After their second bye week Wyoming will head down to San Diego to start the second half of the season. They will also be kicking off their toughest stretch of the season as they host TCU and travel to Air Force in the weeks following.
Last time the Pokes played at Qualcomm Stadium they produced one of the greatest quarters in the history of Wyoming football. Down 27-6 in the fourth quarter Wyoming scored 24 unanswered points to knock off the Aztecs 30-27. The stars of that game for the Cowboys both freshmen: Ian Watts hit three field goals including the 43 yard game winner and Austyn Carta-Samuels who was 16-22 for 246 yards and one touchdown on the ground and through the air.
Both of those players are gone now and will be replaced by true freshmen. The "yet to be named QB" and new kicker recruit Daniel Sullivan who was one of the top prep kickers in the nation. Their performance could be vital if Wyoming wants to knock off the Aztecs this year.
It will be very interesting to see how San Diego State does in 2011 after a phenomenal 2010 season where they went 9-4 and finished with a bowl win over Navy. In the off-season they took some major hits as Brady Hoke took his dream job at Michigan after performing a quick turn around in San Diego. QB Ryan Lindley is earning some first round draft grades from experts but he will be without his top two receivers with the graduation of Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson.
The biggest boost for the Aztecs in 2010 was freshman RB Ronnie Hillman who ran for 1474 yards and 17 touchdowns. Hillman will need to avoid a sophomore slump and help new coach Rocky Long keep the offense balanced.
Playing at Qualcomm is always tough because it is cavernous and the Aztecs usually don't come anywhere near even filling the lower bowl. Only 18,000 were in attendance the last Wyoming played there. That should be different after the Aztecs made their first bowl appearance since 1998. Looking at their schedule there is a solid chance for SDSU to start the year 3-0: they start by hosting Cal-Poly, play at Army and host Washington State.
Expect San Diego State to be very rested for this game. On Thursday, October 13th they play at Air Force so they have that weekend off. Then they enjoy a bye week as they prepare for Wyoming. That will definitely neutralize the bye week that Wyoming also took at the same time.
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