Utah State enters game on winning streak
The odds are decidedly stacked against San Jose State (1-8, 1-4 Mountain West) when it visits 14thranked Utah State (8-1, 5-0) today in Logan, Utah.
“They’ve been on an incredible roll since they played Michigan State.” San Jose State coach Brent Brennan said. “This is a very mature team: 22 starters with only three sophomores and everybody else juniors and seniors. They are the most complete team we’ve played.”
Since its season-opening 38-31 loss at then-No. 11 Michigan State, the Aggies
have won eight consecutive games averaging 485.7 total yards from a balanced pass and run attack that is producing 50.1 points per game, second only to Alabama’s 51.3 points.
The Aggies are led by sophomore quarterback Jordan Love of Bakersfield, who’s among 16 semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. Love’s numbers are eye-catching: 2,185 yards passing and 19 touchdowns. Those are impressive totals, considering Love has been pulled early from games.
Utah State’s running game is a two-headed attack, with juniors Darwin Thompson and Gerold Bright combining for 1,336 yards and 20 touchdowns.
The Aggies’ 36th-ranked defense gives up 22.3 points per game and is second in the nation in forcing turnovers with 23.
Do the Spartans possibly have a chance?
The Aggies can score in a hurry, putting up 28 points in the first quarters of their past two games. It means the Spartans must hold possession as long as possible to keep Utah State’s offense off the field.
“We need to get something going offensively early.” Brennan said. “Every time we do that, we’re more competitive.”
San Jose State’s defense will be tested, too.
“We have to handle their offensive tempo, because they play fast.” Brennan said. “It’s something we haven’t seen in the last few weeks, so it’s something we have to prepare for.
“Against their QB, we have to disguise coverages, be good in zone and man pressure, win more one-onone battles and apply good pocket pressure.”