Early in the season San Diego State University had two quarterbacks duke it out which led to Quinn Kaehler winning the job and the spotlight. All season long the Aztecs have had two backs sharing the spotlight but neither Adam Muema or Donnel Pumphrey seem to mind the situation.
The thunder and lightning duo coming out of the Aztec backfield combined for 1,765 yards and 20 touchdowns. They have been the key difference makers in many games including two overtime wins which put SDSU into the post season.
Adam Muema's style is downright "Oliveresque".
He has a punishing style which has the effect of wearing down teams and it's led to some great second halves this season. In the passing game he has played a bit role pulling in about a reception a game on average. His best receiving game was against Nevada where his three receptions for 22 yards helped SDSU prevail in overtime.
Running as the hammer back Muema gets the bulk of the carries but Pumphrey has been an excellent change-of-pace back.
He is getting about 1 carry for every two thrown at Muema but the freshman has made the most of his chances. Pumphrey is averaging 6.1 yards a carry and an incredible 10 per reception. Both backs can be a factor in the passing game but Pumphrey seems more like a threat.
Their ability to control the pace of the game was absent in the team's initial losing streak and has been a big part of their recent success. Outside of the Aztecs' initial three game skid the duo have been averaging nearly 180 yards a game including four games where the duo chalked up over 200 yards. When the two combine for 150 or more yards San Diego State is 6-0, as only Boise managed to Bottle up the pair of backs without beating San Diego State.
Run and stop the run gets thrown around a lot but in the case of beating San Diego State it's clearly the key. If they run on you, you lose. It will be up to UB's front seven to shut down Muema and Pumphrey if the Bulls want to win their first bowl.