San Jose State Spartans at Utah Utes


RECORDS: San Jose State 1-2. Utah 2-0.

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.



SERIES HISTORY: Utah has a stranglehold on the series with a record of 7-1. San Jose State’s lone victory came in 1974, 24-6 at Utah. The teams met in San Jose last season, with Utah picking up a 34-17 win.

STORYLINES: There’s no way to sugarcoat it, last week’s performance at Texas was a disaster. The Spartans are looking to bounce back after getting blown out 56-0 by the Longhorns. … Junior linebacker Frank Ginda leads the nation with 42 tackles on the season. It might be a product of San Jose’s defense spending so much time on the field through the first three weeks, but nonetheless an impressive feat. … Could the Spartans catch Utah in a trap game? Coming off a grueling 19-13 win against rival BYU and with a primetime matchup with Arizona awaiting in Week 4, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham acknowledged concern over a potential letdown against the Spartans. “There is a hangover effect at times after an emotional game like the one last weekend, but last year we were able to put it behind us and move on,” Whittingham told the Salt Lake Tribune. “I think last year was first year that we had won the week after the rivalry game. Hopefully we can duplicate that this year.”

STATS THAT MATTER: The Spartans are allowing an average of 305.7 rushing yards thorough three games, a number that will have to improve just to remain competitive against Utah dual-threat quarterback Tyler Huntley. … SJSU quarterback Montel Aaron threw for only 104 yards against Texas, with only one connection with receiver Bailey Gaither. With 165 yards and three touchdowns through three games, the Spartans need to find a way to get the ball in Gaither’s hands more often. It won’t be easy against Utah, which held BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum to 170 passing yards last week.

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