San Jose State vs. Auburn: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction
The San Jose State Spartans hit the road to SEC country to face the Auburn Tigers. Here’s how to watch and what to watch for.
Is another upset in the works?
WEEK 2: San Jose State Spartans (1-0) vs. Auburn Tigers (1-0)
WHEN: Saturday, September 10 — 4:30 PM PT/5:30 PM MT
WHERE: Jordan-Hare Stadium; Auburn, AL
WEATHER: 70% chance of rain, high of 79 degrees
STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes ESPNU, by following this link.
RADIO: The San Jose State Spartans broadcast can be found in the South Bay on 860 AM The Answer (KTRB). The Tigers broadcast can be found on the affiliates of the Auburn Sports Network, including 93.9 FM (WTGZ) in Auburn.
SERIES RECORD: Auburn leads the all-time series, 2-0. In the last meeting on October 3, 2015, the Tigers defeated the Spartans, 35-21, in Auburn.
LAST WEEK: San Jose State defeated Portland State at home, 21-17, while Auburn defeated Mercer at home, 42-16.
ODDS: Auburn -22.5
SP+ PROJECTION: Auburn by 28.2
FEI PROJECTION: Auburn by 27.9
PARKER FLEMING PROJECTION: Auburn 96.86% win probability (34.38-8.53)
— San José State Football (@SanJoseStateFB) September 5, 2022
After a wild Week 1 victory over Portland State, the San Jose State Spartans hit the road for the first time in 2022 to take on a much tougher test in the Auburn Tigers.
Bryan Harsin’s Tigers had one of the more tumultuous off-seasons anywhere in college football, but they had little trouble in disposing of FCS Mercer in their season opener last Saturday. The pressure is on to win and win big, however, so here’s what San Jose State can do to pull an upset and make his seat that much hotter.
Three Keys to a San Jose State Victory
1. Protect Chevan Cordeiro.
One thing that Portland State did exceptionally well against the Spartans last Thursday was getting pressure on the quarterback: Stars in the front seven like VJ Malo and Parker McKenna had one each, but more concerning was that defensive back Tyreese Shakir had three. Cordeiro has it in himself to extend plays and get balls down the field, but the new-look offensive line was mostly a mess.
That could be a huge problem against the Tigers. Defensive end Derick Hall got his season off to a fine start last weekend with a sack against Mercer, while others like Colby Wooden, Cam Riley, and Eku Leota were credited with at least one quarterback hurry. Against that kind of SEC speed, SJSU could be looking at a Utah State/Alabama-type disaster if things can’t get fixed in practice this week.
2. Exploit Auburn’s quarterback competition.
Though TJ Finley got the start last week, it didn’t take long for backup Robby Ashford to see time on the field and he brought a different element to the offense that the Mercer Bears struggled to stop, completing 4-of-7 passes for 100 yards while adding 68 more on the ground, including a 49-yard scamper which helped propel the Tigers forward from their own 7-yard line on a first-quarter scoring drive.
Harsin has already said that San Jose State can expect to see both quarterbacks in Week 2, so the task turns to putting heat on whoever is under center at any given time. Mercer couldn’t manage any sacks in Week 1, but head coach Brent Brennan and defensive Derrick Odum may decide it’s worth it to roll the dice and blitz with greater frequency, going for broke rather than sitting on their heels.
3. Move the chains more frequently on money downs.
A subpar performance on third and fourth downs was just one thing that made San Jose State’s escape against the Viks so narrow, but that’s absolutely something which will need to change to have any chance against Auburn. On the whole, the Spartans were 4-of-12 on third down and 0-for-2 on fourth down, but if you narrow that focus just a bit, San Jose State was also just 1-of-5 on third downs of four or fewer yards.
Given what we just saw in last week’s games from Colorado State and Utah State against Michigan and Alabama, respectively, the gulf in talent between San Jose State and Auburn is likely wider than originally anticipated. As much as we’d all like to see a repeat of the Spartans’ upset at Arkansas a few years ago, this Tigers team is much better than those Razorbacks. It’ll be a long day on the Plains for the visitors.
Auburn 42, San Jose State 10