San Jose State vs. San Diego State: Three Keys to a Spartan Victory
Will the Spartans first win come as a big underdog on the road?
This week the Spartans will be on the road at San Diego State with kickoff coming at 7:30 P.M. San Jose State took a step backwards last week in the loss at Levi’s against Army. The Spartans turned the ball over 4 times and were only able to put up 3 points. We will take a look at what San Jose State can do to pull off a big upset this Saturday:
Get back to making progress:
In the loss to Army, San Jose State reverted back to what has haunted them all they way from last season, turnovers. After seeming to improve over the last few games, the Spartans fumbled the ball 4 times as each turnover gave Army great field position and one was returned for a scoop and score. Not only did they turn the ball over, but the offense did not seem to have very much rhythm even with Montel Aaron back in the starting role. If the Spartans want to win this week they will have to win the turnover battle, improve on moving the sticks, and get back to picking up a few big plays. One of the small bright spots on the Spartans offense this year has been there ability at times to create big plays as they are ranked 45th in explosiveness rate.
Force 3rd and longs and contain Ryan Agnew:
If the Spartans plan on winning, they will need to be able to force San Diego State into 3rd and longs as San Diego State’s offense is geared toward being able to consistently pick up a couple yards on the ground if needed. Coming into the game, San Diego State has been in 3rd and long 67.9% and the Spartans will need to force this to continue if they want to have a shot. In addition, once the defense forces 3rd and long they will need to contain Agnew as he is much more mobile than Chapman. Agnew has shown that he can pick up a first down with his legs if needed.
Control the line of scrimmage:
On Monday at his press conference, Coach Brennan spoke about how the offensive line needs to be able to sustain blocks and hopefully come together as a group. So far the Spartans have not been able to establish any kind of running game all year but they also have not been the best in pass protection either as they rank 120th in sack rate. In addition, the Spartans have not been able to bring the quarterback down as they rank 126th on defense in sack rate. Out of the 3 keys, this one will be the hardest of them all for San Jose to actually achieve as the offensive line is not going to magically grow before the game starts. Although both offensive and defensive lines for the Spartans will need to dig deep to be able to control the game if they want to stop San Diego State’s rushing attack and score on the 3-3-5.