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GAME PREVIEW: 15 BYU vs. San Diego St.



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(KSL Sports) After two thrilling, high-scoring conference games, #15. BYU (8-1, 5-1 MWC) is hoping for a more subdued match-up with injury-riddled San Diego St. (1-8, 0-5 MWC). The Cougar offense has shown off its high-powered ability and quick-strike capability against both UNLV and Colorado St. However, the defense, suffering through its own injuries, has struggled to keep opposing offenses off the field and out of the end zone.

The Aztecs enter this game in Provo scrambling to get healthy bodies on the field and it has shown statistically. SDSU is second to last in conference in points per game (13.6) and last in points allowed (43.8). BYU averages over 31 points a game offensively. BYU is ranked ahead of SDSU in almost every important statistical category.

KSL takes a look back and a look ahead as we prep for game day.

What did we learn about BYU vs. Colorado St.?

  • The offense is in sync and making plays when it has to
  • TE Dennis Pitta and WR Austin Collie are unstoppable in single coverage
  • The defense has difficulty with so-called "gadget" plays

What questions do we have about BYU?

  • How will the backups fare as starters on defense (DB Scott Johnson lost for rest of regular season)?
  • Can the Cougars cut down on the mistakes that almost cost them the game in Fort Collins?
  • Is the coaching staff comfortable with its current rotation and personnel decisions?

What can BYU expect from San Diego St.?

  • a small front four (Fui Vakapuna outweighs two of the Aztecs' starting defensive linemen)
  • a team that has the tendency to give up the big play, especially on the ground (the Aztecs have allowed 15 runs of 25 yards or more)
  • a decent pass attack led by QB Ryan Lindley

What can we expect from BYU vs. San Diego St.?

  • to try and establish the run, but stay with the same style of offense
  • DE Jan Jorgensen consistently in the SDSU backfield
  • Reserves on the field sometime in the second half

Miscellaneous:

  • SDSU has been held to 10 points or fewer five times
  • The Aztecs are ranked 118th in rushing, and 119th against the run (allowing 293 ground yards per game).
  • BYU has won eight consecutive games decided by 7 points or fewer. In the first six games of the Bronco Mendenhall era decided by a touchdown or less, BYU was 1-5.
  • A win versus San Diego State will set a new school record for consecutive home wins, with 18. It will mark the first time ever BYU has gone undefeated at home in three consecutive seasons.
  • BYU has yet to defeat an FBS team with a winning record; the Cougars' FBS victims are a combined 19-43. Two of BYU's last three opponents (Utah and Air Force) are a combined 16-2.
  • Because of injuries SDSU's four projected starting defensive linemen average 261 lbs, with two of the front four weighing less than Fui Vakapuna. BYU's offensive line averages 326 lbs.

Conclusion:

This game gives the Cougars the opportunity to catch their breath and figure things out defensively as they head into two tough games against Air Force and Utah on the road. Expect them to win the game handily, however BYU needs to dominate offensively and defensively not only for their own confidence, but to re-establish their national respect.

Kick-off of the game is at 12 p.m. at LaVell Edwards Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 8. Pregame coverage of the game can be heard on KSL Newsradio 102.7FM/1160AM beginning at 10 a.m.

You can listen to and watch Greg Wrubell call the game on KSL.com by clicking on the Radio tab and clicking chat below the Now Live picture in the upper right hand corner.

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