San Jose State throttles Western Michigan 34-6

San Jose State throttles Western Michigan 34-6

Mountain West Football

San Jose State throttles Western Michigan 34-6

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San Jose State throttles Western Michigan 34-6

 

Complete effort by Spartans

 

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San Jose State put a dominating effort together on both sides of the ball Saturday night at CEFCU Stadium, defeating Western Michigan 34-6, exacting a bit of revenge from a lopsided loss suffered in Kalamazoo last September.

A surprise last minute quarterback swap by Western Michigan temporarily threw the Spartans off balance.  Temporarily being the key word.  Broncos coach Tim Lester started Mareyohn Hrabowski in place of Jack Salopek, who apparently suffered an undisclosed injury.  The two QB’s have very different styles of play, so when Hrabowski took the field for the Broncos first drive, it had the Spartans needing to adjust the game plan.  Though neither has been very effective in the early going for WMU, Hrabowski is a running QB, Salopek the more proficient passer.  A series full of runs with one downfield pass mixed in had the Broncos in the red zone.  The Spartans D stiffened up however, when Lester rolled the dice on 4th down turning the ball over on downs to the offense.  

Once the defense got their bearings, the Broncos only put one other decent drive together, a mid-2nd quarter trek that took over 8 minutes off the clock and resembled old school football, a lot of running plays and milking the clock.  Fortunately for San Jose State, Lester once again bypassed a field goal to attempt a 4th down conversion, and was stopped cold.  Those two drives comprised 70% of WMU’s total offense for the game, in a really solid effort from the entire defensive unit.  Western Michigan attempted an incredible 50 runs, but only amassed 169 yards before sack yardage was subtracted.  

The offense clicked much better than it did in either of the first two games with Kairee Robinson having his best statistical night, 81 yards and 2 TD’s.  Quarterback Chevan Cordeiro was outstanding, completing 17-28 for 250 yards with a pair of touchdown tosses and another called back by penalty.  He added a crucial sideline catch on a trick play on the Spartans first scoring drive.  The protection from the offensive line wasn’t perfect, but it was better as Cordeiro was only sacked once and had time to find his stud receiving core downfield often.  Charles Ross and Elijah Cooks had the TD grabs, and Justin Lockhart had an 82 yard reception that set up a score.  

With the win, the Spartans improve to 2-1 (0-0) and will open Mountain West Conference play next Saturday in Wyoming.  While no doubt thrilled with the result, Head Coach Brent Brennan will have a few areas to correct before the meat of the schedule hits.  Chief among them is the 11 penalties committed by his squad, though to be fair, head referee Jon Noli and his crew seemed intent on making it the ref show for large parts of the game.  False starts obviously need to be called, and there were plenty of those, but several other flags were unnecessary and along with multiple other stoppages for reviews and Noli needing to announce ‘timeout for an injury’ if the player was down for two extra seconds, the game could never get into a great rhythm. Not his or his crew’s best night.  

The special teams unit could use a little touching up in practice this week too, as the Broncos only points were the result of a 90 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.  The Spartans also committed their first turnover of the season on a fumbled punt late in the fourth quarter.  You don’t expect to play a perfect 60 minutes though, and these are things that can be corrected.  San Jose State outgained Western Michigan by a 2-1 margin and stopped all three of the Broncos 4th down attempts, an area that was a previous bugaboo.  

The Spartans seemed to put the off week to good use and will travel to Wyoming full of confidence for a key early season conference game.  If the execution on both sides of the ball continues to improve, this has the look of a very dangerous team. We’ll be back later in the week with a full preview of what to look for in Laramie.   

 

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