Fresno State vs San Diego State Odds, Prediction, Pick: Aztecs to Fight for Hoke (Saturday, Nov. 25)
Kent Horner/Getty Images. SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 15: Juwan Washington #29 of the San Diego State Aztecs leads the team onto the field prior to the first half against the Fresno State Bulldogs at Qualcomm Stadium on November 15, 2019 in San Diego, California.
Fresno State vs San Diego State Odds
Let's head to San Diego, California, for the much-anticipated showdown between the Fresno State Bulldogs and the San Diego State Aztecs.
This game would have no relevance if the Aztecs weren't fighting for bowl eligibility, but this is head coach Brady Hoke's potential last game on the sidelines.
Hoke is expected to retire when the season concludes, which adds a ton of twist to this matchup.
The Bulldogs have already punched their ticket into Bowl season, so there's little reason to believe they will be fired up in this game.
However, there are a lot of lopsided statistics between these two teams, so let's see if there is anything to worry about in our team breakdown.
Read on for our Fresno State vs San Diego State Odds, Prediction, Pick.
Let's face it: you can't convince me the Bulldogs care about this game.
I didn't even mention that this team lost as a 24-point home favorite to New Mexico last week. It's safe to say they're coasting to bowl season.
This screams like a sleepy spot for a team traveling to San Diego to play a late Saturday night game. But I think it's fair to talk about Bulldogs' advantages in the underlying metrics.
Offensively, it's a pretty simple system for the Bulldogs, considering they are genuinely one-dimensional. They won't be able to take advantage of this horrific Aztec run defense, and quite frankly, that could be a big reason why they lose this game.
They are 20th in Havoc allowed and 46th in Pass Success Rate, so quarterback Logan Fife should be able to move the ball through the air here if he plays. Fife was truly awful last week, completing 9-of-16 passes for 125 yards, but starter MIkey Keene could return this week.
However, if Keene starts, he may not be 100%
The offense is 36th in Finishing Drives, but surprisingly, the Aztecs have presented a lot of teams from scoring touchdowns near the red zone. It's been the lone bright spot of their defensive unit.
Defensively, this group does an excellent job of preventing Quality Drives themselves. They are 29th in Havoc, so they've given their opponents fits in that department all season.
But quite frankly, I can't get behind any of these metrics after what I saw last weekend. This looks like a team that is complacent with where they are, and maybe they'll show up in a month when they play their bowl game.
Just like I mentioned with the Bulldogs, I'm throwing out many of these metrics in this matchup. We need to briefly touch upon them because they can play a role in this game, but this handicap is solely based on motivation and situation.
It's been a tough season for Hoke, but I know his players love him. They do not want to send this man into retirement with a loss, and I expect them to pull out all of the stops in this matchup to earn bowl eligibility.
I spoke about the horrific Aztec run defense, which is a huge issue. But right now, this won't matter against the Bulldogs.
The secondary isn't much better, but I'm not scared of Fresno through the air in this game. As long as the Aztecs continue limiting their opponents from scoring touchdowns near the red zone, I think they will be fine.
It doesn't get much better in the metrics department on offense, but I think they'll be able to find success moving the ball on the ground. The Aztecs are 45th in Rush Success Rate, encouraging entering a game where they will look to control the clock and hold on to the ball.
Considering Fresno doesn't run the ball, the Aztecs could lean heavily on their ground attack and play keep away from their opponent. The Bulldogs aren't world-beaters by any stretch, but I think this will be enough to win this game outright or keep it close, at the very least.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Fresno State and San Diego State match up statistically:
Fresno State Offense vs. San Diego State Defense
San Diego State Offense vs. Fresno State Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+
|Seconds per Play
This is the spot of all spots, folks.
I expect the Aztecs to empty the clip for Hoke and win this game outright.
There's no reason to believe Fresno cares about this game, and even if it does, I think it's shown plenty of flashes as to why this team is on a downward spiral.
Fife looked like he didn't belong on the field last week against New Mexico, the second-worst team in the Mountain West and probably a bottom-10 FBS team. I wouldn't expect a banged-up Keene to be much better.
It's always possible the Aztec offense struggles mightily, but I think the motivation and situation outweigh any metric in the book. At the very least, there's no way I don't see this game being a close contest for the Aztecs.
Let's hope the Aztecs win this one for Hoke.
Pick: San Diego State +5.5 (Play to +3.5 · Sprinkle ML +175)
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