College Football Pick: San Diego State vs Stanford Prediction
San Diego State vs Stanford Prediction
Kickoff: Friday, Aug. 31 at 9 p.m. ET
Spread: Stanford -14.5
Battle of the Backs
Both teams boast powerful running games. Stanford has Heisman Trophy candidate Bryce Love back for another season, while the Aztecs are looking to replace Rashaad Penny who rushed for 2,248 yards last season.
For Love, it was somewhat surprising he decided to come back to Palo Alto for his final year after finishing second to Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield in last year’s Heisman voting. He was the Doak Walker Award winner, Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and Lombardi Award winner.
Juwan Washington is replacing Penny and is confident he is the right man for the job. Aztecs head coach Rocky Long is trying not to get Washington too hyped for the opening game…
“One thing I learned from (Long), is no game is bigger than the other,” Washington told the Daily Aztec. “Everyone’s going to hype up the first game, but in my eyes it’s just another game. We’ve just got to go out there and win.”
Cardinal have their QB
Stanford was a different team when they inserted K.J. Costello as their starting quarterback midway through the year last season.
Costello finished 2017 strong and developed a noticeable chemistry with talented wide receiver, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. That dynamic can go a long way to keeping defenses honest with Love in the backfield.
Experience of Stanford
In an opening game like this, experience tends to play a key role. The Cardinal return 18 starters and know what it’s like to open up a season full of expectations.
San Diego State’s aggressive, 3-3-5 stack defense features a variety of turnover-generating playmakers like Tariq Thompson, who picked off five passes in 2017. However, the Cardinal’s outstanding offensive line and Bryce Love should wear the Aztecs down over the course of the night.
This game will be close in the first half, but Stanford will ultimately too much for San Diego State down the stretch.
Stanford 34 San Diego State 20
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