Cal Poly at San Jose State: Keys to a Spartans Win, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction

Cal Poly at San Jose State: Keys to a Spartans Win, How to Watch, Odds, Prediction

Spartans still looking for first win of season


WEEK 2: Cal Poly Mustangs at San Jose State Spartans

WHERE: CEFCU Stadium, San Jose, California

WHEN: Saturday, September 9, 2023 – 4:00pm EST (1:00pm PST)

TV: NBC Sports Bay Area

STREAMING: Mountain West Network ( Fans can also sign up to receive a free one-week trial of Fubo, by following this link.

RADIO: ESPN 1100AM & 100.9 FM

SERIES RECORD: This will be the second meeting between Cal Poly and San Jose State. The previous meeting was in 2017, where the Spartans won 34-13. (Courtesy of Phil Steele’s 2023 College Football Preview.)

WEBSITES: is the San Jose State University Athletics official website | is the official Cal Poly Athletics website.

GAME NOTES (PDF): Cal Poly | San Jose State


SP+ PROJECTION: San Jose State by 15.3


What a difference a week can make.

The Spartans started their 2023 campaign with a tough non-conference schedule, versus two ranked teams, losing to sixth-ranked USC and number 18 Oregon State to start the season. And after Cal Poly a trip to Group of Five standout Toledo will be waiting. The good news from here is the Spartans schedule will get easier, but remains challenging, nonetheless.

The 0-2 Spartans now will host the Cal Poly Mustangs still looking for their first win of the season. Before the Spartans can claim this victory, San Jose State cannot look past the Mustangs this Saturday in San Jose. For a closer look at how San Jose State can get the victory, here are three keys for the Spartans’ game plan:

Keep Cordeiro Mobile

Senior Chevan Cordeiro is arguably as good outside the pocket as he is in it. The second-team All-Mountain West quarterback has shown he can play well against tough opposition, passing for four touchdowns without an interception thus far. The Spartans will need to continue to allow Cordeiro to operate in and out of the pocket, and Cordeiro will need to work within what the Mustangs will give him if the Spartans are to get their first win of the season.

Defensive Improvements

The Spartans were in over their heads against USC and Oregon State but giving up 98 points in two games has to improve if San Jose State is to have a chance to win this Saturday.  It is a unit rebuilding after losing a number of starters, but San Jose State will need to rely on every player to keep the score from getting out of hand. If they can stop the Mustangs, or at least get a few more punts out of the Cal Poly offense than they did their previous opponents, that should help a “bend but don’t break” mentality to improve things on Saturday.

Control Time of Possession

It might be somewhat surprising to see that The Spartans were nearly even in time of possession versus Oregon State and controlled the clock in the season opener against USC. Against Cal Poly, the Spartans’ offense would be well advised to control the clock even further, to avoid a defense getting gassed on the field and keep the San Jose offense in control on its home field.


After starting the season with a non-conference schedule few would look forward to, the Spartans now face a non-conference team that went 2-9 last season and have not posted a winning record since 2016 (as noted in Phil Steele’s 2023 College Football Preview). Expect San Jose State to look better and put-up points, as Cordeiro and company should be able to operate much more effectively at home on offense and a defense that should be able step up to the challenge.

San Jose State 34, Cal Poly 24

Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire