No. 19 SDSU, Utah State meet in Carson for MWC championship

Utah State (9-3, 6-2 Mountain West) at No. 19 San Diego State (11-1, 7-1, No. 19 CFP), Saturday at noon EST (Fox) in Carson, Calif.

Line: San Diego by 6 ½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: San Diego State leads 13-2.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Mountain Division champion Aggies and the West Division champion Aztecs are playing for the Mountain West Conference championship and a berth in the inaugural Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl at $5 billion SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Dec. 18. The Aztecs have won 11 of the last 12 meetings, including 38-7 in Logan in 2020. SDSU is trying for its first MWC championship since winning consecutive titles in 2015-16. Utah State lost to Fresno State in its only championship game appearance, in 2013.

KEY MATCHUP

San Diego State punter/placekicker Matt Araiza against USU special teams. The junior from San Diego with the powerful left leg remains the Aztecs’ most potent threat after repeatedly forcing opponents into bad field position with booming punts. Araiza, a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, leads FBS in punt average at 51.5 yards and is on pace to break the FBS record of 50.98. He has an NCAA-record 38 punts that have traveled at least 50 yards, an NCAA-record 18 punts that have gone 60 yards and 36 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Utah State: Junior QB Logan Bonner tied the school record with five touchdown passes in a 35-10 win against New Mexico. He threw for 306 yards in that game, giving him 3,236 yards and 32 TDs this season, against 10 interceptions.

San Diego State: Senior QB Jordon Brookshire is expected to start after coming off the bench late in the first half to help rally the Aztecs to 24 straight points in a 27-16 win against Boise State last Friday. Brookshire passed for 192 yards and a touchdown after Lucas Johnson went out with a knee injury.

FACTS & FIGURES

This will be the final game for SDSU at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, the 27,000-seat home of the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS. The Aztecs have played in Carson for two seasons as Aztec Stadium rises in San Diego’s Mission Valley. … After playing most of their games late at night, and then hosting Boise State at 9 a.m. PST last week, the Aztecs get a much more traditional kickoff time. … The Aztecs are 9-2 in Carson, including 6-1 this year. … Utah State is 6-0 on the road for the first time in school history. Utah State is 5-63 all-time against teams ranked in The Associated Press poll, but has won four of its last 13 meetings against Top 25 teams.

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