Stanford vs. San Diego State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Friday, August 31
Game Time: 9:00 pm ET
Venue: Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, CA
Stanford (0-0) vs. San Diego State (0-0) Game Preview
When last we saw these two play, the lights went out in the stadium, but that didn’t stop San Diego State from doing just fine once everything went back to normal.
In an epic running back duel, Bryce Love won the battle, but Rashaad Penny’s team won the war. Love ran for 184 yards and two scores on just 13 carries, but he didn’t get a lick of help from a miserable day from the passing attack.
Penny ran 32 times for 175 yards and a score, but it was QB Christian Chapman who was the difference, hitting 21-of-29 passes to keep things moving in the 20-17 Aztec win.
There’s no Penny this year, and this time it’s in Stanford.
The Cardinal have a good enough team to get back to the Pac-12 Championship, but the season could go off the rails in a hurry with USC up next, and with road dates at Oregon and Notre Dame to finish off September. Lose again to the Aztecs, and with more nasty games in the back half, too, any and all College Football Playoff dreams will likely be gone.
And the Bryce Love Heisman campaign might be derailed, too.
For San Diego State, win, and with Arizona State and a trip to Boise State coming up in the first five games, this is the chance to make a big early statement with a massive resumé win on the road.
One Reason Why Stanford Will Win
The offensive line should take over right away, even against a nasty defensive front like San Diego State’s.
Of course having Love is a big deal, and of course he’ll be targeted. It might not matter, though, with a stronger Cardinal offensive front that should be able to give the main man just enough room to move and do what he does. Best of all, he’s finally healthy again. Now we get to once again see what he’s like again with two healthy legs.
This time around, the Stanford passing game will be better. Keller Chryst struggled mightily in last year’s loss, hitting just 9-of-20 passes for 72 yards and two picks. K.J. Costello is supposedly healthy and ready to having a hip issue that needed to heal up this offseason. There will be a passing game this time around.
One Reason Why San Diego State Will Win
The Aztec formula should still work.
There might not be a Rashaad Penny running the ball, but Juwan Washington is a strong-but-smallish veteran back who should be able to crank out big yards behind a line with all five starters returning. Chapman is also back as a solid, veteran leader who can keep the chains moving, even though the attack will center and focus around running the ball.
The SDSU D is once again loaded. The defense that gave up just 132 rushing yards per game might have had problems against Love in last year’s game, but it’s once again going to be among the nation’s best. The Cardinal offense isn’t going to go off.
What’s Going To Happen
This time there will be a Stanford passing game, and this time, that will be the difference.
It’ll be another battle of running games with the Aztecs holding their own, but Costello will come through when needed on two late drives to overcome an okay day from a bottled up Love. Like last season’s battle, it’ll be low-scoring and tough. but unlike last year, Stanford will survive and advance.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Stanford 26, San Diego State 17
Line: Stanford -14.5, o/u: 49
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3.5
Must See Rating: 3.5
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