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at San Diego State 42 ... Washington State 24

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 17, 2011


Week 3 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Washington St at SDSU


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 3 - Washington St at SDSU

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Sept. 17 at San Diego State 42 ... Washington State 24
CFN Analysis: COMING

(AP) SAN DIEGO -- Ronnie Hillman ran for 191 yards and four touchdowns to lead San Diego State to a 3-0 record for the first time in 30 years with a 42-24 win over Washington State on Saturday.

Hillman scored on runs of 13 and 12 yards in the first half before scoring on a 1-yard dash to give San Diego State a 28-24 lead nearly five minutes into the fourth quarter. Hillman then added a 59-yard TD run at the 7:26 mark.

The last Hillman touchdown came one play after linebacker Rob Andrews recovered a fumble by Washington State quarterback Marshall Lobbestael at the 36-yard line with 7:36 left.

Lobbestael threw touchdown passes of 80 and 78 yards to Marquess Wilson for Washington State (2-1). Lobbestael, who took over for injured starter Jeff Tuel in the first game of the season, completed 20 of 42 passes for 368 yards with three TDs and two interceptions.

All of Loebbestael's turnovers came in the final 7 1/2 minutes of the game.

The win snapped the Aztecs' 19-game losing streak against Pac-12 schools.

Hillman, a sophomore, ran 32 times as he scored four rushing touchdowns for the second time in his career. Hillman, who came into the game as the second-leading rusher at a clip of 153 yards per game, has scored 14 touchdowns in his last six games, contributing to 500 yards of total offense for the Aztecs on the day.

Ryan Lindley threw for 273 yards, but also committed the first two San Diego State turnovers this season with an interception and later fumbling a snap out of the shotgun formation at the Cougars 16-yard line.

The Cougars, the nation's highest-scoring team at 61.5 points per game, scored on its first play from scrimmage, an 80-yard pass to Wilson. Lobbestael later hit Wilson on a 78-yard scoring pass to give Washington State a 24-14 lead early in the third quarter.

Lindley passed the 10,000-yard career passing mark with a second-quarter completion. Lindley is second in school history to Todd Santos, who threw for 11,425 yards.

Lindley has thrown touchdown passes in 13 straight games, but his lone interception broke a string of 112 pass attempts without one.

After the Cougars scored on their first play from scrimmage, San Diego State responded with a score on a 13-yard run by Hillman. Washington State took a 10-7 lead on Andrew Furney's 48-yard field goal.

The Aztecs then went 76 yards in 13 plays with Hillman scoring on a 12-yard run at the end of the first quarter.

It was the seventh straight game that San Diego State scored at least 14 points in the first quarter.

Lobbestael gave Washington State a 17-14 halftime lead after a 23-yard TD pass to Isiah Barton.

Washington State (2-0) at San Diego State (2-0) Sept. 17, 6:30, Mountain West Network

Here’s The Deal … While it’s not going to replace Oklahoma at Florida State on the must-see meter, Washington State at San Diego State promises to be a sneaky-good game at Qualcomm Stadium. The improbable headline act is Wazzu, which is 2-0 for the first time in six years. In fact, it’s already equaled or surpassed its win total from the last three years. It’s not that the Cougars are simply beating inferior opponents, but rather how they’re doing it. The program that’s been on the losing end of blowouts for so long obliterated Idaho State and UNLV by a combined score of 123-28. And the Rebels rout was orchestrated without injured starting QB Jeff Tuel.

The Aztecs, on the other hand, haven’t been nearly as sharp. After easily disposing of Cal Poly, 49-21, they struggled to defeat Army at West Point. Maybe it was the cross-country trip or the unconventional Black Knights offense, but San Diego State needs to raise the level of its play if it wishes to be a factor in the Mountain West Conference.

Why Washington State Might Win: It’s been just two games, and no one wants to become overly excited, but the Cougars offense is on fire. That it sizzled again last week without Tuel at the helm was an indication that the system and the support are clicking. No one in America has scored more than Wazzu, which has gotten touchdowns from 10 different players. Marshall Lobbestael went 24-of-32 for 361 yards and five touchdown passes as the replacement.

As a team, Washington State has thrown 10 touchdown passes and no picks, connecting with Marquess Wilson, Jared Karstetter, Isiah Barton and Kristoff Williams for two scores apiece. Rickey Galvin continues to provide a much-needed threat out of the backfield, averaging 12 yards on his first 12 carries.

Why San Diego State Might Win: Not only is Washington State setting out on the road for the first time, but it’s also taking a major step up in weight class. The Aztecs will present challenges that Idaho State and UNLV couldn’t, such as a more diverse offense and a stingier D. The attack will be balanced, featuring the passing of next-level QB Ryan Lindley and the running of the nation’s No. 2 ground-gainer, Ronnie Hillman. On defense, San Diego State is an underrated group that plays fast, and doesn’t give up a lot of ground through the air. CB Leon McFadden, in particular, is capable of ending the Cougars’ streak of consecutive passes without an interception.

What To Watch Out For: Washington State won’t hang up 60 this week, but can it maintain a high level of execution on offense? The D, while improved, will be hit or miss, but the offensive attack has shown flashes that it might be able to carry this program for a while. The Cougars will have more than McFadden to contend with on the Mesa. Miles Burris is a tone-setter at linebacker, and DE Jerome Long will generate backfield heat. This is going to be a critical test for a Wazzu offensive line that’s played unexpectedly well so far.

What Will Happen: From an offensive and a competitive standpoint, this promises to be a very entertaining game. The two teams will trade shots, refusing to back off until the final whistle. Washington State is for real, in that the program is no longer a slam-dunk win for the opposition. However, the Cougars will come up a little short as the stakes get higher. While Lindley will flip a pair of touchdown passes to his improving receivers, Hillman will earn game MVP honors by rushing for 150 yards and a couple of key scores of his own.

CFN Prediction: San Diego State 35 … Washington State 31
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: San Diego State -6   O/U: 57.5

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