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San Jose State vs. Nevada game preview: What do the Spartans need to do to beat the Wolf Pack?

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Let's take a look at the three keys to victory for San Jose State

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose State is up for a pivotal game against the Nevada Wolf Pack in an attempt to make it to a bowl game. In order to get this victory and continue the journey for post-season play, the Spartans are going to have to hone in on a few areas of their game.

First, and most obvious, they need to get running back Tyler Ervin going, and going quick. Ervin is currently second in the Mountain West in rushing yards with 1,239. He is also second in the conference with 14 total touchdowns. Of those 14 touchdowns, 12 are those are on the ground while another 2 are through the air. Not only is he a threat in the ground game, but he is also a threat in the passing attack out of the backfield as he adds 245 receiving yards.

Secondly, keep Kenny Potter on his feet. As important as it is for Ervin to be the main focus of the offense, the Spartans can't become one-dimensional. The Spartans offensive line will need to play tremendous, as Nevada's Ian Seau and Lenny Jones are first and fourth, respectively, in the conference in sacking the quarterback. Spartans got Potter in a rhythm early in the game last week against BYU, and that paid dividends as he was able to confidently drive the offense down the field late in the game to potentially tie the game (I say potentially as he did throw a touchdown pass to bring it 17-16, but Caragher decided to go for 2).

Last, limit the Wolfpack's backfield duo of James Butler and Don Jackson. Combined, these two have rushed for 1,691 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. If the Spartans defense can take away the rushing attack and make quarterback Tyler Stewart win the game on his own, this bodes well for the Spartans as the Wolfpack have a passing offense ranked 101st in the nation.

If San Jose State can accomplish these three things, then they have a very high chance of winning the game and stepping one foot closer to making it to a bowl game.