San Jose State vs. Wyoming: Keys To A Spartans Win, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

San Jose State vs. Wyoming: Keys To A Spartans Win, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

Mountain West Football

San Jose State vs. Wyoming: Keys To A Spartans Win, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

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San Jose State vs. Wyoming: Keys To A Spartans Win, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction


The San Jose State Spartans look to open Mountain West play with a win in a suddenly critical matchup against the Cowboys.


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Conference play begins in Laramie for the Spartans.

WEEK 5: San Jose State Spartans (2-1, 0-0 Mountain West) vs. Wyoming Cowboys (3-2, 1-0 MW)

WHEN: Saturday, October 1 — 4:30 PM PT/5:30 PM MT

WHERE: War Memorial Stadium; Laramie, WY

WEATHER: 70% chance of rain, high of 62 degrees

TV: CBS Sports Network

STREAMING: Fans can sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, which includes CBSSN, 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 Wyoming broadcast can be found on the affiliates of the Cowboy Radio Network, including flagship 1240 AM (KFBC) in Cheyenne.

SERIES RECORD: Wyoming leads the all-time series, 7-5. In the last meeting on October 30, 2021, the Spartans defeated the Cowboys, 27-21, in San Jose.

LAST WEEK: San Jose State defeated Western Michigan at home, 34-6, while Wyoming lost on the road against BYU, 38-24.

WEBSITES: SJSUSpartans.com, the official San Jose State athletics website | GoWyo.com, the official Wyoming athletics website

GAME NOTES (PDF): San Jose State | Wyoming

ODDS: San Jose State -2.5

SP+ PROJECTION: San Jose State by 0.2

FEI PROJECTION: Wyoming by 1.8

PARKER FLEMING PROJECTION: San Jose State 59.06% win probability (34.15-30.98)

San Jose State posted its most convincing win over the year to date last Saturday against Western Michigan, which sets up what is perhaps the most important game of Week 5 between the Spartans and the Wyoming Cowboys.

Craig Bohl’s Pokes have rebounded from a season-opening loss at Illinois and gotten back to being the same kind of defensive-minded team that has made his tenure so successful, most notably in a shocking home upset of Air Force two weeks ago. Here’s how San Jose State can avoid being the latest upset victim in Laradise.

Three Keys to a San Jose State Victory

1. Dominate in the trenches on defense.

There aren’t likely to be many surprises in Wyoming’s offensive game plan, which makes all the more important that San Jose State picks up where it left off last week against Western Michigan. In terms of generating havoc, last week’s performance against the Broncos was far and away the Spartans’ best of the year with three sacks and 11 tackles for loss.

It may not be easy, however, against a Cowboys offensive line that has played well in the early season. According to Pro Football Focus, guards Zach Watts and Emmanuel Pregnon rank second and third in the Mountain West, respectively, with overall grades of 80.1 and 77.7, while Eric Abojei ranks third among offensive tackles at 76.0 and center Nofoafia Tulafono sits at fifth among his peers with a grade of 65.2. This is a big opportunity for Cade Hall, Viliami Fehoko, and the rest of the Spartans defensive line to establish itself as a legitimate threat.

2. Win inside the 20-yard line.

One thing that both San Jose State and Wyoming have in common is that neither offense has been great about turning red zone opportunities into touchdowns. The Spartans have just five touchdowns in 14 trips, a 35.7% rate that ranks ahead of only Colorado State in the conference, while Wyoming, despite an overall conversion rate of 93.8% which ranks second in the Mountain West, has scored six points on just 43.8% of its red zone drives.

This is where quarterback Chevan Cordeiro could be a major player. His long-standing red zone struggles weren’t a secret coming into the year, but he’s completed just 6-of-19 throws inside the 20 with two touchdowns, so any course correction he and offensive coordinator Kevin McGiven can find could go a long way toward securing a victory.

3. Press the Wyoming secondary.

One potential advantage the Spartans may have in this game is among their wide receivers, where Elijah Cooks, Jermaine Braddock, Charles Ross, and Justin Lockhart have combined for 12 catches of 20 or more yards through their first three games. Wyoming, by contrast, has been pushed hard by a pair of strong passing attacks already, Tulsa and BYU, to the tune of a 65.8% completion rate allowed, 9.4 yards per attempt allowed, and seven touchdowns.

It would behoove San Jose State, then, to identify opportunities to push the ball downfield and see whether they have the same degree of success as the Golden Hurricane and Cougars. If Cordeiro is sharp enough, this could be the avenue through which the Spartans really take control of the game.

Prediction

Wyoming isn’t likely to suffer an emotional hangover after their hard-fought loss to BYU last week, but there’s little doubt the Cowboys are a little more beat up headed into this showdown against the Spartans, a fact about which Bohl is aware. What could hold the home team back is a lack of explosiveness on offense, especially since the Spartans are much closer to Tulsa and BYU on that front and have the defense to keep the Cowboys in check.

People haven’t really talked much about San Jose State to this point, but they will after this one.

San Jose State 31, Wyoming 17

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