College Football Expert Picks San Diego St Over Fresno St.

San Diego St. Aztecs Players take the field

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 8:45 PM GMT

There's Friday night action in the Mountain West Conference this week as preseason favorite San Diego State visits a struggling Fresno State side. The Aztecs are -17 on the college football odds.

Aztecs Have Nation's Top Rusher

If you are one of those people who lives in the Eastern Time Zone and don't stay up late to watch West Coast college football each week, you are missing out on seeing a very special player in San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey.

Last week, the Aztecs (4-1, 1-0 MWC) bounced back from a puzzling loss at South Alabama, which knocked SDSU out of the Top 25, with a 26-7 win over UNLV. Pumphrey ran 31 times for 141 yards and caught seven passes for 57 yards against the Rebels. It was his 26th career 100-yard rushing game, which tied DonTrell Moore (New Mexico, 2002-05) for the Mountain West Conference record. The rushing yardage actually was 46.5 yards below Pumphrey's season average entering the game but he leads the country with 891 yards on the ground and his third with nine rushing scores.

Pumphrey is just 109 yards from his third straight 1,000-yard season, which only the great Marshall Faulk ever accomplished in school history. Pumphrey has 5,163 career rushing yards, which is 14th on the all-time NCAA list. He could move into the Top 10 this week; currently at 10th is former Southern Miss star Damion Fletcher with 5,302. The NCAA record is 7,125 by former Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne of Wisconsin.

San Diego State has won 12 straight Mountain West games, including last year's conference title game. The defense was stellar against UNLV in allowing just 122 yards, the fourth-fewest given in school Division I history. SDSU has a chance of being the highest-ranked Group of 5 school by the end of the season if it wins out and beats a good Boise State team in the MWC Championship Game. The top Group of 5 school gets a New Year's Six bowl berth.

SDSU is 2-2-1 ATS on college football odds and 3-2 O/U.

Bulldogs Regressing As Program

Since the Mountain West began division play in 2013, SDSU and Fresno State have claimed every West Division title. But Fresno (1-5, 0-2 MWC) isn't a good program right now as it has yet to beat an FBS opponent in 2016 and won only three games, against cupcakes, last year. There's talk that Coach Tim DeRuyter could be fired after this season, although he has a buyout of $3.1 million. That's chump change at a school like Alabama or Ohio State but a lot of cash at Fresno State.

The Bulldogs come off a 27-22 loss at Nevada. FSU, down 21-6 at one point, pulled to within the final score on a 5-yard TD run from Dontel James with about five minutes left. The Bulldogs' defense then forced a three-and-out. Fresno State drove down to the Nevada 4 and had first-and-goal there but then had four straight pass plays, three that were incomplete and one for no gain. The second quarter was really the difference as FSU fumbled twice and punted, while Nevada scored 14 points in the quarter. James was the star for Fresno State with 27 carries for 169 yards, the most by a Fresno player since 2012.

This week is homecoming for Fresno State and it's the "Battle for the Old Oil Can" Trophy. FSU lost 21-7 at San Diego State last year but hasn't dropped a home game in the series since 1997.

FSU is 2-3 ATS on college football picks and 3-2 O/U.

SDSU wins but take those points and go 'over' the total. The Aztecs are 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings. The 'over' is 5-1 in FSU's past six at home. It's 4-1 in SDSU's past five on the road.

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Free College Football Pick: San Diego St -16.5

Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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