San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Friday night lights for the Aztecs in conference opener against Boise State

SDSU will begin Mountain West action against a familiar foe and preseason conference favorite Boise State
Victor Nyden
San Diego State wide receiver Mekhi Shaw turns up field after making a catch against Idaho State at Snapdragon Stadium.

After getting off to a hot start and being one of the 54 FBS schools who stood undefeated after their first two games, San Diego State has been challenged by back-to-back Pac-12 opponents.

The Aztecs (2-2) will take on the Boise State Broncos (1-2) Friday night at Snapdragon Stadium. This is the first time these two Mountain West foes have met to open conference play against one another.

San Diego State comes into the game tied for top-rank in the nation in turnovers gained (10) as a team. Safety Cedarious Barfield is featured as one of the nation’s top interceptors with three. The Broncos have had six turnovers this year and are ninth in the Mountain West in turnover margin.

San Diego State’s offense has been stymied in the first four games, ranking 114th in scoring offense by averaging 18.8 points per game.

Luckily for the Aztecs, the Broncos have had their fair share of struggles on the defensive side, slotting 110th in the nation in total defense per game.

This is another stout match up for the Aztecs as they are playing their fourth school that had at least nine wins and played in a bowl game in 2022.

While the record for Boise State is sub-.500 through three games, their opponents have been resilient. The Broncos took on then-No. 10 ranked Washington, UCF and FCS North Dakota. The matchup between SDSU and Boise State is the ninth meeting between the two schools, with the series tied 4-4.

Last week, the Aztecs allowed 475 yards of total offense to Oregon State. Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw for 284 yards and a touchdown. However, Barfield and Noah Tumblin did tack on a pair of interceptions to Uiagalelei’s final stat line.

SDSU was outmatched in almost every aspect, including the running game where they conceded 191 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. While giving up a large chunk of yards, SDSU held the Beavers to 26 points. Oregon State had averaged 48.5 points per game prior to their win over the Aztecs.

Among the things to clean up from their match up from last week, SDSU will need to improve its defense to match against a Broncos rushing attack, as Boise State has speedster running back Ashton Jeanty — who has been off to a quick start — is coming to town.

In week one, Jeanty totaled 153 all-purpose yards against Washington, a career-best 212 all-purpose yards against UCF and put up a three-touchdown performance last week against North Dakota. Jeanty is also a threat in the passing game, where he ranks second– most on the team with 14 receptions for 236 yards, also finding his way into the endzone twice.

SDSU has also struggled to eliminate the big play, allowing a 75 yards or more touchdown pass in two consecutive games. The Broncos have only had one scoring play go for longer than 40 yards, which came in their opener, where quarterback Taylen Green threw to running back Jeanty for a 50-yard score.

Five of the nine Broncos touchdowns on the season have come from inside 10 yards, which will play well for the Aztecs who are second in the Mountain West in red zone defense.

If the Aztecs can limit Boise State — offensive and defensively — while forcing errors from Green, SDSU should fare well in this matchup. In front of a sea of red filled compacted SDSU crowd at Snapdragon Stadium, kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.