San Jose State vs. Hawaii: Three Keys to a Spartan Victory
Can SJSU get its first win?
After losing at home to UC Davis to start the season, the Spartans went on the road and got blown out by Oregon and Washington State. There has been some improvement in those games and it was especially evident on defense. San Jose State is now fresh off their bye and looking for their first win of the season. It is homecoming week for the Spartans as they face 4-1 Hawaii this Saturday at 4 PM. We will take a look at 3 keys for the Spartans to end up victorious:
Have a much better start: From the start of the season when the Spartans gave up a touchdown opening drive to UC Davis carrying into Eugene two weeks ago, San Jose State has come out flat in the first half. The defense has been outplayed and the offense has had no consistency to it in the first half of each game.
In the 1st half of games this season, the Spartans have been outscored 80-27 but in the second half, they have outscored opponents 33-30. In all 3 games, the Spartans have looked much better in the second half and of course, in those games, opponents have been trying to keep a lead, but that still does not excuse the Spartans for starting the game so poorly.
It is homecoming week for the Spartans so if they were going to come out ready to play this week would be one of those times to do so. The Spartans need to come out ready to play from the beginning of the game on, falling into such big deficits have cost the Spartans so far this season.
Being positive in the turnover margin: Going back to last season, turnovers have consistently been a problem for the Spartans. Coach Brennan has continued to talk about turnovers this season but they have lost the turnover battle 3-1 in the loss to Davis. Against Oregon, the Spartans were even at 2-2, but to beat Hawaii they need to win the turnover battle. Hawaii has shown they are going to get there points with a very effective run and shoot offense, so for San Jose State to keep up they have to create some extra possessions.
Sustain drives: No matter who is in at QB (Coach Brennan stated on Monday’s press conference that Josh Love and Montel Aaron will continue to rotate), San Jose State needs to continue to move the sticks. The Spartans are only 14/50 on 3rd down for a 28% conversion rate, this needs to improve if they are going to beat Hawaii.
Two weeks ago the Spartans were able to hang around with Oregon as the defense played pretty well and they only had one less minute of time of possession. In the one loss, Hawaii has they lost the time of possession battle by over 20 minutes. This was against Army who runs an option offense so I highly doubt it will be that much a margin this week but the Spartans still need to keep the Hawaii offense off the field if they want to win.