San Jose State vs. Nevada prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Spartans and Wolf Pack.
When: Saturday, Oct. 15 – 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: CEFCU Stadium — Home of the Spartans, San Jose, California
TV Broadcast: CCBSSN
San Jose State (1-5) has not displayed a winning brand of football since Sept. 10, when it beat Portland State, 66-35. And that was after it fell on the road to Tulsa to start the season. Since then, the Spartans have been steamrolled by their competition. Four straight losses to Utah, Iowa State, New Mexico, and, most recently, Hawaii. San Jose State surrendered 21 points in the second quarter to the Rainbow Warriors last week and never made up that ground as the game progressed.
As for Nevada (3-3), it started out 2-1 with wins over Cal Poly and Buffalo, but the Wolf Pack then went on the road and returned with two losses. It fell to Purdue and Hawaii before bouncing back this past weekend with a 27-22 win over Fresno State. Nevada went up, 21-6, at halftime and held on for the win despite being outscored, 16-6, in the second half.
The Wolf Pack has taken the last seven matchups with the Spartans, who haven’t beaten Nevada since 2007. The Wolf Pack leads the all-time series, 19-8-2, and it took last year’s meeting in Reno, 37-34.
What To Know About San Jose State
The Spartans asked quarterback Kenny Potter to let the ball fly 30 times, and he completed 16 of those passes for 160 yards. Potter wound up with one touchdown and three interceptions on the day. His lone touchdown went to Justin Holmes, who finished with four catches for 37 yards. That performance matches what Potter has done all season, though. He’s completed 57.6 percent of his passes for 1,006 yards with a 3:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
San Jose State did get a solid contribution from Malik Roberson, who was given 19 carries for 91 yards. Both Deontae Cooper and Tim Crawley combined for 69 rushing yards on 10 carries.
What to Know About Nevada
The Wolf Pack is pretty banged up at this point, with eight players listed as out for this game. Three more are questionable. Luckily for Brian Polian’s team, quarterback Tyler Stewart isn’t on that list. He completed 13-of-20 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns in the win versus Fresno State. His go-to target was Wyatt Demps, who caught nine balls for 124 yards and three touchdowns — the third being thrown by Andrew Celis.
Nevada also got the running game going via James Butler. The Wolf Pack running back had a big workload and stacked up 175 yards on 37 carries. Jaxson Kincaide added 52 more rushing yards on eight attempts.
Offense: Nevada – Potter has been too reckless with the ball, and Stewart is rocking eight passing touchdowns to only one interception.
Defense: Nevada – The Wolf Pack is allowing 27.3 points per game while the Spartans are giving up 40 points per game.
Special Teams: San Jose State – Bryce Crawford has been more accurate kicking the football than Brent Zuzo has, and Rahshead Johnson is averaging 20.2 yards per kick return.
Coaching: Nevada – Polian’s team has more than one win to its record right now and is coming off of a win. He’ll get his guys right to make it two wins in a row.
Matchup To Watch
Kenny Potter vs. Tyler Stewart
It isn’t exactly a classic battle between quarterbacks, but it will be an important one. Potter is coming off of a three-pick game, so he’ll have to make much smarter decisions with the football and be a little less cavalier about when to take chances down the field. Stewart will have to continue being careful with the football, but he may be asked to throw more than 20 times in this one. Giving Butler almost 40 carries can come back to bite Nevada, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Wolf Pack splits the play calling here.
Spread: San Jose State -1.5
Sam Jose State vs. Nevada Prediction
Potter is going to be better with the football this weekend than he was last weekend. He’ll still get picked off, but he won’t do it three times. Potter will find Trey Hartley for an early touchdown to get the Spartans off on the right foot. Stewart will do the same with a touchdown strike to Demps. Butler will be bottled up for the most part when he touches the football, and both Cooper and Roberson will scoot into the end zone. San Jose State takes a nail biter.
San Jose State vs. Nevada Score Prediction: San Jose State 24, Nevada 20