FACTS & STATS: Site: Qualcomm Stadium (71,400) — San Diego, California.
Television: ROOT Sports, FSN-SD. Home Record: Idaho 1-3, SDSU 3-0. Away
Record: Idaho 0-4, SDSU 1-4. Neutral Record: Idaho 0-0, SDSU 0-0. Conference
Record: Idaho 1-5, SDSU 3-2. Series Record: Series is tied, 2-2.
GAME NOTES: The San Diego State Aztecs take a break from their Mountain West
Conference schedule this week to entertain the Idaho Vandals at Qualcomm
The Aztecs, who are playing three of their final four regular-season games at
home, saw a two-game win streak come to an end last weekend at Nevada as they
bowed to the Wolf Pack, 30-14. With the defeat, SDSU is now just 3-2 in
conference play, which leaves them in a tie for first place in the West
Division with the Pack.
As for the Vandals, a team which is now a member of the Sun Belt Conference
after being an Independent last season following years in the Western Athletic
Conference, they’ve won just one of their six league bouts to this point, a
29-17 victory over New Mexico State. The team enjoyed a week off after the
NMSU win before clashing with Arkansas State last weekend and ended up on the
wrong side of a 44-28 decision at the Kibbie Dome.
These two teams are meeting for the first time since 2009 when Idaho scored a
34-20 victory and evened the all-time series at 2-2.
The Vandals destroyed any chances they may have had at being competitive with
Arkansas State last Saturday, as they turned the ball over a staggering eight
times. Quarterbacks Matt Linehan and Chad Chalich combined to hit 16-of-30
attempts, but not a single pass made it into the end zone, although the duo
did toss four interceptions. Linehan, who was picked off three times, also
turned the ball over twice on fumbles.
Elijhaa Penny and Jerrel Brown tried to keep the hosts competitive as they ran
for 121 and 98 yards, respectively, as well as scoring two touchdowns apiece,
but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Idaho defense permitted ASU running back
Michael Gordon to make his way into the end zone five times all by himself.
Marc Millan did his best to slow down the Red Wolves with his 18 tackles, five
of which came behind the line of scrimmage, but that effort also went
unrewarded. The Vandals finished with a total of 12 TFL, but forced only a
The Vandals rank 120th in the nation in turnover margin with a minus-1.13
miscues per contest, which explains how and why the squad is 113th in scoring
defense with 37.0 ppg allowed. With a team-best 77 tackles and 11.0 TFL,
Millan has done all he can to make the Vandals respectable, the same goes for
Quayshawne Buckley who has made 10 of his 49 stops in the opponent’s
On the other side of the ball, Penny leads the attack with nine rushing TDs
all on his own, while receiver Joshua McCain is at the front of the pack with
59 catches for 886 yards and seven scores of his own. Unfortunately, while the
passing attack is generating a hefty 293.4 ypg, the squad’s 10 aerial scores
still pale in comparison to 16 INTs.
In Reno last Saturday night, SDSU scored the first points of the meeting
against Nevada on a Chase Price one-yard TD run in the opening quarter, but
after being ahead 14-10 at the break the Aztecs failed to produce much on
offense in the second half. In fact, the visitors managed to generate a grand
total of only 66 yards after intermission.
Price, who caught a team-high four balls for 28 yards, was second with 58
rushing yards, trailing only Donnel Pumphrey who finished with 85 yards on 13
carries. Quarterback Quinn Kaehler converted 21-of-36 passes for 189 yards and
a TD to Jemond Hazely, but he was also picked off once and sacked four times.
Kaehler, who has taken the majority of the snaps for coach Rocky Long and the
SDSU offense, has completed 57.6 percent of his attempts, but those
conversions have resulted in just 176.3 ypg and four TDs, which doesn’t mean
much when he’s tossed eight interceptions. Pumphrey continues to shoulder much
of the offensive load with his 134.2 ypg and 12 TDs, but as the Wolf Pack
proved, it is possible to limit his production.
With one of the better defenses in the nation, allowing just 339.1 ypg, the
Aztecs should be a challenging matchup for most opponents this season. Luckily
the team should not have much of an issue slowing down Idaho here, because the
Vandals tend to limit themselves anyway.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego State 34, Idaho 17