The teams have matching 2-1 MW records, though the Aztecs (4-3) best the Bulldogs (3-4) overall as they prepare for the rivalry game. Fresno State prevailed last year 30-20.
Head coach Brady Hoke noted the SDSU opponents’ 285 yards rushing against New Mexico last week in a 41-9 rout.
“Obviously, they have a big, physical, offensive line and they’re very adaptable on defense,” he said.
SDSU, however, showed some adaptability of their own in last week’s 23-7 win at Nevada. On defense, Hoke pointed to “doing a great job versus the run” and tackling better as a team.
Now the Aztecs must reach the goal of keeping up that momentum throughout the game.
“I think it’s in us, I think it’s there. I don’t think it’s a culture thing. We just have to figure out a way to get it together for four quarters,” said defensive lineman Keyshawn Banks.
Meanwhile, linebacker Michael Shawcroft has been named the MW Defensive Player of the Week. It is the first such weekly award for the Helix High alum.
Shawcroft help guide the Aztecs to the Nevada victory, posting a team-high seven tackles (six solo) and a forced fumble, which was recovered by Patrick McMorris and returned 30 yards for a touchdown.
The senior leads the Aztecs with 42 tackles (27 solo) and six tackles for loss, while he’s tied for the top spot with three sacks and one forced fumble. Shawcroft also is tied for fifth in the MW in tackles for loss per game.