UNLV vs. San Jose State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Rebels and Spartans.
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 – 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: CEFCU Stadium – Home of the Spartans, San Jose, CA
TV Broadcast: CBSSN
It’s been a spotty season for Tony Sanchez’s Rebels (3-5). After starting out the season with a win over Jackson State, UNLV went on a three-game losing streak. It snapped it with a victory over Fresno State, but in the last three weeks, the Rebels have gone 1-2. This past weekend, UNLV was at home and hosted Colorado State. It fell to the Rams, 42-23. The Rebels didn’t get on the board until early in the third quarter when they had already allowed 35 points to CSU.
The 2016 campaign hasn’t been a shining glimmer of hope for the Spartans (2-6) either. The wins have been few and far between. A Week 2 victory over Portland State and a Week 7 win over Nevada are all Ron Caragher’s team has to boast about. Last weekend’s matchup found San Jose State on the road at San Diego State, and the Aztecs really put it to the Spartans, 42-3.
The last six meetings between the two programs have gone to San Jose State. Last year’s game ended in a 33-27 win for the Spartans in Las Vegas. They lead the all-time series, 14-5-1. UNLV hasn’t won since 1994.
What To Know About UNLV
Since he took over for the injured Johnny Stanton almost a month ago, Dalton Sneed flashed a dual-threat ability, but he simply hasn’t done enough to warrant many wins for the Rebels. In those four games, Sneed has completed 46.2 percent of his passes for 602 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Against Colorado State, he completed 7-of-23 passes for 185 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. However, he did run for 96 yards on 15 carries.
Both Mehki Stevenson and Lexington Thomas were on the receiving end of those touchdown passes, and both finished with only one catch apiece. Stevenson’s went for 51 yards, and Thomas’ grab went for 37 yards. Thomas also chipped in 13 rushing yards. Charles Williams contributed 41 yards while Jericho Flowers tacked on 21 yards. The only rushing touchdown was scored by David Greene.
What to Know About San Jose State
Quarterback Kenny Potter was almost nonexistent for the Spartans against San Diego State. He completed 13-of-29 passes for 104 yards, but he did take off nine times for 42 rushing yards. He was San Jose State’s leading rusher, though. Malik Roberson, Zamore Zigler and Deontae Cooper combined for 32 rushing yards on 15 carries.
The Spartans also took an absolute beating on defense. They allowed 460 yards of total offense: 167 yards through the air and 293 yards on the ground. When you couple that with the seven penalties for -69 yards, it’s not hard to figure out how San Jose State lost. To their credit, though, the Spartans are the No. 9 least penalized team in the country (4.1 penalties/game).
Offense: UNLV – Neither quarterback is particularly skilled from within the pocket, but the Rebels have a three-headed rushing monster with Thomas, Williams and Sneed.
Defense: UNLV – The Rebels are 24 spots ahead of the Spartans at No. 78 in total defense, allowing 420.1 yards per game.
Special Teams: UNLV – Evan Pantels’ only missed kick came from outside 40 yards. He’s accounted for 53 points this season. Plus, Williams is averaging 18.4 yards per kick return.
Coaching: UNLV – Coach Sanchez seems to be closer to righting the ship that Caragher is. After all, the Rebels have won two of their last four games.
Matchup To Watch
Dalton Sneed vs. Kenny Potter
Potter is a little banged up, but he’s expected to play. And he’ll need to be decisive with the football. As important as it is to protect the rock, Potter will need to make a play at some point. Both quarterbacks have the ability to pull the ball down and run, and this game will come down to whichever one makes more plays than the other.
Spread: UNLV -3
UNLV vs. San Jose State Prediction
Both Sneed and Potter are going to rely more on their abilities to run than they will their arms. But Sneed is going to have the better performance. He’ll throw for about 150 yards with a couple of touchdowns. He’ll also get picked off at least once, but it won’t matter in the end. Thomas and Williams will tag-team the workload in the running game, and they’ll control the time of possession as UNLV takes the win.
UNLV vs. San Jose State Score Prediction: UNLV 30, San Jose State 24