The San Diego State Aztecs had an ugly offensive performance in their last game against Fresno State. They’ll get another good chance to get back on track against a very suspect New Mexico defense in Albuquerque on Friday night. The New Mexico Lobos are, however, coming off of their best defensive performance since 2008 with a 21-9 win at UTSA. Expect a lot of running in this game as the Aztecs have quarterback issues and the Lobos don’t throw much anyway.
San Diego State vs. New Mexico College Football Preview
Date/Time: Friday October 10, 9:30 p.m. ET
College Football Betting Odds from WagerWeb
College Football Betting Favorite: San Diego State -4.5
Rocky Long returns home to New Mexico where he was the coach from 1998-08. He is 4-4 ATS as road chalk with the Aztecs and 22-21-1 against the spread overall. Bob Davie is now just 14-16 ATS as the Lobos covered for the first time this season in their win over UTSA. The Lobos are 0-5 ATS in their last five games as a home underdog.
San Diego State:
Nick Bawden had a rough debut start for the Aztecs last week. Substituting for injured starter Quinn Kaehler, Bawden was just 9-of-24 for a touchdown and a couple of picks. He only threw for 84 yards as the Aztecs were held to 270 yards by a porous Fresno State defense. Donnel Pumphrey failed to find the end zone for the first time this season and was held under 100 yards for the second time. The defense played well on first and second down, but failed on third down against the Bulldogs, who converted 50 percent of their third down attempts. The Aztecs defense has been a saving grace so far by holding opponents to 21.4 points per game on the season and given their offensive struggles, that needs to continue.
New Mexico Lobos:
Preparing for New Mexico is fairly tough nowadays. The Lobos offense has been running as many as three different quarterbacks and their modified option attack requires a lot of gap responsibility. The 3-3-5 defense employed by Rocky Long has held opponent under 3.8 yards per carry in each of the last two seasons, so the Lobos will have some work to do. Offensively, the Lobos are running for 322.4 yards per game, so they have had success. It’s been the defense that has been a letdown. Prior to last week, the Lobos had allowed 31 or more points in every game. UTSA set a new benchmark for offensive futility by being held to nine points by the Lobos. New Mexico may be a team to watch as a lot of sophomores are playing key roles in Davie’s third year with the program.
Free Pick: New Mexico +4.5
This projects to be a relatively low-scoring game by Mountain West Conference standards. The Lobos and Aztecs are both going to have to run to move the football. With a lot of running clock and two teams that get less than optimal quarterback play, it seems like the value lies in taking the points for this one.
Kyle Hunter has a premium play on the total in this game. For that and all the guaranteed sports picks click here. For more free sports picks, check back all year long to Hunter Sports Picks. For Kyle’s free plays follow him on Twitter and sign up for the newsletter in the upper right corner.