado State, as it had three players rush for more than 100 yards. Marvin Kinsey Jr., picked up 127 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Izzy Matthews took his 14 touches for 107 yards and a touchdown. And Dalyn Dawkins also ran for 102 yards on his 10 carries. Stevens ran the ball across the goal line twice, and Detrich Clark also ran for a touchdown.
Offense: San Diego State – The Rams certainly impressed with their running game, but they don’t have the firepower that Penny and Pumphrey possess.
Defense: San Diego State – The Aztecs are No. 8 in the country in scoring defense, allowing 16.9 points per game.
Special Teams: San Diego State – John Baron II has hit 16-of-18 field goals, and both misses came from outside 40 yards.
Coaching: San Diego State – Long led the Aztecs to a Mountain West title last season, and he’s aiming to do it again in 2016.
Matchup To Watch
San Diego State running game vs. Colorado State running game
This could get interesting really quickly. Pumphrey and Penny have been dominant when they’ve been given the ball. Surely their performances against Wyoming were outliers. Both can gash a defense for long runs if given lanes to run. As for the Rams, they just have so many different bodies. They can hand off to Matthews, Dawkins, Kinsey, etc. Even Stevens — see what I did there — can run. This will be fun to watch.
Spread: San Diego State -11.5
San Diego State vs. Colorado State Prediction
The Rams are going to run, run and run some more. Dawkins and Kinsey will both find the end zone, but Stevens won’t be able to do too much through the air. The Aztecs will mix up their coverage and make it difficult for Stevens to get into a rhythm. Pumphrey and Penny are going to play angry, and they’ll combine for more than 300 rushing yards and a few touchdowns. San Diego State wins.
San Diego State vs. Colorado State Score Prediction: San Diego State 35, Colorado State 24