Every game day this season, I will be interviewing a beat reporter covering the opponent, who will give us the inside scoop on the opposition. This week, I talked with Christian Pedersen, who writes about the San Diego State Aztecs for SB Nation’s Mountain West Connection page.
Colton Molesky - SDSU seems always to find an electric running back that goes for 1,500 plus yards. Does Juwan Washington have the talent to keep the trend rolling?
Christian Pedersen - Juwan Washington has more than enough talent in the downhill running category to keep up the trend. The primary question is how well he can handle pass catching or if he will get pegged as only a runner.
CM - SDSU was ranked 10th in total yards allowed last season and has plenty of upperclassmen on the defense, but Love was able to scar them for 184 yards on the ground. Is there a way this defense can scheme against him or do they not have the horses?
CP - The SDSU defense is heavily dependent on linebacker pressure helping out the secondary. Sophomore corner Tariq Thompson can guard most No. 1 receivers on his own, so there will be a need for corner and safety blitzes to make stops.
CM - Some of last season’s top receivers are gone this season, how does that affect quarterback Christian Chapman in the opener or is there confidence in his rapport with the receiving corps already?
CP - Chapman isn’t a confident passer no matter who is out there. He will rely heavily on check down passes to tight ends and backs for the first half of the season. They will try to dial up a few deep balls, but that will be more dependent on a corner getting beat than who is running the route.
CM - Stanford is getting a two-touchdown spread against SDSU, does that seem fair after the loss of the star running back or is this an oversight after last season’s victory?
CP - That spread looks like life as a given for a non-power five conference school. Pumphrey and Penny have had tremendous careers here because in addition to their NFL talent they have had great offensive lines and run heavy schemes, which tend to be something that major outlets of any sort overlook. This year’s team is nothing different, and they will be multiple score underdogs several times this season when 7-10 points are more accurate.