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UTSA vs. San Diego State Odds & Picks: Why to Bet Frisco Bowl’s Over/Under

UTSA vs. San Diego State Odds & Picks: Why to Bet Frisco Bowl’s Over/Under article feature image
Credit:

Joe Murphy/Getty Images. and Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured, from left: Sincere McCormick (3) of the UTSA Roadrunners and Jordon Brookshire (4) of the San Diego State Aztecs.

UTSA vs. San Diego State Odds

Tuesday, Dec. 21
7:30 p.m. ET
ESPN
UTSA Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+2
-110
48.5
-110o / -110u
+115
San Diego State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-2
-110
48.5
-110o / -110u
-135
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Frisco Bowl
Tuesday, Dec. 21 · Frisco, TX

The fourth edition of the Frisco Bowl is set for two of the best Group of Five teams.

San Diego State came up short in the Mountain West Conference Championship game with reports of up to 20 players missing due to COVID-19.

Before the blowout loss, the Aztecs fielded one of the best defenses in college football with a top-20 special teams unit by its side. Ray Guy Award winner Matt Araiza has been a surgeon as a punter.

UTSA won Conference USA by surviving a late air blitz from Western Kentucky. The Roadrunners feasted on opponents this season, particularly away from San Antonio.

Head coach Jeff Traylor signed a new deal midseason as his team covered the spread in all but one road game this season. Like San Diego State, the Conference USA champs have a top-20 special teams unit.

The market has this game within a field goal, which should lead to high drama at the Group of Five stage.


UTSA Roadrunners

The biggest news for UTSA since the Conference USA Championship victory is the departure of star running back Sincere McCormick. The junior has declared for the NFL Draft and will not participate in the Frisco Bowl.

In his three years at UTSA, McCormick generated over 3,900 rushing yards with 34 touchdowns and 146 forced missed tackles. Backup running backs Brenden Brady and BJ Daniels have combined for less than 400 yards on 82 attempts this season.

The Roadrunners will be heavily dependent on the arm and legs of quarterback Frank Harris.

UTSA coach Jeff Traylor's the real MVP for going for it on 4th down just a few plays earlier that led to this BEAUTIFUL Frank Harris to De'Corian Clark TDpic.twitter.com/LsNMYAaDOc

— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) December 4, 2021

Harris is the second-leading rusher on the team, but his accuracy and depth has led to a team rank of 13th in Passing Success Rate. The advanced numbers back up Harris’ touchdown-to-interception ratio, with 24 big-time throws on the season to just 15 turnover-worthy plays.

The struggle has come in pressured dropbacks, as 11 of the 15 turnover-worthy plays came from a crowded pocket.

The defense’s issues with the pass were on full display against the Hilltoppers, but with San Diego State running the ball on 63% snaps, the focus is on the front seven for the Roadrunners.

A Defensive Stuff Rate rank of 31st is the best attribute of the rush defense, as a Line Yards and Finishing Drives rank outside the top 50 indicates the Aztecs will have some success on offense.

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San Diego State Aztecs

Head coach Brady Hoke will continue to interchange Jordon Brookshire and Lucas Johnson depending on matchups and who has the hot hand.

Johnson was the starter through the second half of the season, but a switch to Brookshire against Boise State led to a Mountain West West Division crown.

Both quarterbacks have mobility, as the base of the team is the rushing attack behind back Greg Bell.

.@GregBell_ straight up the gut for 50

Watch on @CBSSportsNet pic.twitter.com/YPfm6ydMut

— San Diego State Football (@AztecFB) November 14, 2021

Despite a high rank in rush explosiveness, this is an offense that struggles to score points under offensive coordinator Jeff Hecklinski. San Diego State is stuffed on rushing attempts more than 5% above the national average.

Hoke’s team was successful in winning the division because of a run defense that stuffs teams at a rate 15% above the national average. Without McCormick for UTSA, San Diego State will flex in the trench with top-10 ranks in Line Yards, Havoc and Rushing Success Rate.


UTSA vs. San Diego State Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how UTSA and San Diego State match up statistically:

UTSA Offense vs. San Diego State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 51 2
Line Yards 59 5
Pass Success 13 16
Pass Blocking** 96 33
Big Play 63 25
Havoc 33 7
Finishing Drives 25 34
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

San Diego State Offense vs. UTSA Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 63 36
Line Yards 92 56
Pass Success 113 65
Pass Blocking** 22 127
Big Play 113 57
Havoc 62 30
Finishing Drives 100 72
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 101 39
Coverage 101 18
Middle 8 9 8
SP+ Special Teams 19 16
Plays per Minute 34 113
Rush Rate 56.6% (54) 62.% (16)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


UTSA vs. San Diego State Betting Pick

With limited options in the backfield for a UTSA rush attack, Harris will turn to the air for execution in standard downs. Utah State sliced the San Diego State defense with short-to-medium passing routes.

The line of scrimmage to 10 yards out between the hashmarks has been the comfort zone for UTSA passing, as Harris has attempted 39% of all passes to this area of the field. With eight fumbles in the last three games, UTSA may limit Harris scrambles and work on exposing the middle of the Aztec defense.

The weakness of the Roadrunners defense has come in allowing the explosive play. UTSA is near dead last in pass rush and outside the top 100 in coverage and tackling.

Brookshire and Johnson will both take shots down the field while mixing in designed runs until Hecklinski finds consistency out of either quarterback. This is one of the slowest offenses in the nation, but if UTSA generates a two-score lead, the Aztecs will elect to go uptempo.

The Roadrunners are 34th in plays per minute out of this heavy-rush attack. Because of recent fumble issues with Harris and the departure of McCormick, expect UTSA to run uptempo with more passing. Utah State laid a blueprint for how to attack the Aztecs, and the Roadrunners will attempt to follow it.

Our Action Network projection makes this game UTSA -1.5 with a total of 51.5. The market is about in line with the side, but with the expected increase in passing, there’s value on the over.

San Diego State will look to take advantage of a poor pass defense, while UTSA will use uptempo throws over the middle to win the Frisco Bowl.

Pick: Over 49

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