UNLV hosts San Jose State on Campus Insiders and the Mountain West Network (game can be seen here), and Doug Chapman who is calling the game was kind enough to answer a few questions. Chapman did spend a few years in the NFL playing running back, and he was a key part of the great Marshall teams in the late 1990s which also featured Randy Moss and Chad Pennington.
1. What has caused San Jose State struggles this year moving to the Mountain West, has been the tougher competition or the injury bug that took out some of the Spartans best players for parts of the season?
I wouldn't say the move bothered them much because they had a talented team. You lose your primary WR from the year prior and that will hurt any team. its taken Fales some time to adjust to new personnel and they have a ton of freshman getting significant playing time.
2. Was the change at quarterback by UNLV switching to Caleb Herring the reason for their turnaround?
He was a big part of that. Cornett's running has made Herrings transition easy and the fact that he played WR as well give him a much better feel at the QB position. He doesn't turn the ball over and you cant ask for anything more of your QB than that. You don't have to always have a 300 yard game, but don't turn it over and we will always have a chance to win.
3. What have seen from San Jose State to why they struggle so much in the red zone?
Once again a few new players are in the mix and everyone is looking for Chandler Jones when you get down there. Jones isn't the biggest guy so its difficult to throw the jump ball to him and they don't particularly run it well so they get one dimensional down there.
4. A look ahead question, you played running back in the NFL, what are your thoughts on UNLV's Tim Cornett making it at the next level?
Cornett definitely has the skills to play on Sundays. He has good size, vision, and breaks initial contact. I'm particularly amazed at his toughness. He played against Nevada nicked up and NFL teams love guys that can play with pain. He's been productive on a team that wasn't stocked with talent so it hasn't been easy for him to have the success he's had.
5. What do you think are the keys for San Jose State to win, and also for UNLV to get the victory?
Keys for SJSU: Protect Fales, and force Herring to throw the ball and beat you with his arm. Take Cornett out of the picture by committing an extra defender to the run. For UNLV: Pressure Fales and hit him even if the ball is gone. Not dirty shots but the ones that make QB's uncomfortable. Also they have to run the ball well on first down and force SJSU to get into 3rd and long situations.
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