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San José State vs. San Diego State: The Spartans Keys to Victory

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Can the Spartans contain Pumphrey for a two-game winning streak?

NCAA Football: San Diego State at San Jose State Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Week 8: San José State (2-5, 1-2 MWC) at San Diego State (5-1, 2-0 MWC)

When: Friday, October 21, 2016

Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA, 7:30 p.m. (PT)

TV: ESPN2

Play-by-Play Radio Coverage: KLIV (1590 AM, San José) originates San José State football broadcasts. Justin Allegri calls the play-by-play. Kevin Richardson provides commentary. Air time for the KLIV broadcast is 7:00 p.m. (PT).

Series history: San José State leads the series, known as the El Camino Real rivalry, dating back to 1935, 19-18-2. The Aztecs have wins in the last three meetings between these teams including last year's 30-7 win in San José.

San José State's last win in the series was a 38-34 victory on September 22, 2012, in Qualcomm Stadium. The win in San Diego ended a nine-game, 60-year drought of Spartan road wins in the series. San José State was 0-8-1 in games played in San Diego between 1952 and 2012.

San Diego State beat the Spartans last year, 30-7, at CEFCU Stadium.

Keys to a Spartan Victory

Slow Down a National Rushing Leader Finalist

San Diego State will bring the simple gameplan to this one. They are going to run the football consistently with Donnel Pumphrey and play defense. The Spartans are not good against the run, ranking 113th nationally in allowing over 228 yards on the ground per game to opponents. San Diego State is a team that piles up 246 yards on average per contest, that ranks them 18th nationally as they hand the football off to Pumphrey. The Spartans are going to need to stuff the box up-front and force Christian Chapman to throw the ball. This will turn ugly if Pumphrey cannot be contained.

Spartan Offense Needs to Run to Give Potter Time

For the first time since 2001, three San José State players had a 100-plus yard rushing game in the same season. Deontae Cooper and Zamore Zigler did it in the Portland State game and Malik Roberson hit the mark against Nevada. Getting the running game going is a priority in order to give Kenny Potter time in the pocket to throw the ball or use his feet to make the play. Potter needs to shine, failing to throw for more than 160 yards in three of the last four games he’s been able to play in.

Four Common Threads in the Spartan Victories

San José State's two wins this season shared these traits.

1.) The offense did not lose the football via fumble or interception.

2.) The offense had at least 50 rushing plays.

3.) San José State had a positive turnover ratio.

4.) The Spartans led at halftime.

This may seem like a pretty obvious explanation for any team to win the game. But, how often are teams able to follow it to a T consistently? We shall see which Spartans team takes the field against the Aztecs Friday night.

San José State is listed at +23.5

I would like to see a strong game with the no quit attitude. In the end, I hate to say it, Spartans beat the spread but not the Aztecs, final score: San Diego State 24, San José State 13.