Spartans Host Fresno State With .500 In Mind

Tyler Winston had 10 receptions for 164 yards and a touchdown in the 2013 game between these teams in Spartan Stadium.
Sept. 20, 2015

San Jose State Weekly Release Get Acrobat Reader

Upcoming game (Game #4):

San José State vs. Fresno State

Saturday, September 26, 2015,

Spartan Stadium, San José, Calif., 7:34 p.m. (PT)

CBS Sports Network

San José State record: 1-2, 0-1 Mountain West. Most recently, the Spartans lost at Oregon State, 35-21, on September 19.

Fresno State record: 1-2, 0-0 Mountain West. The Bulldogs lost, 45-24, to #21-Utah on September 19.

Play-by-Play Radio Coverage: KLIV (1590 AM, San José) originates San José State football broadcasts. Justin Allegri calls the play-by-play. Kevin Richardson offered commentary. Air time for the KLIV broadcast is 7:00 p.m. (PT).

Television: CBS Sports Network will originate the San Jose State-Fresno State game. Brad Johansen calls the play-by-play. Aaron Taylor serves as the game analyst. Jenny Dell is the sideline reporter. The live telecast begins at 7:30 p.m. (PT). CBS Sports Network is available on:

AT&T Uverse Channels 643, 1643 HD

Comcast/XFinity Channels 418, 732 HD

DirecTV Channel 221

DISH Network Channels 158, 158 HD

Series history: Fresno State leads the series, 40-35-3, which dates back to 1921. The Bulldogs are the Spartans' most common opponent. The teams have split the last four meetings over a five-season span with each team winning once at home and once on the road. Fresno State won last year's game, 38-24, at Bulldog Stadium. San Jose State won the 2013 game over then-unbeaten and #16-ranked Fresno State, 62-52, in the highest scoring game by the two teams in the series. It was the first time the two teams combined to score at least 100 points and the fourth time the winning team scored 60 or more points.

The two teams still hold the NCAA record for most combined penalties in a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) game, 36 for 317 yards, in the October 4, 1986 game won by the Spartans, 45-41. San Jose State was penalized 24 times for 199 yards, still the most penalties against one team in a FBS contest.

The 2015 game between these teams is the seventh time they are facing each other in the month of September since 1932. The last September meeting was on September 3, 1994 with Fresno State winning in Bulldog Stadium, 45-13.

The two teams also will be playing for the Valley Trophy, instituted in 2013 signifying the Santa Clara Valley for San Jose State and the San Joaquin Valley for Fresno State. The two schools are separated by just over 140 driving miles.

A .500 September is possible: A win over Fresno State would give San Jose State a 2-2 overall win-loss record and a 1-1 mark in Mountain West action. In the last 10 years, the Spartans finished September with at least two wins and a .500 or better record in 2006 (3-1), 2008 (3-2), and 2012 (4-1).

Opportunistic Spartans: After three games, San Jose State has two pass interceptions and one fumble recovery. The Spartans turned those three takeaways into three touchdowns - one at Air Force and two at Oregon State. Opponents are almost equally successful with four interceptions resulting in three eventual touchdowns.

Pass defense keeps high ranking: Even though Oregon State became the first San Jose State opponent this season to complete at least 50 percent of its passes and gain more than 100 yards, the Spartans enter the week of September 21, second nationally in fewest passing yards allowed per game (73.0) and in passing efficiency defense (71.6 rating). Oregon State quarterback Seth Collins completed 13-of-25 passes with an interception for 135 yards and a touchdown against San Jose State. Opponents are completing 42.6 percent of their passes against San Jose State - the best mark among Mountain West teams.

Three-and-outs: In each of the Air Force and Oregon State games, the San Jose State defense created four three-and-out situations for its offense. For the season, the Spartan defense can take credit for 14 three-and-outs on 38 opponent offensive possessions.

Net punting is tops in the nation: San Jose State heads into the Fresno State the national leader among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools in net punting with a 46.9 yards average. Of the Spartans' 16 punts in the first three games, only five were returned for 49 yards. Five of San Jose State's eight punts in the Oregon State game had a net punting figure of 50 or more yards. Sophomore Michael Carrizosa has a 53.8 yards per punt average and is the national leader in individual punting.

Ran there six times: Running back Tyler Ervin is tied for seventh nationally in scoring with seven touchdowns after three games - one more than he scored in 2014. Ervin has six rushing touchdowns on just 53 carries and a pass reception against Air Force for six points. He is the first San Jose State running back since Brandon Rutley in 2011 to rush for a touchdown in at least three consecutive games. Rutley, a running back with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, finished that season with six rushing touchdowns on 100 carries in the last five games. In 2001, Spartan running back Jarmar Julien, who had a brief professional career with the Kansas City Chiefs, rushed for eight touchdowns in four consecutive games (one at UTEP, four vs. Tulsa, one at Hawai'i, and three vs. Nevada). Julien scored his eight touchdowns on 84 carries.

Quarterback shuffle: Senior Joe Gray and junior Kenny Potter have playing time in each of the first three games. Redshirt junior Malik Watson saw late fourth quarter against New Hampshire and played the last four series in the Oregon State game. Potter was the starting quarterback in the Air Force and Oregon State contests and Gray was the starter in the opener against New Hampshire. As a trio, the three Spartan quarterbacks are completing 67.3 percent (68-of-101) of their passes, second best in the Mountain West.

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