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AP Top 25: SDSU Moves Up, UCLA Earns Four Points

 

October 21, 2021

Following a thrilling 19-13 victory in double overtime against the San José State Spartans on Friday, the San Diego Aztecs remained perfect and moved to 6-0 on the year.

In the latest AP Top 25 Poll, the Aztecs moved up two spots from 24th to 22nd. This marked their third straight week in the Top 25.

The Aztecs will look to retain perfection when they visit the 6-1 Air Force Falcons this Saturday (7:00 p.m. EST) in a matchup featuring two of the nation’s hottest teams. Air Force defeated Boise State 24-17 on Saturday for their fourth consecutive victory.

UCLA (5-2) garnered four points in the AP Top 25 Poll. The Bruins defeated the Washington Huskies 24-17 on the road to pick up their second consecutive victory. UCLA was last featured in the Top 25 back in Week 5 (20th).

Week 3 marks the team’s highest ranking of the year, when Chip Kelly’s squad placed 13th in the rankings.

The Bruins have a primary opportunity to move back into the Top 25. They’ll host the No. 10 ranked Oregon Ducks (5-1) at 3:30 p.m. EST. Following a 31-24 overtime loss to Stanford in Week 5, the Ducks rebounded with a 24-17 win over California on Saturday.

UCLA opens as a two-point favorite against the visiting Ducks. Bruins fans should know that College football is among the favorites for the sports betting sites.

Johnson To Start For Air Force

 San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke announced Tuesday that Lucas Johnson will get the start at quarterback in Saturday’s pivotal game against Air Force, per Darnay Tripp of NBC San Diego.

Will Haskell will serve as Johnson’s backup per Tripp.

Jordon Brookshire struggled in Saturday’s aforementioned win over San Diego State’s aforementioned victory over San José State, completing just 13 of 27 pass attempts for 132 yards and no touchdowns.

Johnson took over for Brookshire and tossed a pair of touchdowns on as many completions (on three attempts), leading SDSU to a crucial victory over the struggling Spartans.

In four game appearances, Johnson has completed 59.2 percent of pass attempts for 234 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Johnson has also been productive in the ground game, recording 88 rushing yards on just 15 carries.

Brookshire, in his third season at SDSU, has struggled with accuracy this season, completing only 47.6 percent of his passes for 521 yards, two touchdowns and one pick.

To say that San Diego State has been carried by its defense and rushing game would be a massive understatement.

The passing game has been extremely inconsistent. As a team, the Aztecs have just six touchdowns against two interceptions on the season.

The offense has run through the productive rushing game led by Greg Bell (561 yards, five total touchdowns), Jordan Byrd (156 yards on just 18 carries, three touchdowns), Kaegun Williams (150 yards on 31 carries) and Chance Bell (144 yards on 27 carries).

But the defense has only allowed 96 total points through six weeks — an average of 16 points per game.

USC: Graham Harrell A Candidate For Washington State Job?

On Monday, the Washington State Cougars parted ways with Nick Rolovich and several assistants because of the refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Washington state employees are required to be vaccinated.

Following the news, The Athletic’s Chris Vannini, analyzed potential replacements for Rolovich. Among them: USC Trojans offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.

As Vannini pointed out, Harrell played for and later worked under Mike Leach (at Texas A&M) — who coached Washington State from 2012 to 2019.

The former Super Bowl NFL backup quarterback won a Super Bowl XLV ring with the Green Bay Packers in the 2010 season.

And back in 2019, Leach expressed his belief to The Athletic that Harrell could have taken over for him as the head coach of Washington State.

The USC offense is anchored by quarterback Kedon Slovis and wide receiver Drake London, who are both widely projected to be first round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. A strong finish by USC (2-3 on the year) would surely strengthen Harrell’s chances of landing a potential head coaching position.

 

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