The FBS G5 game of the week pits two Mountain West Conference teams playing in each other’s conference opener this week with two top 14 CSJ Sagarin Top 25 ranked facing each other with San Diego State visiting Air Force.
But this game is not the only game pitting two Top 25 ranked teams in our poll. Three other such games also will take place this week. Temple travels to South Florida Thursday in each’s American Athletic Conference opener and in another AAC opener, Cincinnati travels to Navy. And the only non-conference Top 25 match-up is the Sun Belt’s Arkansas State traveling to another AAC squad in SMU.
Two big G5 versus P5 squads happen with Toledo visiting Miami (FL) and Louisiana Tech traveling to South Carolina. Boise State also gets to host a P5 squad with Virginia traveling west to face the Broncos on Friday. Houston hosts Texas Tech and Appalachian State hosts Wake Forest Saturday.
It should be another fun weekend to see how these games play out.
CSJ FBS G5 GAME OF THE WEEK
#4 San Diego State (3-0) at #14 Air Force (1-1)
Saturday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m. EDT
Falcon Stadium, Colorado Springs, Colo. (46,692)
Television: CBS Sports Network
These two will play in the Mountain West Conference opener for each team. San Diego State is coming off two straight wins over Pac-12 teams over Arizona and Stanford.
Air Force is coming off a 29-13 loss at Michigan.
SDSU is the only undefeated team left in the MWC after capturing the last two MWC titles.
Senior Aztec running back/kickoff returner Rashaad Penny continues to explode nationally. He leads the nation in rushing yards per game (196.0), rushing yards (588), all-purpose yards per game (258.0) and all-purpose yards (774), and is tied for second in touchdowns (6).
Sophomore Aztec cornerback Ron Smith has two interceptions this season (tied for third nationally) and has five career picks, all of which have come in his last nine games. Since Nov. 5, 2016, Smith is tied for the nationally lead in interceptions with five.
Junior SDSU quarterback Christian Chapman, who is 16-3 as a starter, has 26 career touchdowns and eight interceptions. His TD-to-INT ratio of 3.25 is 10th among active FBS players with at least 25 touchdown passes.
Junior Air Force quarterback Arion Worthman orchestrates the Falcons triple option attack. Currently, the Falcons rank seventh in the country in rushing offense and how well the option game goes will tell a lot in how this game will go.
The Air Force defense is no slouch either. The Falcons shutout their opening opponent in FCS VMI and did not surrender a touchdown against Michigan until the second half.
Since Oct. 10, 2015, San Diego State is 10-2 in road games. The 10 road wins in that span are tied with Clemson for the most in the nation. Meanwhile, Air Force is 18-1 in its last 19 home games (start of the 2014 season) with two victories over nationally-ranked opponents during that span.
Air Force leads the series, 19-15, with all games coming as conference foes. The Falcons are 7-9 in San Diego, 11-6 at home and 1-0 in neutral site games.
San Diego State has won six straight and 10 of the last 14 in the series. Prior to San Diego State’s six-game streak, Air Force had won three straight from 2007-09.
The Aztecs defeated Air Force, 27-24, the last time the two played in 2015 in the Mountain West Championship game. San Diego State defeated Air Force, 27-20, in 2013 in the last meeting in Falcon Stadium.
Coach’s Pregame Press Conferences
Air Force’s Andy Calhoun
San Diego State’s Rocky Long
I believe this game will be fairly low scoring but San Diego State has the history and quite honestly more talent than Air Force. But with just a week to prepare for the triple option Falcon attack, Air Force will likely keep this game close. Aztecs 24 Air Force 17
In the rest of the Top 25, here are my picks. My picks are in BOLD.
|#1 Memphis vs. FCS Southern Illinois|
|#2 Houston vs. Texas Tech|
|#3 Boise State vs. Virginia (Fri.)|
|#5 South Florida vs. #15 Temple (Thurs.)|
|#6 Toledo at Miami (FL)|
|#7 Navy vs. #21 Cincinnati|
|#8 Central Florida Bye|
|#9 Colorado State Bye|
|#10 Western Michigan vs. FCS Wagner|
|#11 Northern Illinois Bye|
|#12 BYU Bye|
|#13 Tulsa vs. New Mexico|
|#16 Appalachian State vs. Wake Forest|
|#17 Western Kentucky vs. Ball State|
|#18 Louisiana Tech at South Carolina|
|#19 Army at Tulane|
|#20 Troy vs. Akron|
|#22 UTSA at Texas State|
|#23 SMU vs. #24 Arkansas State|
|#25 Ohio at Eastern Michigan|