FACTS & STATS: Site: Qualcomm Stadium (54,000) — San Diego, California.
Television: CBSSN. Home Record: SJSU 2-3, SDSU 5-0. Away Record: SJSU 1-5,
SDSU 1-5. Neutral Record: SJSU 0-0, SDSU 0-0. Conference Record: SJSU 2-5,
SDSU 4-3. Series Record: San Jose State leads, 19-16-2.
GAME NOTES: The San Diego State Aztecs try to finish off the 2014 regular
season on a positive note, as they clash with the San Jose State Spartans in
Mountain West Conference action on Saturday.
Although they have alternated wins and losses over the last five outings, the
Aztecs still have the potential to win the West Division of the MWC if they
can defeat San Jose State and have Fresno State fall to Hawaii this weekend.
The team’s most recent outing came against Air Force on Nov. 21 and ended with
a 30-14 victory, so they’ll need to buck their recent trend in order to
possibly make it to the conference title game.
Meanwhile, no matter what the outcome of this finale game of the regular
season, the Spartans will be heading home until 2015, due to the fact that
they have a total of just three victories in 11 opportunities at this stage.
Last week SJSU was blown out of the water by Utah State, 41-7, on the road,
the squad’s fifth consecutive defeat after winning back-to-back contests
versus UNLV and Wyoming in conference play in October.
According to SJSU sources, the Spartans own a 19-16-2 advantage in the all-
time series, although San Diego State won the most recent encounter a season
ago, 34-30, on the road.
Other than a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Mitch Ravizza in the second
quarter last week, there was little offense to speak of for the Spartans
during their lopsided loss to Utah State in Logan. In fact, San Jose State
produced only 252 yards on 72 snaps, an average of just 3.5 yards per play
against a team that was averaging nearly double that.
Both Ravizza and Blake Jurich saw time under center for the Spartans, although
the latter didn’t attempt a pass and was sacked once. Ravizza hit on 13-of-21
passes for 61 yards and he was taken down three times behind the line, but
that made little difference in the outcome. Tyler Ervin was credited with a
team-best 104 yards on 22 rushing attempts, followed by Ravizza with 64 yards
on 18 carries.
Akeem King posted 11 tackles and Travis Raciti a career-high nine, with 1.5
tackles for loss to his credit. Raciti is now fourth on the team’s tackles
list for the season with his 65 stops, while his six TFL and three sacks pace
The good news for the Spartans is that they still rank first in the nation in
pass defense with only 125.5 ypg allowed, the bad news is that the run defense
is permitting 225.5 ypg and that has the unit ranked 114th in the FBS this
Back on the offensive side, it appears as though Ravizza will be the one
taking all of the snaps at quarterback this weekend, seeing as how Jurich has
joined Joe Gray on the injured list with a knee injury. What all that means is
that the running game will probably get more of a workout than usual and that
might not be the best thing since the group is averaging only 145.3 ypg with
carries averaging less than four yards even as Ervin (805 yards, four TDs)
averages close to six yards himself when he takes the ball.
Kicker Donald Hageman played a key role for the Aztecs during their win over
Air Force, booting three of his four field goal attempts through the uprights
in order to give San Diego State some breathing room in an otherwise close
Also, quarterback Quinn Kaehler found some holes in the AF secondary, exposing
them for 326 yards and a touchdown as he converted 17-of-30 passes. Although
he did not make it into the end zone, Ezell Ruffin was still able to stretch
the field for SDSU by creating 126 yards on seven catches.
Donnel Pumphrey scored the lone rushing TD as he carried the ball 27 times and
finished with 131 of the unit’s 176 yards on the ground. One of the nation’s
top runners, Pumphrey now has 1,494 yards and has scored an astounding 16
touchdowns, but has been a mule for the Aztecs with 234 carries.
When Pumphrey is not lugging the ball around, Kaehler is converting his passes
at a 58.1 percent clip for a modest 198.2 ypg. However, the signal caller has
made his share of mistakes, leading to 10 interceptions which is one more than
he has touchdowns.
Unfortunately for the SDSU defense, the unit may be without tackle Alex
Barrett yet again due to an injury and that would be an issue given that fact
that he leads the Aztecs in both TFLs (nine) and sacks (three) in his 10
Not much has gone right for the Spartans this season and with the team
probably going with a third different starting quarterback, the chances of
coming out on top in this finale also took a major hit.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego State 34, San Jose State 17