By:|Terry Collins:|4.0 Sports Media
The San Jose State Spartans (0-4) hosted the Colorado State Rams (1-4). SJSU sought to rebound from last week’s heartbreak, a 44-41 loss after battling Hawaii in 5 overtimes. CSU entered the game ranked 13th in FBS passing offense, averaging 320 yards per game, and having two wide receivers on the Fred Biletnikoff watch list.
CSU’s rushing attack and defensive line established the tone for the first half. Ram’s quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels contributed by tossing 4 touchdowns in the first half, Warren Jackson and Preston Williams had two each.
In the second quarter, SJSU’S Zamore Zigler intercepted the ball and had an electric return to the CSU 19 yard line. SJSU went for it on 4th and 4 from the CSU 13 yard line and came up empty. Instead of kicking the field goal and brining the score to 14-3, SJSU head coach Brent Brennan stated in the post-game press conference that he “felt that his team needed 7 points instead of 3.”
With 2:41 left in the first half, SJSU QB Josh Love was assisted off the field after a ferocious sack by CSU linebacker Caleb Smith.
In the first half, SJSU cornerback Dakari Monroe had a spectacular pass break up and Spartan tight end and NFL prospect Josh Tolliver stretched out for a nice 19 yard grab. However, the halftime Score was 28-0.
In the 3rd quarter, SJSU got sacks from linebacker Jamal Scott and defensive lineman Bryson Bridges.
SJSU scored its first touchdown with 7:47 remaining in the 3rd quarter, a 24 yard touchdown to wide receiver Tre Hartley.
SJSU’s following drive was extended by a roughing the passer penalty committed by Jan-Phillip Bombek. After a 40-yard pass to No. 15 Tre Hartley, running back Tyler Nevens punched it in the end zone. The Spartan’s went 61 yards in 1:08 seconds. The score was now 28-14 Rams.
The SJSU crowd came alive and the Spartans’ 12th man forced a false start and subsequent punt. SJSU’s Tre Hartley took a 51 yard crossing route to the end zone for his second touchdown. The Spartans went 77 yards to bring the score to 28-21.
SJSU’s linebacker Alii MAtau intercepted a tipped ball. SJSU scored on a misdirection pass to wide receiver Thai Katrell. The game was now tied 28-28.
The Rams returner mishandled the ensuing kickoff and the ball went out on the 2 yard line. The Spartan defense tackled the running back for a safety. This was the Spartan’s first safety since the Military Bowl in 2012.
The Spartans had 30 unanswered points in the third quarter to take a 30-28 lead to end the third quarter. The last time the Spartans scored 28 points in a quarter was in 2004.
In the 4th quarter, CSU quarterback Carta-Samuels came out firing. Eventually, Ram’s running back Izzy Matthews was able to punch it in the end zone on a 1-yard run. The Rams regained a 35-30 lead.
After the score, Spartan’s No.22 Katrell hit a middle seam and returned the kick-off to the 50 yard line. The CSU defense stiffened with back to back sacks. On a 3rd and long, cornerback Rashad Ajayi had a 55 yard pick 6 interception to give the Rams a 42-30 lead.
With SJSU driving, Ram’s safety Jordan Fogul intercepted another pass. The Ram’s defensive line closed the game. They applied constant pressure and got sacks from Ellison Hubbard, Emmanuel Jones and Trey Thomas. The Rams totaled 6 sacks on the evening.
In the post-game press conference, SJSU Head Coach Bret Brennan was positive and asserted the need for his young team to learn how to close games. The learning process would consist of assessing the game plan, scheme, film study and the need for players to simply make plays. After watching an exciting shoot out, it was clear that the Ram’s Defensive Line was just too strong for the Spartans.