Mountain West Championship: San Diego State (9-3) vs. Wyoming (8-4) Game Preview
Check out the Mountain West Championship: San Diego State vs. Wyoming fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 3
Game Time: 7:45 pm
Venue: War Memorial Stadium, Laramie, WY
Bowl and Conference Implications
There likely won’t be any bowl implications. San Diego State will almost certainly stay close to home in the San Diego Country Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, and Wyoming should be off to the Las Vegas Bowl. But that’s speculation – the Mountain West doesn’t have hard-and-fast tie-ins for the top of the chain.
What Does Each Team Need To Do?
It was a thriller the first time these two teams met a few weeks ago – a 34-33 Wyoming win. To be fair, though, San Diego State had the West won and didn’t need the game, but that’s not to say it didn’t try.
And now there’s a huge concern after the defense that was so dominant for most of the season stopped showing up over the last few weeks against the run. Again, the Aztecs were already in the Mountain West title game and they could afford to take their foot off the gas – sort of, even though the New Year’s Six bowl slot was still a possibility – allowing over 200 rushing yards for the first and second times all year against the Cowboys and then Colorado State.
There’s not too much of a pass rush, but there doesn’t need to be thanks to the overactive linebackers who don’t make a slew of big mistakes. Against Wyoming, the Aztecs have to first slow down Brian Hill, and then keep QB Josh Allen from rolling.
Neither of those two things happened in the first meeting.
What’s been the biggest difference for the Cowboys? The quarterback play has been far, far better, with Allen getting stronger as the season has gone on as a passer, while still taking off for a few big runs when needed.
Hill has been tremendous yet again, running for 1,674 yards and 21 scores – including 131 yards and two scores against SDSU – but he was overshadowed on a national scale because Mr. Pumphrey was coming up with a historic season.
Donnel Pumphrey hasn’t gotten as much of the workload over the last two weeks – he’s usually good for well over 20 carries a game and he hasn’t hit that mark over two games – with just 76 yards against Wyoming and 53 against Colorado State. However, he’s still a near-lock for a 2,000-yard season, getting up to 1,908 yards and 15 scores.
Held in relative check in San Diego State’s Mountain West title win last year – he ran for 90 yards – now he’s due to explode. He’s been saved for this moment.
The Aztecs have an efficient passing game, but they want to run early, run often, and rely on the defense, hoping it’ll turn it back around. They don’t make a slew of mistakes, and with the title on the line, they should be frothing at the mouth on both sides of the ball.
And after allowing 568 rushing yards allowing over 12 yards per pop in last week’s loss to New Mexico, the Cowboy defense has to be ready to rock, too.
What’s Going To Happen?
Both teams will look like themselves again.
There’s a big concern, though, that the Cowboy defense also got ripped up by UNLV a few weeks ago – allowing 401 rushing yards – and are about to get hit by a San Diego State ground game gearing up for this.
Pumphrey will be Pumphrey again, getting 25 carries and controlling the game, while Wyoming will get stopped just enough by the veteran Aztec defensive front to take over the game in the second half.
Wyoming has stepped up time and time again when it wasn’t supposed to perform well, and it should play with the right energy at home to make this a fight, but San Diego State will rise up at the right time to make it two in a row.
Mountain West Championship: San Diego State vs. Wyoming Prediction
San Diego State 34, Wyoming 23
San Diego State -6.5, o/u: 61
ATS Confidence: 5: Mitt Romney – 1: Rudy Guiliani … 2
Must See Rating: 5: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 1: CMA Country Christmas 2016 … 4