Can San Diego State’s defense hold off a tough Utah State offense to win the Mountain West Championship?
Utah State Aggies vs. San Diego State Aztecs
Saturday, December 4, 2021 – 03:00 PM EST at Dignity Health Sports Park
The San Diego State Aztecs will look to stand their ground one last time in the Mountain West as they take on the Utah State Aggies in the Mountain West Championship. The Aztecs are 11-1 on the year with their lone loss to Fresno State, at home 30-20. The rest of San Diego State’s games have been won.
While most of those wins have been one-score games and ugly wins, the Aztecs have been getting the job done and that’s all that matters. San Diego State is only allowing 17.3 points per game while allowing just 314.3 yards per game on the year. The Aztecs are giving up only 78.7 yards rushing per game and have been one of the best defenses in the nation this season.
Clearly, the rushing defense has been solid but the coverage and pass rush has been just as effective, if not more effective. The Aztecs have allowed just 235.7 yards per game in the air and have been getting pressure on every single quarterback they’ve faced.
The offense isn’t all that special, especially in the passing game, but the Aztecs are able to run the ball at a solid pace. They’ve averaged 178.7 yards per game and have a terrific run-blocking unit with their offensive line.
This works in San Diego State’s favor knowing that the Utah State Aggies are allowing 163.8 yards per game on the ground and nearly 400 yards of offense per game. The Aggies have struggled to stop the run and also don’t have the greatest secondary this season.
The pass rush has been effective but San Diego State won’t be afraid to run the ball on most downs. Quarterback Lucas Johnson is a senior with just nine touchdowns thrown and four interceptions. Johnson had just 20 attempts last week against Boise State. He also doesn’t bring much to the table when rushing the football either.
But the big thing with Johnson is that he is careful with the football. Meanwhile, Utah State’s Logan Bonner has thrown for 32 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on the year. The ball is in his hands much more often as he’s thrown for 3,242 yards on the season.
Still, the pass protection has not been great for Bonner and that could hurt Utah State’s chances at big plays down the field.
It really comes down to Utah State’s offense and how it performs against San Diego State. The Aggies have averaged 457.9 yards per game this season and will be one of San Diego’s toughest opponents defensively this season. I agree with the line that this game will more than likely be a one-score game at its completion.
But I also believe we’ll see fewer points in this one between San Diego State and Utah State. I’ll grab the under 50 for my NCAAF pick in this game knowing that San Diego State is going to want to run the football.
Utah State should also struggle a bit in the passing game against the pass rush and coverage of San Diego State.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.