Check out our best plays in this week’s “Fab Five”:
It’s a matchup between a pair of teams from the West Division of the Mountain West Conference in the Golden State. The San Diego State Aztecs are on the road as they travel to face the Fresno State Bulldogs Saturday night. San Diego State was upended 27-24 at home by UNLV last Saturday in their most recent contest. Fresno State had their win streak snapped with a 24-17 road loss to Boise State last Friday in their last game. The Aztecs lead the all-time series between the teams 16-10 but it was the Bulldogs taking a 27-3 road win in the last matchup on October 21, 2017.
San Diego State Aztecs Seek Road Victory
San Diego State lost for the second time in three games as they were upended by UNLV at home. The Aztecs fell to 4-2 in conference play, leaving them tied with Nevada for second in the West Division, one game behind Fresno State. San Diego State erased a 13-7 deficit late in the second quarter to lead 24-13 after three quarters. The Aztecs gave up two fourth quarter touchdowns and saw their final substantive drive end with an interception. San Diego State lost the total yardage battle 436-368 despite owning a 21-19 advantage in first downs and a 30:43 to 29:17 edge in time of possession. Both teams committed two turnovers in the contest. The Aztecs are 2-8 ATS this season while the under is 7-3 in those contests.
— SDSU Football (@SDSUFootball) November 10, 2018
The Aztecs are 103rd in the nation in passing offense with an average of 190.3 yards per game through the air while the team is 69th in rushing with 166.1 yards per contest. San Diego State is just 113th in the nation in scoring offense as they average 22.4 points per contest while the team is 23rd in scoring defense by allowing only 20.7 points per contest. Ryan Agnew is 97 of 187 passing for 1,404 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions while adding 106 rushing yards. Christian Chapman is 37 of 55 for 499 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Juwan Washington leads the team with 131 carries for 674 yards and eight scores: he’s missed time earlier this season with a broken collarbone. That leaves Chase Jarmin (134 carries, 585 yards, five TD) and Jordan Byrd (19 carries, 116 yards, TD) as the current lead backs in the system. In the passing game, Ethan Dedeaux (22 receptions, 262 yards) is the top target. Fred Trevillion (16 grabs, 321 yards) and Kahale Warring (24 catches, 314 yards, three TD) are solid options as well. John Baron II is solid at kicker: he is 22 of 22 on extra points and 16 of 19 field goals with a long of 54 this season.
Fresno State Bulldogs Looking to Lock Up West Division Title
Fresno State had won seven straight before falling on the blue turf up in Boise. The Bulldogs are now 5-1 in conference play and a win here would lock up the West Division title and a spot in the Mountain West title game. Fresno State led 10-3 at the half and 17-3 in the third quarter but gave up 21 unanswered points to take the loss. The Bulldogs were outgained 448-390, lost the first down battle 24-22 and the time of possession by a 34:26 to 25:34 margin. Fresno State forced the lone turnover of the game but the defense was worn down late and that cost them.
Remember when KeeSean Johnson burned @BroncoSportsFB in last year's regular season matchup? 6 catches, 119 receiving yards and 2 TDs later the Bulldogs were victorious.
— Stadium (@WatchStadium) November 10, 2018
The Bulldogs are 25th in the FBS in passing offense with 281 yards per game and stand 92nd in rushing offense with 146.2 yards per contest. Fresno State is 16th in scoring offense with 38.1 points per game and is 5th in scoring defense as they give up 13.5 points per contest. Marcus McMaryion is 221 of 313 for 2,699 yards with 21 touchdowns against three interceptions while adding 167 yards and seven scores on the ground. Jorge Reyna is eight of 12 for 111 yards plus a score while running for 56 yards this season. Ronnie Rivers has 52 carries for 298 yards and six scores on the year. Jordan Mims is leading the team with 96 carries with 353 yards and four scores while Josh Hokit chips in 60 carries for 220 yards plus a score. KeeSean Johnson leads the Bulldogs with 70 receptions for 953 yards plus seven scores. Jared Rice (41 catches, 520 yards, three TD), Mims (18 catches, 268 yards, two TD) and Jamire Jordan (21 receptions, 285 yards, two TD) are also good pass catchers. Asa Fuller has hit 46 of 50 extra points and nine of 15 field goals this season with a long of 47.
- Bulldogs are 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game
- Bulldogs are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS loss
- Bulldogs are 14-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- Aztecs are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS loss
- Aztecs are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 conference games
- Aztecs are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This one is a matchup of two extremely stingy defenses and it’s going to be a challenge to move the ball. Fresno State is 5th in the nation in scoring defense while San Diego State is 23rd in that department. The Bulldogs are a perfect 4-0 at home this season while the Aztecs are 2-2 on the road. Fresno State has better weapons offensively to work with and the McMaryion/Johnson combination is a dangerous one. San Diego State battles but they can’t hang with the Bulldogs on the road. Look for Fresno State to get back in the win column and clinch the West Division title.
Prediction: Fresno State Bulldogs -15
Full-Game Total Pick
Defense is going to tell the tale in this contest. The Aztecs had a chance to put away UNLV and let it slip away, which could end up costing them the West Division title. Fresno State held their edge over Boise State before the Broncos’ offense got going and wore the Bulldogs defense down. This one goes a long way to determining who wins the West Division and plays in the Mountain West title game. Can San Diego State throw a wrench in Fresno State’s plans or will the Bulldogs clinch the division with a win here?
The under is 4-1 in the Aztecs’ last 5 games following a straight up loss, 10-3 in their last 13 games following an ATS loss, 8-3 in their last 11 vs. a team with a winning record and 5-2 in their last seven conference games. Fresno State has seen the under go 9-0 in their last nine in November, 5-1 in their last six overall and 4-1 in their last five on fieldturf. The teams have stayed under the total in each of the last five meetings. Look for this one to follow suit as the defenses carry the day.
Prediction: Under 44