San Diego St.

at Frisco TX
Tue, Dec 21
4:30 PM Pacific
Rotation: 223
Odds: San Diego St. -3, Total: 49

Game Analysis

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Lean – Texas-San Antonio (+3)  23   San Diego State  24

UTSA opened up as a 2.5-point favorite but news that All-American RB Sincere McCormick is foregoing this game to prepare for the NFL draft process moved the line significantly. That’s a severe overreaction for a guy that averages 4.95 yards per run, which is below the national average. McCormick is a mediocre back that got his accolades because he ran the ball 300 times and gained a lot of yards. McCormick’s backups combined to average 4.79 ypr this season on 82 runs so I don’t see any major drop-off in production from a UTSA rushing attack that wasn’t going to be able to run the ball against the Aztecs even if McCormick were playing. San Diego State has one of the best run defenses in the nation, as they yielded just 3.8 yards per rushing play this season to teams that would combine to average 4.8 yprp against an average team. It will be up to the arm (and scrambling ability) of quarterback Frank Harris to carry the Roadrunners’ attack. Harris is a good quarterback, as he averaged 7.5 yards per pass play against FBS teams that would combine to allow 6.8 yppp while also adding 658 yards on 91 runs (7.2 yprp). San Diego State is 0.6 yppp better than average defensively and Harris is projected at 6.4 yppp in this game while throwing more than he usually does (as most teams do against the Aztecs when they realize they can’t run it). Even an elite Utah rushing attack was shut down by SDSU’s defensive front (only 91 yards at 3.4 yprp) so UTSA’s offense will go as Harris goes.

I don’t expect the Roadrunners to score much but San Diego State doesn’t figure to move the ball that well either. The Aztecs are a bad offensive team that averaged only 5.1 yards per play against a schedule of teams that would allow 6.1 yppl to an average attack. It looks like Lucas Johnson will get the start at quarterback and he has been 0.2 yppp worse than Brookshire, who may also get snaps. UTSA’s defense has been 0.3 yppl worse than average (5.8 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.5 yppl) but their aggressive approach in defending the pass shouldn’t hurt them in this game. UTSA doesn’t allow a high percentage of completions (58.4%) but their scheme is susceptible to giving up big plays (14.1 yards per catch allowed). That scheme should work well against Johnson, who tends to settle for underneath passes and has only averaged 9.6 yards per completion. UTSA was only hurt by the pass against good quarterbacks at Memphis, Western Kentucky (twice) and UAB, who all like to throw it deep. Those quarterbacks combined for 9.2 yards per pass play against the Roadrunners while the other 8 FBS teams averaged only 5.2 yppp. The Aztecs are projected to average 5.15 yppp in this game but it could be lower given Johnson’s reluctance to throw the ball deep, which is what must be done to beat UTSA through the air.

I was going to lean a bit with San Diego State when UTSA was favored by the line has significantly overreacted to the absence of a mediocre running back that is an All-American by name only in my opinion. I’ll lean with UTSA at +3 points or more.


There were rumors of a covid outbreak for UTSA over the weekend and the coach confirmed that at least 9 players missed the final practice on Sunday. He said that some will play and some won’t. The list that missed practice includes 4 contributors on defense (3 starters) and the #2 receiver, who I had already assumed was out. If the defensive players are all out then that would be worth 1.4 points based on their defensive stats and I’d then have San Diego State by 2.2 points with a total of 43.8 points and I’d have a predicted score of SDSU 24-22 (my math model tends to projected a couple of points lower on low scoring totals).

However, not all of those players were said to be out so I’ll adjust half of that 1.4 points in the math model projection. SDSU by 1 point is probably the best prediction given the information that is available.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • UTSA
  • San Diego St.


  • Run Plays 39.6 30.8
  • Run Yards 210.8 141.9
  • YPRP 5.3 4.6


  • Pass Comp 20.4 18.7
  • Pass Att 31.3 32.0
  • Comp % 65.3% 58.3%
  • Pass Yards 255.7 259.5
  • Sacks 1.4 2.8
  • Sack Yards 9.0 19.9
  • Sack % 4.3% 8.1%
  • Pass Plays 32.7 34.8
  • Net Pass Yards 246.7 239.6
  • YPPP 7.6 6.9


  • Total Plays 72.3 65.6
  • Total Yards 457.4 381.5
  • YPPL 6.3 5.8


  • Int 0.4 1.0
  • Int % 1.3% 3.1%
  • Fumbles 0.6 1.0
  • Turnovers 1.0 2.0
  • Points 37.8 23.6
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