San Jose State vs. Nevada: Three Keys to a Spartan Victory
Will the Spartans surprise the Wolf Pack on senior day?
The final score last week was not pretty for Spartan fans as the San Jose special teams put them up early but the Aggies offense started to gel in the 2nd quarter as they pulled away. Once again the Spartans offense looked inconsistent as Coach Brennan pointed out that the Spartans dropped too many passes and there were a couple breakdowns in protection. The defense was not able to keep up with the uptempo Utah State offense as they gave up a total of 804 yards and 33 first downs. If the Spartans want to get a second win this week they will have to accomplish these 3 keys:
Slow down Ty Gangi:
This will be much easier said than done but in the losses Nevada has this season, Gangi has not been at his best or did not play. In the losses he did play in, he threw at least one interception while completing less than 60% of his passes. The Spartans will need to force him to have one of those off days. Outside of those losses, Gangi has been very accurate and consistent as he is averaging 12.4 yards per completion. On Monday, Coach Brennan pointed out that Gangi has been able to continue to connect on his deep balls. Senior day for the Spartans should pump up some of the older players as it will be there last home game and the Spartans will need the extra motivation to get pressure in Gangi’s face and force long third downs if they want to win.
Get the ball to Josh Oliver:
In the loss last week to Utah State Josh Oliver had only 2 receptions. In San Jose’s one win and in the games that have been close Oliver has had an impact in the passing game. Even with only 2 catches in the last game, the senior TE is still 3rd in the nation in receiving yards per game for TEs. While San Jose has started to establish some sort of run game, they can mix in some play action and get the ball to the most valuable player on offense. In addition, the Spartans can use Oliver’s size (6’5 250 lbs) in the end zone to create some mismatches.
Win the turnover battle:
Last week the Spartans lost the turnover battle 3-0, and on the season they are -1. Other than last week the Spartans had been doing better with not turning over the ball compared to the first few games of the year. With Nevada having a great offense and a stingy defense the Spartans will need to force turnovers and capitalize on extra possessions. The Wolf Pack are -4 in turnovers which ranks 94th overall, this is one spot San Jose State has to take advantage of if they want to win.