Thearon W. Henderson
The San Jose State Spartans continue to roll over opponents, earning their fifth straight victory Saturday night versus BYU. Strength of schedule is likely the only reason SJSU isn't currently in the top 25.
Not many college football fans know about San Jose State and its now 9-2 record. The Spartans are out of the top 25 for facing what the BCS magic elves consider to be a weak schedule. Coming into Saturday night's game, SJSU had had beaten four straight teams and made the BYU Cougars its fifth victim with a 20-14 win.
San Jose State struck first with a 51 yard touchdown pass from quarterback David Fales to wide receiver Noel Grigsby; kicker Austin Lopez missed the point after. BYU answered back minutes later as Jamaal Williams rushed for 16 yards and the TD. BYU's PAT was successful, putting it ahead of SJSU, 7-6. The Spartans scored another touchdown late in the first quarter. Fales threw 8 yards down the middle to a waiting Chandler Jones. This time, Lopez's point after was successful. At the end of the quarter, SJSU is ahead, 13-7.
Both teams were unable to reach the endzone a majority of the second quarter. The only exception being SJSU's Grigsby's second touchdown of the game with 13:58 to go. The Spartans held their 20-7 lead heading into halftime.
The third period was uneventful. Both teams failed to score. It wasn't necessarily a defensive battle. BYU and San Jose State just couldn't get into the endzone.
BYU made a comeback attempt with 2:48 left in the game. Quarterback Riley Nelson passed to David Foote for a 20 yard TD; followed by a successful point after. The score was now 20-14 SJSU. BYU was successful in its on-side kick; however, Cougars' QB Nelson would be sacked by linebacker Keith Smith. Smith recovered the ball for SJSU, who proceeded to run out the clock. San Jose State beats BYU, 20-14.
Box Score Hero: SJSU wide receiver Noel Grigsby had a fantastic night. Grigsby caught 8 passes for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns. He averaged 16.5 yards per catch.
Rankings Ramifications: BYU is unranked and will remain that way. The unranked Spartans are now 9-2 with one game remaining in their season. Only one team out of the 11 played by SJSU is ranked (Stanford). They will face their second ranked team, No. 20 Louisiana Tech, also 9-2, next week in the season finale. The Spartans won't find themselves in the top 25 this week, but beating LA Tech will help improve their chances.
But Did They Cover? BYU was favored by 3 points coming in. SJSU didn't need the help to cover the spread.
Next Week's Schedule: SJSU stays at home to play No. 20 Louisiana Tech in the Spartans' final regular season game. BYU is on the road for the second week in a row, heading to New Mexico State to finish the season.