29 October 2011

Very last minute WAC picks for Oct. 29

Personal reasons including midterms made me procrastinate all the way 'til 2 hours before SJSU/Louisiana Tech kickoff!

San Jose State (3-4, 2-1 WAC) at Louisiana Tech (3-4, 2-1 WAC): SJSU Spartans by 3. On Nov. 27, 2010, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs beat San Jose State 45-38 after a last-minute interception to prevent a San Jose State opportunity to tie the game. A better-than-ever Spartan team comes to Ruston, La. off a dramatic comeback victory against Hawaii in homecoming a few weeks ago. Back then, SJSU relied on mainly a passing game against La. Tech and was outrun 374-26. However, with Brandon Rutley gaining much crucial yardage every game for the Spartans, the Spartans can play a close game against the Bulldogs. However, comparing the running stats of SJSU and LT, it is important to note that La. Tech has on average outrun opponents and has a slight edge in averages:
  • Average ypg: LT 138.3, SJSU 129.6
  • Average yards per carry: SJSU 3.9, LT 3.3
  • Rushing TDs: LT 14, SJSU 10
Thus, as coach Mike MacIntyre has acknowledged it's important to stop LT's running back Lennon Creer, this game might be the Battle of the Running Backs. The last time San Jose State won in Ruston was in 1993, and SJSU last won an away conference game in 2008. SJSU's defensive line should be accounted for especially with the critical defensive plays vs. Hawaii (which beat La. Tech 44-26 on Oct. 1) including forcing 5 Hawaii turnovers and blocking a point after for a 2-point safety return.

Hawaii (4-3, 2-1 WAC) at Idaho (1-6, 0-3 WAC): Hawaii by 20. Idaho has lost 5 in a row and has won only against the I-AA North Dakota. Unless Bryant Moniz throws 5 INTs again like he did against SJSU, Hawaii definitely has the offensive advantage (stats: Hawaii, Idaho). SJSU faces Idaho in San Jose on Nov. 5. Will be on ESPN3 from 5PM Eastern.

Nevada (4-3, 2-0 WAC) at New Mexico State (3-4, 1-2 WAC): Nevada by 9. NMSU's strength is in the passing game, as this is the one offensive area with NMSU has edged opponents including 14.7 yards per catch (Nevada has only 13.5). In Nevada, freshman QB Cody Fajardo is taking over as main QB while senior Tyler Lantrip is relegated to backup. Fajardo currently has a 72.7% completion rate but has thrown 4 INTs over 2 TDs, while NMSU's starter Matt Christian (in for the injured Andrew Manley) 8 TDs for 1 INT.

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