It is finally game week! And just like last year, we bring you our weekly preview of the Arizona Football matchup, this one being the San Diego State Aztecs.
The 2022 Arizona Football season is here! Finally, after much anticipation, it is game week for the Wildcats as they prepare for their week one matchup against San Diego State.
Already, it has been a busy couple of months for the Wildcats as Arizona officially enters year two of the Jedd Fisch era.
The Wildcats will start the 2022 season with a tough match-up against the Aztecs, and both teams will look to answer a lot of lingering questions as they finally take to the field.
Luckily for us, the Aztecs may not quite be as good as the team they were last year as they replace several key positional players, but beyond that, San Diego State has had quite the off-season distraction as well.
With that said, here is our preview of the Wildcats’ game against San Diego State!
Getting to Know the details of Arizona Football’s opponent, the San Diego State Aztecs.
Team: San Diego State Aztecs
Conference: Mountain West
Head Coach: Brady Hoke enters his 5th season with the Aztecs having compiled a 29–18 record at SDSU, which also includes his first stint with the Aztecs from 2009-10. Overall, he is 94–78 as a head coach with seven bowl appearances in 15 years.
2021 Record: Finishing 12-2 (7-1), San Diego State ended their season with a 38–24 win over UTSA in the Frisco Bowl. Before that, SDSU lost to Utah State in the Mountain West Conference Championship game.
Key Returners / Starters:
Largely fueled by a well-balanced offense that likes to run the ball and control the clock, this is an offense that isn’t high-powered by any means; however, what they do, they do well.
Under center in 2022 will be a familiar face as former Wildcat commit and former Oregon Ducks / Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister will assume the quarterbacking duties.
A senior transfer, Braxton is very much a dual-threat quarterback that likes to tuck the ball and run whenever possible, while possessing decent passing abilities. He is not the most accurate passer; however, he does have some arm strength and can beat you over the top if need be.
Coming in, he will look to wide receiver Jesse Matthews, the Aztecs’ presumptive No. 1 target at receiver. Last season, Matthews caught nine touchdown passes for the Aztecs.
Beyond that, San Diego State brings in Alabama transfer Tyrell Shavers as well as Washington transfer Mark Redman who should be solid options at receiver.
This offense has a lot of fresh faces in 2022 and lost quite a few key pieces along the offensive line; however, they still have enough talent to get the job done.
Defensively, SDSU was a solid group last season, holding opponents to just 324.4 yards per game and just under 20 points per game as they finished 12th in the country overall. For 2022, they return a large contingency of their talent which includes Caden McDonald, Jonah Tavai, Patrick McMorris, and Keshawn Banks among others.
While the Aztecs lose its main man pass rusher in Cameron Thomas, this is still a group that should be more than fine this season based on the production they return.
They excel in controlling the line of scrimmage and generating pressure, holding opponents to just 80.3 yards per game last season, while picking up 41 sacks. Against Arizona, they are going to test the Wildcats’ offensive line.
Key Departures from 2021:
- QB – Lucas Johnson
- RB – Greg Bell
- TE – Daniel Bellinger
- WR – Elijah Kothe
- CB – Tayler Hawkins
- S – Trenton Thompson
- LB – Andrew Aleki
- OL – Chris Martinez
- OL – Dominic Gudino
- OL – Alama Uluave
- OL – Desmond Bessent
- OL – Zachary Thomas
Game information and details for Arizona Football:
When: Saturday, September 3rd, 2022
Time: 12:30 PM MST
Spread: +6.0 Arizona (Also, don’t forget to use WynnBet to enhance your overall betting experience)
Where: Snapdragon Stadium – San Diego, CA (35,000)
Overall Series Record: 10-6 Arizona. These two schools have met quite a few times, but overall, Arizona has had the advantage, having won six of the last nine matchups.
Last Meeting vs. Arizona: The last time these two teams met was in Tucson last season. The Aztecs came away with a dominant 38-14 win over the Wildcats.
My Prediction: San Diego State 27 Arizona 24 – I like the Wildcats to remain competitive in this one as they take on a talented San Diego State squad; however, I do think that first game jitters and being on the road in a new stadium is what ultimately is the difference-maker here.
I think Arizona stays competitive, but the Aztecs ultimately prove to be too much in the end, coming away with the narrow victory over the Wildcats.