Tulsa vs. San Jose State: Game Preview, Kick Time, Radio Schedule, Livestream, Prediction
The Spartans host the Golden Hurricane in Week 2. Here’s how to watch the livestream on ESPN3 and what to watch for.
Will SJSU get to 2-0?
WEEK 2: Tulsa Golden Hurricane (0-1) vs. San Jose State Spartans (1-0)
WHEN: Saturday, September 7 — 6:00 PM PT/7:00 PM MT
WHERE: CEFCU Stadium; San Jose, California (30,456)
RADIO: The San Jose State broadcast can be found in and around San Jose on KKSF, 910 AM. It can also be found on affiliate radio stations in Salinas/Monterey (1460 AM), Stockton (1280 AM), and Modesto (1360 AM). The Tulsa broadcast can be found on Big Country 99.5 FM.
LAST WEEK: San Jose State used a strong performance by quarterback Josh Love to defeat Northern Colorado, 34-18, in the Spartans’ home opener. Tulsa, meanwhile, struggled mightily to move the ball against a tough Michigan State defense and suffered a 24-7 defeat in East Lansing.
SERIES RECORD: Tulsa leads the overall series 4-3. In the last meeting on September 3, 2016, the Golden Hurricane defeated the Spartans, 45-10, in Tulsa.
ODDS (via OddsShark): San Jose State +6.5
FEI PROJECTION: Tulsa by 7.5
SP+ PROJECTION: San Jose State by 1.9 (54% win probability)
San Jose State got their 2019 campaign off on the right foot with a comfortable win over a beatable foe, but now the going gets tougher with AAC opponent Tulsa coming to CEFCU Stadium.
The Golden Hurricane had an utterly forgettable Week 1 performance at Michigan State, managing just 80 yards of total offense while (without adjusting for sacks) finishing with -73 yards rushing. Head coach Philip Montgomery is under a lot of pressure not to come up short yet again, but Tulsa hasn’t won a road game since 2016, a year in which they won ten games. In what looks like an even game between two teams in need of a rebound, what will make the difference?
Here’s how the Spartans can string together their first winning streak since 2014 and defeat the Golden Hurricane.
Three Keys to a San Jose State Victory
1. Keep the Tulsa run game reeling.
One modest strength that the Spartans had last year was their ability to stop the run. Their 4.72 YPC allowed was the best such figure since 2012, but the question about whether they could keep that up lingered with the losses of key contributors like Bryson Bridges and Boogie Roberts. For one week, at least, the results were promising: Without adjusting for sacks, SJSU allowed just 2.7 YPC and tallied nine tackles for loss against Northern Colorado in Week 1.
Tulsa could not run the ball at all against Michigan State last weekend, but the running back tandem of Shamari Brooks and Corey Taylor II combined for about 1,800 yards last season and can’t be overlooked. If San Jose State’s young defensive line can continue to help linebackers Ethan Aguayo and Jesse Osuna clean up (they had 28 tackles, four TFLs, and two sacks between them against UNC), they can put more pressure on a passing game that didn’t look very explosive last week.
2. Create more manageable third downs.
If there was one hiccup in last week’s win that head coach Brent Brennan has noticed, it’s that the Spartans still had trouble setting themselves up to move the chains with ease. SJSU was 2-of-4 with four or fewer yards to go on third downs, but just 3-of-7 when it was 3rd-and-5 or longer.
One key player to watch here is Tulsa defensive end Trevis Gipson, who had nine TFLs and four sacks in 2018 and had two TFLs and a sack against Michigan State. If he can disrupt what looked like a modestly improved run game last week, he could also be an impact player if SJSU needs to lean heavily on the pass.
3. Get better performances on special teams.
Another trend worth watching is that the Spartans’ new specialists had something of a rough go last week against UNC. Kicker Matt Mercurio was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra points, but missed his only field goal attempt from 42 yards. Punter Alex Galland, meanwhile, pinned the Bears at their own 14 and 3 on two separate kicks but had a long of just 40 yards on his third attempt. If both offenses need time to find their footing, three points and improved field position could eventually swing the game in SJSU’s favor.
It may be expecting too much that San Jose State will shut down the Golden Hurricane offense like their fellow Spartans did last week, but Tulsa is a good test of their staying power in 2019. They didn’t need to do too much to put away Northern Colorado last week, but they also showed enough potency in the passing game and, more importantly, a satisfactory running game to conclude that they should be able to get out in front of another subpar defense and put their front seven in positions to stay there. Raise your expectations for this SJSU team after they chalk up another W this Saturday.
San Jose State 30, Tulsa 21