This is the next edition in the preview series for the Utah State Aggies football team. Each new preview covers a different opponent for the upcoming 2022 Aggie football season.
Game 11: vs San Jose State
Date/Time: Saturday November 19th, at a time TBD
Location: Logan, Utah
Series history: Utah State trails in the series to the Spartans 19-20-1 and currently has a nine game win streak. The Aggies have won all games against San Jose State as a Mountain West member since 2013 (40-12), 2014 (41-7), 2017 (61-10), 2018 (62-24), 2021 (48-17). Utah State also won in 2009 (24-9), 2010 (38-34), 2011 (34-33) and 2012 (49-27). The last time the Aggies lost to the Spartans was in 2008, a 30-7 loss in San Jose. The longest losing streak that Utah State has had to San Jose State is eight games from 1986-1995.
Players to Watch
Junior Chevan Cordeiro
Chevan Cordeiro transfers from Hawaii and started 10 games in 2021, throwing for 2,793 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also rushed for 342 yards and three touchdowns.
In 2020, Chevan Cordeiro started nine games and passed for 2,083 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging 231.4 yards per game.
In 2019, Cordeiro played in 12 games and started three. He threw for 907 yards and and eight touchdowns, completing 57.5 percent of his passes. He is going to be an important factor in providing stability to the offense.
Senior running back Kairee Robinson
In 2021, Robinson had 280 total yards rushing and 159 yards receiving. In 2020, Robinson played in eight games and was the starter for the last four games of the season. He was second on the team in rushing with 313 yards and scored two touchdowns. In 2019, Robinson played in 10 games and rushed for 174 yards on 40 carries.
Senior wide receiver Isaiah Hamilton
Isaiah Hamilton appeared in 11 games and caught 31 passes for 414 yards and caught two touchdowns. Hamilton caught 13 passes for 206 yards for two touchdowns. Hamilton had his biggest season in 2019, when he had 43 receptions for 718 yards and caught four touchdowns.
Sophomore wide receiver Justin Lockhart
Justin Lockhart played in 26 games for Nevada from 2019-2021 and had six games with 30 yard reception or more. In his career with Nevada, Lockhart caught 67 passes for 774 yards and four touchdowns. He had 35 receptions for 470 yards in 2021, 27 receptions for 241 yards in 2020, and five receptions for 33 yards in 2019.
Graduate student Elijah Cooks
Elijah Cooks is another standout receiver that comes from Nevada. Cooks had at least one reception in the 32 of the 39 games he played at Nevada and had 16 games with a reception of 20 yards or more. He closed out his time at Nevada with 115 receptions, 1,478 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns.
In 2021, Cooks caught 13 passes for 157 yards and scored four touchdowns. In 2020, Cooks had two receptions for 24 yards. 2019 was a bigger year for Elijah Cooks as he caught 76 passes for 926 yards and scored eight touchdowns. In 2018, Cooks caught 22 passes for 348 yards and six touchdowns. He should fit well into a starting role for San Jose State.
Junior tight end Sam Olson
In 2021, Olson finished the season with four receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown. He caught a 70 yard touchdown pass against Southern Utah. In 2020, Olson played in six games and saw increased playing time over the season. Olson caught five passes for 67 yards and had two receptions for 34 yards in the Mountain West Championship Game against Boise State.
The entire offensive line
Center Anthony Pardue (senior), right guard Tyler Stevens (senior), left guard Jesse Chamberlain (senior), right tackle Jaime Navarro (senior), and left tackle Fernando Carmona (sophomore) all return for the Spartans. The offensive line has 59 career starts and should be improved from last year.
Junior defensive lineman Viliami Fehoko
In 2021, Viliami Fehoko started 12 games and was a leader of the Spartans, making 37 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss (leading the team), seven sacks, and three forced fumbles.
In 2020, Fehoko started eight games for the Spartans and was fifth on the team in total tackles with 36. He led the Mountain West and was tied 17th nationally with 12.5 tackles for loss. He was second on the team with six sacks and had a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
In 2019, Viliami Fehoko played in 12 games and started 11. He made 44 tackles on the season, had one sack, and also had four pass deflections.
Graduate nose tackle Noah Wright
Noah Wright made 21 tackles in 2021, playing at the nose tackle position. He also had three starts out of the 12 games he played. In 2020, Wright had a total of 11 tackles and made two sacks, one against Nevada and one against Boise State in the conference championship game.
Graduate defensive lineman Cade Hall
Prior to the start of this season, Cade Hall was named the Preseason Mountain West Co-Defensive Player of the Year and was also named to the Preseason All-Mountain West team. Hall had 40 tackles and made four sacks and had one forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
In 2020, Hall made 26 tackles and made 10 sacks, making two sacks in the conference title game. He would also make a fumble recovery.
In 2019, Hall started 12 games and was the team leader in tackles for loss with eight. He made 39 total tackles and made a sack and two forced fumbles.
In 2018, Cade Hall played in 12 games and started the last eight. He made 43 tackles, three sacks, and forced a fumble.
Graduate linebacker Alii Matau
Alli Matau made seven starts in the 12 games that he played in last season, making 51 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss. He also made three sacks throughout the season.
In 2020, Matau made 29 tackles and made 1.5 sacks and a pass breakup.
In 2019, Alii Matau made 19 tackles and made an interception.
Senior linebacker Jordan Cobbs
Weakside linebacker Jordan Cobbs stared seven of the 12 games that he played in, finishing the year with 41 tackles and a sack. He also forced a fumble and had an interception.
In 2020 Cobbs made four tackles and saw action in five games and in 2019 he saw action in 12 games and made nine tackles.
Graduate middle linebacker Kyle Harmon
In 2021, middle linebacker Kyle Harmon started 11 of the 12 games San Jose State played. He finished the season with 133 tackles which was ranked for third in the nation. He also had a sack and two pass deflections.
In 2020 Harmon played a part in San Jose State’s conference championship, making 78 total tackles, 0.5 sacks, and forcing a fumble.
In 2019, Harmon had 89 total tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles, and recovered two fumbles.
In 2018, Harmon registered 40 tackles and grabbing an interception.
Junior cornerback Kenyon Reed
Kenyon Reed came to San Jose State in 2020, making 21 tackles and deflecting a pass. In 2021, Reed made 29 tackles, forced as fumble, and grabbing a pick six. He should be able to continue to make an impact in the secondary this year.
Junior safety Tre Jenkins
A Second Team All-Mountain West Defense pick, Trey Jenkins made 72 tackles last season in addition to three pass breakups.
In 2020, Jenkins made 41 tackles, a sack, forced a fumble, and recovered two fumbles, and made two interceptions.
San Jose State, despite going 5-7, should improve a lot next year. The offense struggled last season, only breaking 40 points once. The key for the Spartans is going to be finding ways to create explosive plays, and the added transfers to the receivers group should help create those plays.
San Jose State has a lot of talent on defense, especially on the defensive line and the linebacker positions.
Utah State does have this game at home which should help and it does happen at the end of the season, which means the Aggies are going to have an opportunity to find their stride before this game. With this game happening at the end of the year and the potential high stakes of the Boise State game coming the week after, this is a very important game for Utah State and it could turn into a much needed win to keep the Aggies alive.