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Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Football: Aztecs to Host Hawai'i on Saturday Night

San Diego State plays its lone home game in a 27-day span Saturday night against Hawai'i at Snapdragon Stadium.
By GoAztecs

San Diego State plays its lone home game in a 27-day span Saturday night against Hawai'i at Snapdragon Stadium.

It's just the fourth time the Aztecs (2-3, 0-1 MW) will be playing in San Diego County in their last 29 games. Prior to this season, SDSU had played its previous 23 games (two-plus seasons) out of San Diego County, including 12 "home" games at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, some two hours away from the San Diego State campus.

SDSU has won eight of its last 10 Mountain West openers.

San Diego State is under .500 through five games for the first time since also starting 2-3 in 2015. The Aztecs won their final 10 games that season, including all eight MW contests, beating Air Force, 27-24, in the MW Championship game and defeating Cincinnati, 42-7, in the Hawai'i Bowl. SDSU started 1-3 in that 2015 season before winning 13 consecutive games overall and 19 in a 20-game stretch.

San Diego State is 65-24 (.730) since the 2-3 start in 2015, which is the ninth-best record in FBS play over that span (since Oct. 10, 2015).

Despite the 0-1 start in league play, the Aztecs control their own destiny with five games still to be played against all the West Division foes and seven conference contests overall.

SDSU has played its last 21 games without having a two-game losing streak. San Diego State's last two-game losing streak came in the COVID-shortened 2020 season when it lost at Nevada, 26-21, on Nov. 21 and to Colorado, 20-10, on Nov. 28 on a five days notice.

The Aztecs are meeting the Rainbow Warriors (1-4, 0-0 MW) for the 37th time with SDSU owning a 23-11-2 advantage. San Diego State has won eight of the 10 games in the series in which UH was a member of the Mountain West (since 2012) and 17 of the last 21 outings dating back to 1990.
In the 30 meetings in the Division I?era, the average game time temperature is 74.4 degrees. As of Monday night, the expected game temperature for the 7:30 p.m. PT Saturday kick is 74 degrees.

Saturday is the first time both the Aztecs (2-3) and Rainbow Warriors (1-4) are playing one another when both were under .500 since 2015. Ironically, that was also the last time SDSU started 2-3 in a season as San Diego State won 19 in a 20-game stretch. The Aztecs doubled up UH in that game, 28-14.

While the first six meetings in the series since Hawai'i joined the Mountain West (2012) were not that close (SDSU won all six by a combined score of 211-66 - average score: 35.2-11.0), three of the recent four meetings have been one-score games, separated by a total of 11 points. San Diego State had its six-game winning streak in the series snapped in a 31-30 overtime loss on Nov. 24, 2018. The Aztecs then lost, 14-11, in Honolulu on Nov. 23, 2019 for the right to play in the MW Championship game, but rebounded for a 34-10 win in 2020 and a 17-10 victory in 2021.

SDSU has won its last seven games overall decided by one score, including a 17-14 win against Toledo on Sept. 24.

After playing last Friday, San Diego State will be playing on eight days rest. The Aztecs have won four of their last five games when playing with more than a week's rest (does not count the last game of one season to the opener of the next season).

The Rainbow Warriors were idle last week. SDSU has won six of its last seven games against opponents when they were idle the previous week.

UH is San Diego State's second opponent out of six so far this season which were idle the previous week (also Idaho State). The Aztecs will be playing an opponent coming off a weekend away from competition twice in a five-game stretch this year after doing so just twice in the previous 53 games.   

SDSU scored the first 13 points and shut out Boise State in the first half at home for the first time in 61 games but surrendered the final 35 points in a 35-13 loss last Friday. San Diego State was outgained 302-15 in the second half, getting its scores in the first half on a pair of Jack Browning field goals, and Tyrell Shavers blocking and returning a punt for a touchdown.