San Diego State vs. Nevada prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Aztecs and Wolf Pack.
When: Saturday, Nov. 12 – 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: Mackay Stadium, Reno, Nevada
TV Broadcast: CBSSN
The Aztecs (8-1) are looking strong in first place of the West division in the Mountain West and are right on course for a second straight conference if they keep it up. San Diego State has won its last five games over UNLV, Fresno State, San Jose State, Utah State and Hawaii. Last weekend, the Aztecs hosted the Rainbow Warriors and absolutely demolished them, 55-0.
Across the field will be the Wolf Pack (3-6), which sits in fifth place in the West. Brian Polian’s team started out 3-3 in its 2016 campaign, but the last four weeks have not gone too well. Nevada has fallen in its last three games to San Jose State, Wyoming and New Mexico. The Wolf Pack had a bye week two weeks ago before losing to the Lobos on the road, 35-26.
The all-time series between the Aztecs and the Wolf Pack is close, very close. San Diego State leads it, 5-3, and it took last season’s meeting in San Diego, 31-14.
What To Know About San Diego State
The Aztecs put a beating down on Hawaii, and a big chunk of the credit goes to Christian Chapman. He connected on 7-of-15 passes for 76 yards, but he threw three touchdowns to only one interception. Juwan Washington led the team with 24 receiving yards on one catch, which resulted in six points. David Wells also caught one pass for a 13-yard touchdown, and Quest Truxton added a nine-yard score on his only catch.
San Diego State turned to its go-to playmaker, Donnel Pumphrey, for 112 yards on the ground off of 21 carries. He didn’t find his way into the end zone — somehow — but Rashaad Penny sure did with his 108 rushing yards on eight touches. Juwan Washington took five carries for 48 yards and a touchdown, too.
What to Know About Nevada
James Butler put on a show in the rushing attack for the Wolf Pack last time out. He ran for 94 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries against New Mexico. However, Nevada rushed for 108 yards because Ahki Muhammad was the team’s only other player with positive rushing yardage thanks to his one carry for 17 yards.
Ty Gangi had an up-and-down game from the pocket as well. He threw for 301 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions on 19-of-34 passing. Wyatt Demps was on the receiving end of one of those scoring throws. He finished with six grabs for 92 yards. Muhammad caught another, and that was one of his two receptions for 57 yards. Brandon Scott caught only one ball, and that was a 19-yard touchdown.
Offense: San Diego State – Pumphrey is unreal, and Nevada should basically bow down and bring offerings in hope he doesn’t post 200 rushing yards on it.
Defense: San Diego State – The Aztecs are No. 7 in scoring defense, allowing 15.1 points per game.
Special Teams: San Diego State – Penny is a factor in the return game, and John Baron II has missed only two of his 14 field goals. One of those misses came from 50-plus yards out, and the other was from 40-plus yards out.
Coaching: San Diego State – Rocky Long is eyeing a second straight conference title.
Matchup To Watch
Christian Chapman vs. Nevada defense
There simply is no stopping Pumphrey. It’s not going to happen. What can happen, though, is the Wolf Pack being able to slow down Chapman. If Nevada can get him moving and lay a few early hits on him, it will be able to shake his confidence and get the Aztecs off the field quicker. However, Chapman can counter by getting the ball out quickly and relying on Pumphrey to carry the offense.
Spread: San Diego State -23.5
San Diego State vs. Nevada Prediction
Sit back, relax, find No. 19 in the San Diego State backfield and enjoy the magic. Pumphrey will torch the Wolf Pack for 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He’ll also catch a few passes from Chapman and navigate his way across the goal line. Gangi will throw one touchdown but will be held in check most the game. Butler will also find the end zone, but the Aztecs are taking this game with ease.
San Diego State vs. Nevada Score Prediction: San Diego State 35, Nevada 14