San Jose State (1-2) @ # 13 Utah (3-0)


Next Game

San Jose St. Spartans
@ Utah Utes

Saturday, Sep 25, 2010, 6:00 PM MDT

TV: n/a

Radio: ESPN 700

Rice-Eccles Stadium

Complete Coverage >


Utah's stretch of no-name opponents continues for another week as the Utes host the floundering San Jose St. Spartans

It shouldn't be a surprise they've struggled this season - they've played at Alabama and Wisconsin. You'll find most teams will have difficulty winning both games, let alone just one. 

For San Jose State, though, that was to be expected. They're rebuilding from last year's disastrous 2-10 season - which included a 24-14 loss to Utah. They also have a new coaching staff, as Mike Macintyre took over from Dick Tomey last December. Prior to his arrival in San Jose, Macintyre was the defensive coordinator for the Duke Blue Devils

He has a project on his hands. Not only have the Spartans slumped since their 9-4 season in 2006, they face an uncertain future with the Western Athletic Conference. This summer, as I'm sure you're all aware, the conference lost three of its strongest members - Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada. San Jose State, unfortunately, was left out and it's not clear what the future holds for the program or the conference.

But that is the furthest thing from the minds of their coaches and players right now. The most important is trying to find any traction in a season that has already gotten off to a difficult start. 

After falling easily to the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide, the Spartans actually played the Wisconsin Badgers tough on the road. Though they eventually lost 27-14, they were competitive in a difficult environment against a top-fifteen team. 

That's something. Especially for such an inexperienced team. 

Yet San Jose State followed that performance up with a slumbering 16-11 win over Southern Utah University. Needless to say, they'll need to step up their play greatly if they have any hope of contending with the Utes Saturday. 

Of course, one only needs to look back to last year's contest to see Utah can't take the Spartans lightly. The Utes went on the road in their second game of the season and struggled against what would turn out to be an awful San Jose State team. In fact, the Utes were tied with the Spartans heading into the fourth quarter. 

If motivated enough and given the opportunity, San Jose State can make this a closer-than-it-should-be contest. 

Offensively, San Jose State is not good. They average only 11 points per game and that's third-worst nationally. Only New Mexico (Utah's last opponent) and Colorado State have scored fewer points on average than the Spartans. 

Total yards per game doesn't offer much hope, either. They're one-spot higher here with an average of 244 per game. 

Their defense isn't much better. In three games, San Jose State has given up an average of 28.7 points, while giving up 442.7 yards per game. 

Basically, they're a slightly better version of New Mexico. 

That means we should expect a similar result to last week's and even though the Spartans challenged the Utes a bit more than they should have last season, this, I think we can all agree, is a dramatically different team. 

Because of that, and with this being a home game, I expect yet another dominant Utah performance. 

In fact, the biggest question might not be whether Utah wins or even by how much - rather, how well Jordan Wynn looks in the victory. 

Hopefully he looks good. 

Utah wins if...They show up. I really don't see a way the Utes lose this game.

San Jose State wins if...Utah fails to get off the bus. 

What will happen...I don't know if Wynn will start, but he'll see a great deal of time. I expect him to look fairly solid and the Utes' offense finally performs well out of the gate. The contest might not be quite over at the half, but it'll be close and Utah rolls 59-10.

What are your predictions? 

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