What to know before the rematch in the middle of the major


San Jose versus Western Michigan

records: SJSU (1-1, 0-0 Mountain West); Western Michigan (1-2, 1-0 Mid-America)

Starting: 7:30 PM, CEFCU Stadium

the television: CBS Sports Network

radio: KTRB (860 p.)

Series date: The Spartans lost their only inter-school meeting 23-3 last season in Kalamazoo.

The facts: Last season’s loss to the Broncos was particularly painful because quarterback Nick Starkill, who stopped the Spartans to a 2-1 start, was injured during the game, dramatically changing the course of the SJSU season. Starkel missed the next five games and wasn’t 100% when he came back. SJSU finished the season losing six of its last nine games, starting with Western Michigan. …both mediocre shows come with encouraging performances against the Power Five teams. The Spartans led Auburn in the first half on the road in a 24-16 loss two weeks ago. West Michigan trailed 24th-placed Pittsburgh with a fourth-quarter drop from their 34-13 home defeat last week. …SJSU must be a little fresher than the Broncos – the Spartans are coming from bye. The Broncos opened the season in Michigan State and won their inaugural MAC Ball State game before the Pitt game. … The Spartans will wear the San Jose City Shirt designed specifically for the game. The jerseys and helmets are black with silver trim (and a touch of blue). …San Jose State opens convention play next weekend in Wyoming.

The game to watch: San Jose State running game against Western Michigan defense: Quarterback Chivan Cordero posed the biggest threat in a SJSU-run game that gained 103 yards in two games (only Colorado State and Boston College average fewer rushing yards per game among FBS teams). The Spartans only have 48 dash attempts if you rule out 10 Cordeiro was sent off, so this should be a better gag for how tangled SJSU’s young streak and running appearance are. Kairee Robinson is the leading dropout in the Spartans with 59 yards on 21 gigs. The Broncos allow for 197 dash yards per game. SJSU’s defense can be full on trying to stop a running game, too: Sean Tyler of Western Michigan rushed for 1,150 yards last season and averaged over six yards per carry during his career. He had the go-ahead for a 75-yard touchdown run against Ball State.

The San Jose State Spartans run back Kyrie Robinson (32) in the first half against the Portland State Vikings during an NCAA football game on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022 in San Jose, California (AP Photo/Lachlan Cunningham)
The San Jose State Spartans run back Kyrie Robinson (32) in the first half against the Portland State Vikings during an NCAA football game on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022 in San Jose, California (AP Photo/Lachlan Cunningham)

Important stats: The Spartans are one of five FBS teams whose size has not changed this season. They have four interceptions and one restore to failure. This is the first time in this century that SJSU has gone into the first two games without a spin. …Cordeiro’s flight from Hawaii passed 514 yards and made up three of the Spartans’ four touchdowns—he threw one and lunged for two more. …the Broncos have a first-year quarterback, Jack Salopek. He completed 53.6 percent of his attempts for 522 yards and touchdowns, but threw four interceptions. … Safety Tree Jenkins and linebacker Kyle Harmon led the team with 15 tackles during their first two games. Jenkins has 13 individual treatments. … Harmon moved to sixth place all-time in school history with 356 occupational therapists. … The Spartans have played with MAC opponents eight times, 3-5 times, and all of SJSU’s wins have come in bowl games. The Spartans beat University of Miami in the 1986 California Bowl, Central Michigan in the 1990 California Raisin Bowl, and Bowling Green in the 2012 Military Bowl.

– Lawrence Medema


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