CARSON — When quarterback Nick Starkel was knocked out of the game on the first series, San Jose State’s destiny was thrust into the hands of Nick Nash.
Nash, a sophomore, had attempted only two passes this season. He was up against a defense that ranked first in the nation against the pass and had allowed 6.5 points through two games, also tops in the nation. The deck was stacked against the Spartans.
But behind big plays from every unit, SJSU defeated San Diego State 28-17, starting 3-0 for the first time since 1982.
“This is such a big win for us,” coach Brent Brennan said in an on-field interview. “Three years ago in this game (against San Diego State) was over at halftime… I’m so happy for our guys. I can’t wait to get in there and celebrate with them.”
Nash, a running quarterback by trade, threw 25 passes, completing 16 of them for 169 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown .
Five of his completions went to Derrick Deese Jr, the big tight end who had 76 receiving yards and a touchdown. Five more, for 70 yards, went to Tre Walker, who made his weekly highlight reel catch.
San Jose State also finally cracked the century mark on the ground with some help from Nash, totaling a season-high 116 rushing yards. Tyler Nevens, who finished with 44 rushing yards, had several big runs in the fourth quarter, including a three-yard score that gave San Jose State a lead it wouldn’t surrender.
On the other side of the ball, the Spartans continued to showcase their progress. San Diego State had rolled up almost 700 yards on the ground in its first two games. SJSU held the Aztecs to 101.
Linebacker Kyle Harmon tied his career-high of 14 tackles for a third consecutive week. Safety Tre Jenkins had a key interception in the fourth quarter with San Diego State in the red zone.
Special teams got in on the action as well. Late in the fourth quarter, Walker forced Jordan Byrd to fumble on a punt return and San Jose State recovered on San Diego State’s 27-yard-line.
Dan Carter was a reporter for nomad Labs, before becoming the lead editor. Dan has over forty bylines and has reported on countless stories concerning all things related to tech and science. Dan studied at CSUF.