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San Jose State Gains Huge Road Win in Wyoming

San Jose State Gains Huge Road Win in Wyoming

 

Spartans sharp in tune-up for massive showdown

 

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For the second consecutive Saturday, the San Jose State football team showed up to work with clear objectives – better execution and play a full 60 minutes.  Mission accomplished, again.  With a resounding 33-16 road win at Wyoming (3-3, 1-1), the Spartans have established themselves as a major threat to replicate their 2020 feat of becoming Mountain West Conference champions.

After taking the first quarter to get used to the altitude (Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium has the highest altitude of any FBS home field), the Spartans took control with a dominating middle two quarters, and then salted the game away with their best drive of the season, a 10 play 80 yard masterpiece that took six minutes off the clock, featured a beautiful run-pass mix, and was capped off by an 18-yard, Chevan Cordeiro touchdown run.

Making the finish even more impressive was the fact that it followed a very scary moment in the middle of the third quarter.  Senior DT, Noah Wright, was carted off on a stretcher after a collision left him down on the field for over 15 minutes and had his entire team huddled around him.  Wright was able to give two fingers up in a peace symbol as he was being loaded into the ambulance, and better yet was able to fly home with the Spartans after being evaluated at a local hospital, according to head coach, Brent Brennan.    

The shell-shocked San Jose State defense allowed a couple of big plays immediately following the injury, which was almost to be expected.  Watching your brother and teammate taken away under those circumstances shakes even the toughest of men.  An Andrew Peasley to Parker Christensen 13 yard TD pass three plays after the injury drew the Cowboys within 26-16.  The Spartans were able to deny the ensuing two-point conversion and were never seriously threatened again.  The resilience of the whole team, but the defense in particular in the aftermath of the injury, shows how bought in this 2022 Spartan squad is.  That’s bad news for the rest of the conference.  

From a statistical perspective the game was dominated by San Jose State.  25 first downs to 10, a 456 to 253 yard advantage and a huge time of possession edge tell much of the story.  Only two short missed field goals prevented a wider margin of victory.  It wasn’t all bad in the kicking game though, as Travis Benham was excellent punting the football.  5 punts, not a single return yard against, and a punt downed at the 1 that led to a safety–the Spartans first points of the game.  

Cordeiro had a monster night running the offense, completing 21-37 for 314 yards and a touchdown, and adding 45 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.  What’s becoming apparent is that the receiving core is virtually impossible to cover, there are simply too many weapons.  Elijah Cooks was the leader of the pack against the Cowboys with 8 grabs for 177 yards.  Running back Kairee Robinson enjoyed the first 100 yard game of his career and scored an early third quarter touchdown to give San Jose State a 26-10 lead.  Going back to the game- clinching fourth quarter drive referenced earlier, the Spartans did what good teams do:  they were able to run the ball even when the opponent knows it’s coming.  Not only that, but against an opponent whose strength is their front 7.  Well done by the Spartans and another positive moving forward.

Speaking of moving forward, who saw this coming in the summer months?  A monumental showdown is just 5 days away at CEFCU Stadium.  The 4-1 UNLV Runnin Rebels come to town for a Friday night game that will likely decide the West division of the conference.  Granted, there is still a lot of football to be played and things can change quickly, but the winner will be in an excellent position to play for a conference championship in early December.     

 

 

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Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire