Fresno State vs. San Diego State: Keys to the Game

No. 15 Fresno State (6-0, 3-0 MWC) at San Diego State (3-3, 2-0)

Start fast

It seems more like a reminder, but Fresno State’s up-tempo, no-huddle spread offense has been able to get off the blocks quick, scoring in its first possession of the game in every game this season. The Bulldogs got off to a really fast start against UNLV – scoring on the first play from scrimmage nine seconds into the contest. Fresno State is averaging 89.5 plays per game and has outscored opponents 83-20 in the first quarter this season.

Disrupt the run game

The Aztecs have been more consistent on offense with walk-on Quinn Kaehler behind center, but the focal point is the power run game that takes the pressure off Kaehler and opens up play action opportunities. Senior Adam Muema and freshman Donnel Pumphrey are doing it by committee in the backfield. Pumphrey leads the team with 449 rushing yards, averaging 7.4 yards per carry. A fast start and a stop to the run game will force the Aztecs to lean on Kaehler to help SDSU keep pace with Fresno State. It doesn’t show in turnovers, but the Bulldogs’ defensive line has been able to consistently rattle opposing quarterbacks with pressure.

Find Adams

If it’s not broke, why fix it? Quarterback Derek Carr and Davante Adams have formed one of the most productive quartback-receiver tandems in the nation. Adams has caught seven touchdown passes the last two wins and Derek Carr has thrown for more than 400 yards four times this season. Adams is getting open more as defenses have started to cover him one-on-one more consistently. The Aztecs are expected to play in man coverage on defense.

Fresno State is favored to win by 9.5 points. 

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