San Diego State vs. Wyoming prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Aztecs and Cowboys.
San Diego State vs. Wyoming – Mountain West Championship Game Preview
When: Saturday, Dec. 3 – 7:45 p.m. ET
Where: War Memorial Stadium, Laramie, Wyoming
TV Broadcast: ESPN
The defending Mountain West champions are going to get their shot at repeating. San Diego State (9-3) took the West division despite losing its last two regular season games. The Aztecs were riding a six-game winning streak, but fell on the road to Wyoming and at home to Colorado State. Now, Rocky Long’s team will get a shot at revenge against the Cowboys.
As for Craig Bohl’s team, it didn’t finish too hot either. Wyoming (8-4) lost two of its last three games after winning five in a row. The Cowboys fell to UNLV on the road, then beat the Aztecs, and then fell on the road to New Mexico in a three-week span.
The Cowboys obviously took the last matchup with the Aztecs, 34-33, and it’s Wyoming who controls the all-time series with San Diego State, 19-17.
What To Know About San Diego State
In the 63-31 loss to the Rams, quarterback Christian Chapman was average at best. He completed 11-of-19 passes for 183 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He found Mikah Holder for one of those touchdowns, and Holder finished with three catches for 87 yards. Davis Wells caught two balls for 42 yards and a score as well.
San Diego State relied on the running game, as usual. Donnel Pumphrey, surprisingly, was held to only 53 rushing yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Juwan Washington took six rushing attempts for 92 yards and a touchdown, too. Plus, Chapman ran for 25 yards on five carries.
What to Know About Wyoming
In their 56-35 loss to the Lobos, the Cowboys got some production from quarterback Josh Allen but not a lot. He connected on 18-of-28 passes for 248 yards, but he was unable to throw any touchdown passes. He did hook up with Tanner Gentry five times for 112 yards, though, and Jake Maulhardt added 55 yards on five catches.
Brian Hill was a workhorse yet again for Wyoming. He was given 26 carries, and Hill ran for 126 yards and three touchdowns. Shaun Wick tacked on 63 rushing yards on seven carries, but he never found his way into the end zone. Allen and Austin Conway were able to punch it across the goal line, though. They combined for 12 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
Offense: Wyoming – As great as Pumphrey has been both this season and in his college career, Hill can also pack a punch out of the backfield. And Allen is a more stable passing option for the Cowboys than Chapman is for the Aztecs.
Defense: San Diego State – The Aztecs are No. 19 in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 20.8 points per game.
Special Teams: San Diego State – John Baron II has accounted for 100 points on 49-of-50 extra points and 17-of-19 field goals.
Coaching: San Diego State – Long led his team to a conference title last year, and the smart money is on him again.
Matchup To Watch
Donnel Pumphrey vs. Brian Hill
Both these tailbacks are extremely talented. San Diego State has to get Pumphrey involved early and needs to find some space for him out on the perimeter. If he can find daylight on the edge, he can gash Wyoming for some big plays and long runs to either take it to the house or set the Aztecs up in the red zone. As for Hill, the Cowboys simply need to feed him. Get that man the football and tell everyone else to just do their job. He has a nose for the end zone and can really hurt San Diego State if given the carries.
Spread: San Diego State -7
San Diego State vs. Wyoming Prediction
The Cowboys aren’t going to go down without a fight. Allen can sling the rock, and Wyoming is going to rely on what has gotten it to this point. That’s the play of Hill. He’s going to get the Cowboys out to an early lead, and he’ll find the end zone a few times in this matchup, as he racks up more than 100 rushing yards. But Washington and Pumphrey are going to go off — specifically Pumphrey. He’s been bottled up lately, and the Aztecs will find a way to get him the ball in space. He’ll go over the century mark, too, and he’ll score a couple of touchdowns. It’ll be close, but in the end, San Diego State will defend its title.
San Diego State vs. Wyoming Score Prediction: San Diego State 35, Wyoming 31