Arizona vs San Diego State Staff Picks


Sydney Richardson / The Daily Wi

UA cheerleaders run Arizona flags around the field before the Wildcats’ first football game of the season against UTSA at Arizona Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 3.

The Arizona Wildcats host their first home game with fans in person since Nov. of 2019. The Wildcats play San Diego State University Saturday, Sept. 11 at Arizona Stadium. Here are our staff predictions for head coach Jedd Fisch’s first home game.

Jake Faigus: Arizona 31, SDSU 21    

Arizona comes into their home opener with a surprising amount of confidence for a team that is 0-1 and lost a nail-biter to BYU. San Diego State comes in at 1-0 and looking to keep that momentum.

SDSU has a defense that will be one of the best that Arizona plays all year. Arizona’s offense surprised a lot of people last week, and in front of a home crowd, I think that the offense is only going to get even better.

The biggest bright spot for the team so far has been their defense and they get a really good matchup this week because SDSU’s offense is not a powerhouse.

I think this game is going to be close, but Arizona’s renewed sense of confidence and the fact they have the energy of the home crowd behind them will be the difference in the game and will help the Wildcats pull away late.

Jordan Pollock: Arizona 35, SDSU 21 

After a close loss last week to BYU, expect the Wildcats to bounce back.

Quarterback Gunner Cruz made his first start last week and was an interception away from having an amazing debut.

I expect Jedd Fisch to lean on the running game a lot more this week compared to last week.

RELATED: Improvement was shown in Fisch’s first game as head coach

I’m also looking for another big game from Stanley Berryhill lll, with Bryce Wolma to get more touches in the passing game.

I think SDSU keeps it close through the first half but UA will carry a lead into halftime that they’ll be able to ride the game out with. Bringing the football program its first win since 2019.

Christian Mortensen: Arizona 31, SDSU 24   

Arizona showed some character to make it close in the second half against a big, veteran BYU team in week 1, and I see the Wildcats building on that performance to grab the first victory of the Jedd Fisch Era on Saturday night against SDSU.

I think the crowd will play a huge part in the outcome this weekend – as the good vibes should be bouncing around Arizona Stadium with not only Fisch’s home debut taking place, but with the legendary Steve Kerr in the house serving as honorary captain as well.

We’ve seen what a fired-up crowd can do for Arizona in the past.

And while the Aztecs were a top 20 defensive efficient team last season, according to ESPN’s College Football Index, and are returning a healthy amount of their impact players on that side of the football, I see the atmosphere on Saturday night being enough to inspire the Wildcats to their first win in over 700 days.

Ryan Wohl: Arizona 31, SDSU 21

After a close loss to BYU, I believe that the Wildcats will feed off the home crowd at Arizona Stadium this Saturday night.

Gunner Cruz made his first college football start and was very efficient, throwing for over 300 yards while completing 34 out of 45 passes. Over time his connection with his wide receivers will continue to get better.

I will look to see if Jedd Fisch continues to take more chances on 4th down and throughout the game with more complex play calls.

It will help that the Wildcats will most likely get their veteran receiver, Jamarye Joiner back where he is still working his way back to full strength after foot surgery a few months ago.

I think the Wildcats will cover the -2-point spread and will win this game by 10 points to end their 13 game losing streak.