Most of the lights at San Diego Stadium suddenly went out late in the fourth quarter of No. 19 Stanford’s game against San Diego State on Saturday night. They are the two most successful programs on the West Coast in that span based on win-loss record, so as Cardinal head coach David Shaw said, it’s “a natural fit” for the two to play. Both teams are looking to run the ball down the others throats and both teams are built to stop it. Stanford hasn’t shown a consistency on offense that makes me think it will put up a big number on San Diego State and the Aztecs aren’t likely to march over the Cardinal. USC beat Stanford in Week 2. With the reins firmly in his control, Penny has not disappointed. Bryce Love managed 160 rushing yards and a touchdown, but Keller Chryst was just 15-of-28 passing for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Rashaad Penny is the leading rusher with 413 yards on 39 carries with three touchdowns through two games. Love figures to receive another heavy workload against the Aztecs, but Chryst also has a pair of solid wide receivers in J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Connor Wedington, who has a team-high nine catches for 111 yards.
San Diego State is off to a 2-0 start this year with wins over UC-Davis at home and at Arizona State. He did so out of the end zone, which is noteworthy, since every Cardinal kickoff thus far in 2017 has gone for a touchback.
ABOUT STANFORD (1-1): Chryst has targeted his tight ends early and often during the first two games, with freshman Colby Parkinson and preseason All-Pac-12 selection Dalton Schultz combining for seven catches and three touchdowns. The Cardinal struggled to contain USC running backs Ronald Jones and Stephen Carr and face another tough assignment against Penny, who is averaging 206.5 rushing yards per game and leads the nation in all-purpose yards at 284 per contest. The Aztecs have routinely had some of the best coverage corners in college football, and their efforts paid off with the most interceptions in college football a season ago. The San Diego State Moneyline is set to +300, with the over/under for the game set to 51 points. It worked against Rice in Week 1, but not so much against USC.
The Cardinal may be road tired, but David Shaw teams rarely lose two straight – especially not to opponents who employ similar styles to Stanford’s.
Despite Penny trying his best to be a playmaker, Stanford’s defense was prepared, holding San Diego State to 7-of-17 third downs and keeping Penny from making breakaway plays until the second half.