2022 San Jose St. Spartans Preview

by Matt Fargo

San Jose St. Spartans

2021-22 Season Record 5-7 (3-5 MWC West) - 5-7-0 ATS - 6-6-0 O/U

Returning Starters

Offense - 6
Defense - 8

Overview

San Jose St. has made strides, albeit baby steps, under head coach Brent Brennan as he accepted the job at a program that was going nowhere and had very little in the tank when he arrived. He went 3-22 in his first two seasons and then was win one away from bowl eligibility in 2019 but lost to UNLV in the second to last game of the season. The COVID shortened 2020 season provided a perfect 7-0 season including a MWC Conference championship, insert asterisk here, before losing to Ball St. in the Arizona Bowl and then they were a win away from the postseason again last season but lost their last three games. Now they know what pressure feels like instead of being a laughing stock and will look to build on this little mini run with the most victories in three straight seasons since 2012-2014. They have great experience and had their best recruiting class in many years.

Offense

The offense was bad last season as the Spartans scored more than 27 points only once against an FBS team while scoring 17 points or fewer seven times. The offense regressed by close to 10 ppg and over 90 ypg as they finished No. 107 in total offense and No. 117 in scoring offense which was a killer as it possessed a very strong defense. The quarterback play was inconsistent as Nick Starkel and Nick Nash split time and had trouble completing passes at a combined 52 percent but help is on the way in Hawaii transfer Chevan Cordeiro where he had a solid career, throwing for 6,167 yards and 45 touchdowns. He has plenty of weapons to work with as San Jose St. has its top four receivers back that had 1,307 yards and eight touchdowns. The offensive line will be very good with three veterans getting assistance from two transfers yet help is needed in the backfield but Corderio can run as well.

Defense

The Spartans have had two straight solid seasons on defense after not being able to stop anyone for a long time as last season, they finished No. 57 in total defense and No. 71 in scoring defense, not great but good enough to keep them in games. They will be better and more help from the offense could really get things going by keeping the unit off the field for longer stretches. The rushing defense was the strength as they allowed just 135.2 ypg on 3.6 ypc which was good for No. 41 in the nation and the entire defensive line is back. Ends Cade Hall and Villami Fehoko are both back after combining for 77 tackles and 11 sacks and both will be disruptive again. The linebacking corps is also a strength with three starters back led by Kyle Harmon, who had a team-high 134 tackles. The secondary was the weakness where they were No. 79 in passing defense but are more experienced.

2022 Season Outlook

While a 20-37 record is hardly impressive, the job is secure for Brennan as long as nothing detrimental occurs. Being on the cusp of a bowl game for three straight seasons does not happen around here very often but now it is looking like it will happen in four straight seasons but San Jose St. has to make sure if takes care of the games it is supposed to. The nonconference slate looks good with games against Portland St., Western Michigan and New Mexico St. that it should win as well as a road game at Auburn. The MWC slate is tough though as the difficult games are on the road at Fresno St., San Diego St. and Utah St. but those teams can no longer look past the Spartans. They miss Boise St. and Air Force all together from the Mountain Division. The O/U win total is set at 6.5 which is unheard of in these parts but it is appropriate as on paper, there are seven wins with possible upsets as well.   

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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