Nevada Vs San Jose State: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction
The Nevada Wolf Pack return to action this Saturday as they host San Jose State
Nevada Looking To Keep Pace in MWC West Race; Faces San Jose State
WEEK 10: Nevada Wolf Pack vs. San Jose State Spartans
WHERE: Mackay Stadium: Reno, Nevada
TV: Fox Sports 2 at 7pm
RADIO: Nevada Football is on ESPN 94.5 in Reno
SERIES RECORD: Nevada leads all-times series 21-10-1. Last meeting was on December 11th 2020 when San Jose State defeated Nevada 30-20.
ODDS: Nevada (-10)
SP+ PROJECTION: Nevada by 6.9
FEI PROJECTION: Nevada by 14.7
Here are my three keys for a Nevada victory and a prediction for Nevada-San Jose State.
Stifle San Jose State’s Rushing Offense
The Spartans run offense has been on a very good streak recently. San Jose State has run for over 200 yards in the last two games. The Spartans ran for 216 yards in a victory over UNLV back on October 21st and last Saturday SJSU ran for 238 in their 27-21 victory over Wyoming.
The leading rusher for the Spartans is senior running back Tyler Nevens who has run for 583 yards and scored six touchdowns. However, the focal point for SJSU’s rushing attack recently is quarterback Nick Nash. Nash, who is filling in for injured Nick Starkel, ran for 112 yards in the victory over the Cowboys last week Nash’s biggest game running the ball was in two weeks earlier when he ran for 121 in the win over UNLV.
Nash is a capable passer as well (938 yards passing, six TDs, two INTs) to go along with his threat running the ball as well. Nash’s ability to make plays with his arm and legs could give Nevada’s defense problems assuming that Nash plays on Saturday the status of Nick Starkel’s availability is still up in the air..
With the way San Jose State is running the ball recently, it is critical for the Wolf Pack to limit SJSU’’s rushing attack in order to win on Saturday.
Get Cole Turner Involved Early
Turner has established himself as the premier pass catcher for not just the Wolf Pack but in the Mountain West this season. And one can make a good case that Turner is one of the best tight ends in the nation this season.
Last season Turner caught 49 passes for 605 yards and nine touchdowns and this year he has almost exceeded those numbers with four regular season games left this season. Turner has already caught 49 passes for 571 yards and eight touchdowns. Last week against UNLV, Turner caught seven passes for 63 yards and two touchdowns and one of those was a great one hand catch.
Turner has emerged as the second pass catching threat for the Nevada passing offense alongside Romeo Doubs. If Nevada looks to defeat San Jose State and avenge last season’s loss to the Spartans, QB Carson Strong must look to one of his big time targets in Cole Turner.
Try To Establish Some Semblance of a Running Game
Everyone who follows this team, the Mountain West and college football knows that Nevada is a pass first offense. However, the Wolf Pack cannot ignore the ground game and they must try to establish it this weekend against SJSU.
The Wolf Pack are last in the Mountain West in rushing yards per game(72.5 yards per game) and tenth in the conference in rushing yards per attempt (2.9 yards per attempt). In Nevada’s dominating win over UNLV, the Wolf Pack only ran the ball for 19 yards on 21 carries. Those rushing numbers even for a pass-oriented offense like Nevada’s is unacceptable.
Nevada has to find a way to re-establish its ground game with their two talented running backs in Toa Taua and Devontae Lee. Now it does not mean, run the ball more than you pass, but in order to provide balance, they must get the running game going this week against the Spartans.
The Wolf Pack are coming off an impressive victory over UNLV last week. But this last part of Nevada’s schedule is going to get tough. The Spartans are 5-4 and are not the same team that won the Mountain West in 2020.
But the Spartans do boast a dual-threat quarterback in Nick Nash that can use his arm and legs to help San Jose State win. Also the Spartan defensive line led by Viliami Fehoko and Cade Hall have the talent to pressure Nevada’s still shaky offensive line.
But I think Nevada can hold its own by protecting Carson Strong and give him time to attack SJSU secondary while the Wolf Pack defense contains Nick Nash. The Wolf Pack will come away with the win and keep their hopes of winning the West division alive.
Score: Nevada 38 San Jose State 24