It’s rivalry week: Aztecs prepare for ‘Old Oil Can’ battle with Fresno State

Sports

SAN DIEGO — San Diego State is 7-0 for the first time since 1975 and one of nine unbeaten teams left standing at the FBS level as they prepare for rivalry week against Fresno State.

“Obviously it’s another big week, another big game coming up in conference,” said Head Coach Brady Hoke, “This is a really good football team and they’ve been playing good football, very balanced.”

The Aztecs’ rivalry with the Bulldogs dates back to 1923, competing for a physical “old oil can” trophy since 2011. SDSU leads the all-time series against Fresno State and has been in possession of the oil can trophy since 2019.

“It means a lot, in terms of the rivalry,” said kicker Matt Araiza. “But what I would say means more is that this is on the path to getting the conference trophy. That one means a lot more to us.”  

As for the Bulldogs, ranked in the top 25 earlier this season, they have posted a 6-2 record so far, with a win against UCLA and a close loss to #7 Oregon.

“It’s going to be a great task,” said junior safety Cedarious Barfield. “I feel like we’re prepared for it. Fresno State is a great passing team led by Jake Hayner. A gunslinger. He’s got the weapons and all-around it’s going to be a great task and something we’re excited for.”

On top of the trophy, Aztecs have an opportunity to move to 8-0 for the first time since 1975. They are also ranked #21 in the latest AP Top 25 Poll, and looking to rise further.

“Here’s the style: the style is to win,” coach Hoke said when asked about the team’s defining characteristics. “That’s it. We’re not real flashy, but the one thing we do have is a way we’re playing together and complementary of one another. We have a formula to try and win every game.”

Kickoff is slated for Saturday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 pm in Carson.

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