San Jose State vs. Arkansas: Game Preview, Kick Time, TV & Radio Schedule, Livestream
The Spartans go up against the Razorbacks in a pivotal game on the road. Here’s how to watch and what to watch for.
Did San Jose State’s bye week give them enough time to prepare for their SEC opponent?
WEEK 4: SJSU Spartans (1-1) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (2-1)
WHEN: Saturday, September 21 – 4:30 PM PT/5:30 PM MT
WHERE: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium; Fayetteville, Arkansas (76,212)
TV: SEC Network
SERIES RECORD: This is the first meeting between these teams.
LAST WEEK: SJSU is coming off a bye after splitting their first two home games.Arkansas is still undefeated at home following a 21-point victory over Colorado State.
WEBSITES: SJSUSpartans.com, the official SJSU athletics website ArkansasRazorbacks.com, the official Arkansas athletics website
Coming off their bye week, San Jose State can be the first team to beat Arkansas at home this season.
The Razorback offense put up 55 points and 520 total yards last week against Colorado State. Quarterback Nick Starkel had a great outing, scoring three passing touchdowns.
Here’s how the Spartans can beat the Razorbacks.
Three Keys to a SJSU Victory
Win the battle in the trenches.
In Week 2 against Tulsa, San Jose State gave up 256 yards on the ground while rushing for 115 yards, with 48 coming from the backup quarterback Nick Nash. During this game, the Spartans recorded 5 tackles for loss while Tulsa’s defensive end Trevis Gipson had 2.5 by himself.
The Spartans have four sacks on the season, with only one coming from the d-line. As a whole, the defensive front seven is going to have to make a major impact if they want to slow down the balanced Razorback offense.
Give the ball to your playmakers.
Despite coming off a season ending injury, wide receiver Bailey Gaither appeared to be the Spartans’ number one target. Although he is currently second on the team in receptions and receiving yards, he is only averaging 3.5 catches and 37 yards per game.
Gaither will need to make some big plays this week if San Jose State wants a chance to upset the Razorbacks. The absence of Tre Walker, who is currently injured, and Josh Oliver, who got drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars, makes Gaither’s gameplay even more critical.
Nash will also have a major role in this offense as he leads the Spartans in rushing yards. Coach Brett Brennan has used his freshman quarterback in certain packages to keep the defense on their toes. Expect to see Nash get a few plays or maybe even a drive or two.
Starkel has only thrown one interception on the season with a 64.1 completion percentage. Forcing him to make mistakes should be on top of San Jose State’s to-do list. In their Week 1 victory against Northern Colorado, the Spartans were able to get two takeaways. However, during their Week 2 loss to Tulsa, the defense had no turnovers.
The Razorbacks’ offense is very confident in their game plan. They expect to throw for over 250 yards and rush for over 150. The only thing that will force them to change their plan of attack will be interceptions and forced fumbles.
San Jose State is going to come out trying to make a statement. Quarterback Josh Love is going to go deep to his receivers, allowing them to make plays on the ball. Protecting Love will be a bit of a challenge for the Spartans. Arkansas has recorded 10 sacks on the year, with three players having two or more.
Even with a good game from Love and the Spartans’ offense, they won’t be able to outscore the Razorbacks’ high powered offense. Starkel should be able to find his receivers with relative ease, while his running backs find the right holes.
SJSU 17, ARKANSAS 38