Aztecs: Let the Adam Dingwell era begin. Starting quarterback Ryan Katz was lost for the season after suffering a fractured ankle in the first quarter of Saturday’s game against the University of Nevada. As a result, Dingwell is now the starting quarterback. After throwing three touchdowns and the game-winning two-point conversion last week, I expect Dingwell to keep the offense on a roll. The Aztecs are currently ranked second in the Mountain West Conference with an average of 38.2 points per game.
Rebels: It was a rough game for the Rebels on Saturday against No. 21 Boise State. Not only did UNLV lose 32-7, but the offense did not account for any points. Still, redshirt freshman Nick Sherry is developing into a quality quarterback in his first year at the helm. Sherry has thrown for 1,842 yards and 11 touchdowns overall this season, good enough for second and fourth in the conference rankings, respectively. Junior running back Tim Cornett is also capable of carrying the load. Expect Cornett, who has five 100-yard games this season, to be a big part of the offense. Edge: Aztecs
Aztecs: I know giving up 38 points and 480 total yards of total offense doesn’t sound good, but the defense did enough to keep the Aztecs in the game. The biggest storyline from Saturday’s game against Nevada was the SDSU defense holding the conference’s leading rusher, Stefphon Jefferson, to just 108 yards on the ground. Though the pass defense is ranked last in the conference, I don’t expect the Aztecs to have any problems against a mediocre UNLV offense.
Rebels: UNLV’s defense goes into Saturday’s game allowing opponents an average of 35.5 points per game, which is good enough for next to last in the conference. Both the pass and rush defense rank in the bottom half of the conference. Linebacker John Lotulelei does, however, rank first in the conference with 79 total tackles.
Aztecs: Senior kicker Chance Marden definitely came through for the Aztecs against Nevada. He was 3-for-3 on field goals, including a career-long of 46 yards and the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation. Seems like the field goal kicking problems have been solved.
Rebels: Nolan Kohorst is 9-of- 11 on field goals this season and punter Chase Lansford is averaging 42.6 yards per punt, including seven punts of 50 yards or more. I don’t expect special teams to have a big influence on the outcome of this game.
Aztecs: SDSU is feeling confident after winning three straight games, including an upset of Nevada 39- 38 in overtime on Saturday. If the Aztecs defeat UNLV on Saturday, they will become bowl eligible for a school-record third consecutive season and claim their sixth victory of the season on the earliest date in 19 years.
Rebels: UNLV has lost four straight and sits at 1-7 on the season. Even worse, the Rebels have lost 19 consecutive road games dating back to 2009. UNLV will undoubtedly be hungry for its first conference win of the season. Edge: Aztecs
Aztecs 38, Rebels 17