SJSU (1-2, 0-0 MWC) will makes its debut in the Mountain West Conference when it faces Utah State tonight at Spartan Stadium.
The Spartans look to get back on the winning track after losing in two consecutive weeks, both on the road, against Stanford and
Minnesota respectively. SJSU will also hope to get revenge after losing to Utah State at home 49-27 last season.
Despite throwing two interceptions in a losing effort to Minnesota, SJSU quarterback David Fales threw for 439 yards and three
touchdowns, completing 22 of 35 passes. SJSU wide receiver Chandler Jones emerged as the Spartans’ leading target with seven catches for 197 yards and three touchdowns.
The Spartans’ running woes continued as SJSU managed only 47 rushing yards last week – the team’s leading rusher, Jason Simpson, recorded only 29 yards rushing from 11 carries. SJSU will be facing a tough Utah State defense which is allowing an average of 18.3 points scored so far this season – a defense that, while it allowed in-state rival Utah to score 30 points during Week 1 of the season, gave up only 17 points to USC.
With SJSU’s all-time leading receiver Noel Grigsby out indefinitely after suffering a knee injury prior to the game at Minnesota, as
reported by the San Jose Mercury News, the Spartans will rely on Fales and Jones to carry its offense.
Utah State (2-2, 1-0 MWC) will also look to right the ship after losing a close-scoring contest to USC last week. Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw for two touchdowns and completed 21 of 39 passes for 179 against USC.
Utah State also displayed its ability to run the ball, rushing for 106 yards against the Trojans, with running backs Joey DiMartino
and Joe Hill leading the way. SJSU could not stop Minnesota’s running attack as it gave up 353 running yards and allowed two players, quarterback Mitch Leidner and running back David Cobb, to rush for more than 100 yards.
The Aggies are currently sitting at second place in the Mountain Division of the MWC behind Wyoming (3-1, 1-0 MWC).This is an important matchup for two schools, not only wanting to get back on the winning side, but are also hoping to make a serious run for a conference championship.
Though it is still early in the season, Utah State has put itself in a good position near the top of the Mountain Division while SJSU has
yet to make a statement this season. A win against Utah State would surely make a statement in the Mountain West.
Statistics compiled from ESPN.com.