Wednesday, September 13, 2017

San Diego State-Stanford Matchup: Who Will Win, And Why?

The 2017 San Diego State University and Stanford University football teams are twin sons of very different mothers. They're virtual clones. So much alike, in so many departments.

Granted, Stanford may have more blue chippers that were highly touted coming out of high school, but both teams have very large offensive lines, both like to run the ball (and both do it well), and both think they're tougher than every opponent they face.

This highly anticipated football game Saturday night in San Diego between the underrated Aztecs and the #19 Cardinal is all about who flinches first.

It's gonna be a dogfight. But it's in SDSU's house, where the team has won 20 of its last 23 games.

The Home Crowd Will Be Loud and Proud

More than 50,000 screaming fans are expected. Do not underestimate the power of a very large and loud home crowd.

San Diego sports fans are starving for a winner now with the Chargers now playing in Los Angeles and the Padres still talking about the future.

Yes, SDSU has been a winner for nearly the last decade. A very solid program that has won the last two Mountain West Conference Championships and appeared in seven straight bowl games.

But this game represents a real and rare opportunity for San Diego State's program to earn some long overdue national cred' and at the same time silence the myopic East Coast sportswriters who haven't a clue just how good this football team really is.

That means everyone with any San Diego State ties - and that means you if you are still reading this piece - needs to get off his or her butt, go to this game, and make some joyous noise for your school.

Close Game, For Sure

It'll be a close game. Anyone predicting a blowout, on either side, is thick.

But the Aztecs should cause more turnovers, partly because of crowd noise, but largely because of State's unspectacular but highly underrated quarterback, Christian Chapman, who makes very few mistakes. He looms large in this one, even larger than you might think.

Another plus for the San Diego State side is the team's impossibly consistent kicker, John Baron II, aka the "The Red Baron." State has suffered over the years with some really bad kickers. But Baron is the real deal, and this game could easily come down to a field goal.

Baron is clutch. SDSU could win by a foot on Saturday, and Baron could become the next San Diego State folk hero.

Run, Run, Run

As for the team's respective running games, which will be on display all night, Stanford has a very good running back in Bryce Love. He's a tremendous athlete, one of the best in the nation.

But SDSU has the best running back in the nation. Period. Rashaad Penny is a rare talent. And he is the reigning Walter Camp national offensive player of the week.

Did I mention that Stanford is surprisingly not great against the run? Penny could have a field day Saturday, an all-over-the-field day, even against Stanford's bigs.

Pass Coverage a Question Mark

SDSU’s pass defense was a bit shaky against Arizona State last week, leaving several WR's wide open. But the Sun Devils actually have more talented receivers than Stanford.

I am not for a minute disrespecting of diminishing Stanford as a football team. They are big, and tough, and talented. But so is San Diego State. And trust me, the Aztecs will not be pushed around at home. It doesn't happen.

This is gonna be an MMA battle that may devolve into an AMA battle (injuries). It will be a very, very hard-fought football game. Both sides have something to prove and both will leave it all on the field.

The 12th Man Will Be Deafening

I also think San Diego State has the most under-heralded coach in America. Rocky Long just wins, baby. He's the winningest coach in MWC history. He's a cool combination of old-school and hip.

He's tough as nails, but nonetheless very adept at effectively communicating with entitled, smart phone-addicted millennials.

But I repeat: Do not forget about the 12th man in this game. Aztec fans will be something beyond fired up for this epic matchup, and the Aztec players will feed off those fans, then feed on Stanford's players.

It's gonna be rocking at the stadium, which, by the way, should have been renamed "Aztec Stadium" before this game's kickoff.

But that's just one more ball dropped by San Diego's hapless, hopeless civic leaders.

Our prediction? SDSU 31 - Stanford 27


  1. Rashaad Penny is a very good RB but nobody would agree with you that he is definitively "the best RB in the nation".

    1. Nice try. But in fact, quite a few people agree with that assessment.

    2. Penny currently leads the nation in rushing, with 206.5 rushing yards per game, and leads the nation in all-purpose yards per game, with 284. You know, if you care about facts and stuff. :)

  2. My prediction Stanford 45 SDSU 30. Ben