Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#317 Fresno State 44 vs.
#318 San Diego State -1
Friday, November 15, 2019 at 9:30pm EST
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#317 California State University, Fresno
#318 San Diego State University
4-5
7-2
3-5-1
5-4
7-2
1-8
34
20
32
14

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In a crucial Mountain West matchup, Fresno State will pay a visit to San Diego State on Friday night in the battle for the "Old Oil Can." Fresno State (2-3 West division) still needs two wins to qualify for a bowl game while a victory by division-leading San Diego State (4-2) would assure the Aztecs at least a share of the division title. Last year, Fresno St. outscored SDSU 14-0 in the second half to earn a 23-14 victory. The Aztecs lead the all-time series 29-25-4, which includes holding a 15-13-2 advantage at home.

Fresno State seeking second big conference road victory

Fresno State concludes the regular season by playing two of its remaining three games on the road. The Bulldogs are 2-2 away from home, which includes a 41-38 victory over Hawai'i two weeks ago. Fresno St. is coming off a disappointing high-scoring 37-35 loss to Utah State, where the Bulldogs overcame a 14-point third-quarter deficit to take a 35-31 lead on a Jalen Cropper 10-yard run with 14:11 left in the game.

With the Bulldogs leading 35-34, Utah State's Dominik Eberle kicked the game-winning 30-yard field goal as time expired after the Aggies marched 41 yards on eight plays over the final 3:05. Jorge Reyna completed a season-high 80%(16 of 20) of his passes for 263 yards, which is his highest total over his last six outings. Ronnie Rivers hit the 100-yard mark for a third straight game as he rushed for 102 yards and a season-high three touchdowns. Cropper racked up 104 total scrimmage yards with 87 yards coming on three receptions and 17 yards coming on four carries. Fresno St. was outgained 529 to 419 in total yards.

Reyna has completed 180 of 280 passes (64.2%) for 2, 106 yards along with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions for the season. He has added 262 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground. Rivers (126 attempts for 655 rushing yards, 11 TDs) leads the nation's rushing attack that is averaging 181.9 yards on the ground. Rivers, who is second on the team with 24 receptions, and Cropper (20 for 343 yards, three TDs; 14 receptions for 203 yards, 1TD) are versatile backs who can hurt teams on the ground or catching the ball out of the backfield. Zane Pope tops the squad with 39 receptions for 397 yards and one touchdown.

Fresno St. ranks 31st in the nation with 34.4 points a game while racking up 415.8 total yards of offense. The Bulldogs have allowed 15 sacks and turned the ball over 13 times. Defensively, Fresno St. is permitting 32.4 points (103rd) a game and 422.4 total yards. The Bulldogs are allowing the 162.1 yards on the ground per game and 260.3 yards per the air. The defense has recorded 12 sacks and forced 18 turnovers.

Aztecs looking to start new streak

San Diego State had its season-high four-game win streak snapped as a result of a trick play as they fell to Nevada 17-13 on Saturday. Tied at 3-3 at halftime, Nevada would go up 10-3 on a 13-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter. SDSU running back Chance Bell would knot the game up late in the quarter with a three-yard touchdown dash. Following an exchange of punts, Nevada took over at their own 45-yard line. On the very first play of the series, the Wolf Pack ran a reverse to wide receiver Elijah Cooks who threw a 50-yard strike to Brendan O'Leary-Orange to set up a first-and-goal situation at the five-yard line. Nevada would score three plays later from 1-yard out. The Aztecs would answer with a 44-yard field goal. However, they weren't able to do anything on offense, turning the ball over on downs, on their next possession after forcing the Wolf Pack to a three-and-out possession. Ryan Agnew (158 of 254 for 1,623 yards, 10 TDs, four INTs) completed just 17 of 35 passes for 196 yards and a pick. San Diego St. outgained Nevada 309-to-226 as the Aztecs held the Wolf Pack to 29 rushing yards on 28 attempts. However, SDSU was penalized nine times while Nevada was flagged four times.

SDSU is averaging 20.8 points (97th) and 327.7 total yards, with 179.2 yards coming via the air and 148.8 yards on the ground. Juwan Washington (131 carries-for-450 yards, two TDs) and Bell (67-307, two TDs) lead four players with at least 200 rushing yards. Wide receiver Kobe Smith has been remarkably consistent this year, leading the team with 44 receptions for 554 yards along with four touchdowns. The Aztecs have turned the ball over five times, and their offensive line has surrendered 17 sacks.

Defensively, SDSU ranks 14th in the nation allowing 14.4 points and No. 8 in total defense at 277.7 yards. The Aztecs have limited their opponents to 211.8 passing yards and a measly 56 yards on the ground. They have recorded 20 sacks and registered 15 takeaways, including nine interceptions.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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This game features a contrast in styles as Fresno State relies on its offense to outscore opponents. Meanwhile, SDSU tries not to lose the game offensively by controlling the ball and not turning the ball over. I believe that the Aztec will come out on top in this one as their sputtering spread offense will score just enough points. San Diego is 3-2 in games decided by six or fewer points while Fresno State is 1-2 this year.

 

Prediction: San Diego State -1.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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If SDSU is going to win this game, the Aztecs are going to have to do what they are good out, which is controlling the ball and rely on its staunch defense. San Diego State is allowing less than 18 points a game during MWC play, and the Aztecs have permitted over 20 points in just once this entire season.

The under has hit in each of the last six meetings between the Aztecs and Bulldogs. The two teams also have failed to combine to hit the over/under point total in four of their five contests at SDSU.

Prediction: Under 44.5
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