Northern Colorado at San Jose State
|Date & Time||Thursday August 29, 2019, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
San Jose, CA
San Jose State Spartans -10.5 -- O/U: 59.5
The Northern Colorado Bears and the San Jose State Spartans meet in week 1 college football action from the CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, CA.
The Northern Colorado Bears come into the 2019 season looking to make a splash in the FCS, after finishing 2018 with an abysmal 2-9 record, including an 0-7 start to the season. Jacob Knipp is back for his 6th season in the Northern Colorado program, after being riddled with injuries throughout his tenure with the Bears, Knipp is viewed by many as an NFL level talent so if he can stay healthy, the Bears have a good chance. Willie Fairman will be tasked with leading Northern Colorado’s receiving corps after finishing last year 2nd on the team with 33 receptions for 439 yards while Milo Hall is back in UNC’s backfield after rushing for 757 yards and 7 scores. As a team, Northern Colorado averaged 23.8 points per game while allowing 35.5 points per game last season.
The San Jose State Spartans will also be looking to mount a turnaround after finishing 2018 with a brutal 1-11 record, starting the season with a 44-38 loss to FCS UC-Davis with their lone win coming in conference against UNLV. Josh Love is back under center for the Spartans after throwing for 1,963 yards, 14 touchdowns and 9 picks last season while Tyler Nevens is back after leading the Spartans in rushing for the 2nd year in a row, racking up 554 yards and 4 scores but that didn’t do much as the Spartans finished last in the Mountain West in rushing last season, averaging just 61.5 yards per game last season. The Spartans’ receiving group is inexperienced after losing tight end Josh Olivers and his 56 catches from last season, but Tre Walker returns after leading SJSU with 714 receiving yards and 5 TDs last year. Defensively, four of the top five tackles are back, including their top two leading tacklers in Ethan Aguayo and Jesse Osuna, who will be tasked in the linebacking group to anchor a defense that allowed almost 500 yards and 37 points per game last season. As a team, San Jose State averaged 322.4 yards of total offense and 21.2 points per game while allowing 495.2 yards of total offense and 36.6 points per game last season.
San Jose State has a history of some success against FCS opposition, and granted, they probably should be able to beat down on teams below them. However, I’m not overly sold on the Spartans, and Northern Colorado has some solid depth coming back and could be a sleeper in the Big Sky this season. The Spartans lost to UC-Davis last season and that sent things into a tailspin, so a win is key for San Jose State here, but I think Northern Colorado is more than capable of at the very least putting a scare into the Spartans, so I’ll take a stab at San Jose State and the points here.