The Broncos (3-1) started off their in-conference campaign with a convincing 34-14 win over the Wyoming Cowboys (2-3) in Laramie. Boise will play host to another in-conference foe as the Aztecs (3-1) visit Boise on The Blue for a rare afternoon game.
The implications of this game are fairly large as we could be seeing what is a Mountain West Conference Title Game preview.
While there is a multitude of aspects to focus on in this match-up, one of the biggest will arguably be Alexander Mattison vs. the stingy run defense that San Diego State will be bringing to Boise.
As of right now, Mattison is holding 281 rushing yards on 59 attempts and 4 touchdowns. The junior is averaging 4.8 yards a carry. Mattison’s best game this season came against UCONN where he ran for 115 yards.
In all other games, Mattison has yet to break 60 rushing yards. The offensive line has done Mattison no favors with their poor play this season, and he will need to them step up in a big way this weekend if he wants to make a statement against the Aztecs.
San Diego State is currently holding opponents to just over 64 rush yards a game. To give you an idea of how nasty and how real of a threat this rushing defense is, this Aztec defense held Stanford’s Bryce Love to only 29 rushing yards and no scores.
Altogether, the Cardinal only amassed a pathetic 50 rushing yards. San Diego State made Arizona State look even worse holding them to only 36 rushing yards in a 28-21 Aztec win. Eastern Michigan saw slightly more success on the ground against the Aztecs with 76 rush yards, but even that wasn’t enough to help the Eagles win.
Mattison will have to figure out a way around the Aztec defensive line and he may have to do with without the help of his O-line. The offensive line’s play has been dismal at best this season, and against a defensive line like San Diego States, we could see plenty of disruption for the Aztec defense.
Tune in to watch the Broncos take on the Aztecs on ESPNU at 12:30 PM Pacific Standard Time.