Fresno State at San Diego State
Time: 8 PM CST, Friday
Spread: SDS -1.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The San Diego State Aztecs are 7-2 and atop the Mountain West- West division. It will host visiting Fresno State at 8 PM (CST) Friday night on ESPN2. The Aztecs are 1.5-point favorites on its home field.
SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS:
San Diego State lost last week 13-17 to Nevada, ending a four-game win streak for the Aztecs. It closes the 2019 season with games at Hawaii and BYU, and the Aztecs should draw a nice bowl appearance given its overall good season. The Aztecs did not have a great year offensively, but its defense has made it a competitive team. San Diego State limits opponents to just 14.4 points per game while scoring 20.8 itself— with a pass offense ranking No. 110 and a rush offense that is No. 90. Collectively both produce just 326.5 yards per game, which is not good, but the defense has been superb and the team still boasts a +6.4 point differential.
San Diego State’s quarterback Ryan Agnew has been accurate and good. He has amassed 1,623 yards this season with 62.2 percent passing, 10 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. His passer rating of 125.7 is solid.
But the backfield has been inconsistent and lacks big performers.
No. 1 running back Juwan Washington averages just 3.4 yards-per-carry, and he has two the Aztec’s eight rushing touchdowns. Chance Bell and Jordan Byrd combine for less than Washington’s 131 carries, but neither of them has been very good either, with Bell approaching respectability with his 4.6 yards per, but Byrd averaging just 3.6. Agnew has had little success too, with just 99 yards on his 64 carries, averaging just 1.5 yards per attempt with no touchdowns.
The wide receiving core is led by Kobe Smith, who has 554 yards and a team-high 46 receptions and four touchdowns. Tight end Daniel Bellinger has been a good target with two touchdowns on his eight receptions, and he averages 15.9 yards-per-catch. He probably should be featured in more offensive sets as a receiver given this small sample size suggesting that he could be more to the Aztecs, but this is a team whose identity revolves around the work it does on the defensive end of the football.
FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS:
The Fresno State Bulldogs are 4-5 on the season and 2-3 in Mountain West play. It has lost two of its last three, including a 35-37 heartbreaker to Utah State last week. The Bulldogs lost on a last-second Utah State field goal, as Dom Eberle nailed the 30-yarder to give the Aggies the win. Despite the loss, the Bulldogs were very sharp offensively at least: Jorge Reyna completed 80 percent of his passes for 263 yards, but he failed to throw any TD passes.
All five of Fresno’s touchdowns came via the rush, with Ronnie Rivers providing three of those on his 17 carries for 102 yards. Jalen Cropper caught three passes for 87 yards and Zane Pope caught six for 61 yards. The Bulldogs attempted no field goals in the game.
Reyna has had a good season, with a few flaws. He has thrown for 2,106 yards at a respectable 64.3 percent, but he has 11 touchdowns with a just-too-high six interceptions. He has also suffered 15 sacks for a loss of 91 yards. Rivers has been consistently good all season as the featured running back, though. He has 655 yards and 11 of the team’s 25 rushing touchdowns.
Cropper (a wide receiver) is No. 2 in rushing yardage with just 20 attempts, averaging an amazing 17.1 yards-per-carry and he is No. 3 in touchdowns with three. Josh Hokit is a red-zone specialist with 58 rushes for 226 yards but a second-best nine touchdowns this season.