Boise State vs. San Diego State Game Preview: Kicking off Conference Play

Niamh Brennan | The Arbiter

The Broncos head down to sunny San Diego to open up Mountain West conference play for the 2023 season against San Diego State University (SDSU) on Sept. 22. 

There is no doubt that the Broncos have had a tough start to the 2023 season. After going through one of the hardest starts to the season in NCAA football and scraping by with a 1-2 record, the Broncos look to continue their luck for another win. 

SDSU is currently the only Mountain West team that the Broncos do not possess a winning record over (4-4).  

This matchup will be one of the most evenly matched games the Broncos will have seen all season.

Last year, the Aztecs lost a 13-0 halftime lead and lost 35-13 to the Broncos, however this year’s Aztec team seems to be more powerful than before and in search of payback.

“It’s a pretty good rivalry,” Aztec cornerback Dezjhon Malone said to the media. “We got a bad taste in our mouth. So it’s going to be a good one.”

The Aztecs, led by quarterback Jalen Mayden, have seen some great offensive strides despite their 2-2 record on the season. 

Mayden has thrown for a 61.7% completion rate on the season, totaling 701 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions. The fifth-year Mississippi State transfer was one of the most highly regarded SDSU transfers in 2021, and is looking to expand upon his successful 2022 season this time around. 

The Broncos will also be facing an incredibly mediocre defensive line. The Aztecs have allowed a total of 578 rushing yards, averaging 144.5 yards per contest, as well as 5 touchdowns rushing for the season. 

This weak offensive line will bode well for Bronco running back, Ashton Jeanty, to really show off his skills. 

Jeanty has had an amazing sophomore season thus far, and with George Holani still out due to an injury, Jeanty seems to be the go to man. 

One of the biggest matchups for this contest will be Holani and Aztec linebackers Vai Kaho and Cody Moon

Coming off his best game of his career, Bronco Eric McAlister will have all eyes on him as he looks to secure the main wide receiver spot. 

After McAlister’s impressive 143 yard game against University of North Dakota, the redshirt sophomore will look to prove himself while also improving an offense that is heavily lacking explosive offensive plays.

This game is one of the most crucial games for the Aztecs to win on their season. 

With the new layout of the Mountain West Championship, every win counts, especially when the odds are stacked up against you. 

“This is a game that I feel is really one of the more important games, especially going into conference play,” Malone said to the media. “This game can really show a lot, and it can turn a lot of heads, so this is a big game.”

Though the Broncos are heavily favored in this matchup, there is no doubt that a hungry San Diego State team will look to edge the Broncos for this conference opening game. 

Game Prediction: 34-20 Broncos

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