New FSM Preview: UNLV vs San Jose State Spartans – Week 6

Franchise Sports Media

UNLV Rebels (4-1)  |  San Jose State Spartans (3-1)


UNLV Head Coach Marcus Arroyo was a San Jose State graduate, but there is no personal attachment to this high-stakes meeting within the Mountain West on Friday night.


UNLV vs San Jose State
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

I have zero focus on where we’re playing or who we’re playing,Arroyo said in a Monday press conference when asked about his return to San Jose. Arroyo made clear in his statement by saying, “I say it emphatically because if I start thinking about that or any of us start thinking about who we’re playing or where we’re playing as an environmental factor or nostalgic, you become the target.

It is clear that Arroyo is not going to take a stroll around CEFCU Stadium on Friday night. Instead, he will keep stacking days and, in UNLV’s case, hopefully, comes away with another win as they prepare for a very tough test in the Spartans. 

UNLV is off to a historic start. Sitting at 4-1, this is the best start to a season since 2003. The Rebels have now won games in blow-out and come-back fashion. Examples are shown in the 52-21 win in the opener over Idaho State and the come-back last week in the 31-21 win over New Mexico, where they trailed by 17.

On Friday night, UNLV will be challenged by a consistent Mountain West contender in the San Jose State Spartans. 


 San Jose State possesses UNLV’s toughest test this season.


UNLV vs San Jose State
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The Spartans are 3-1 with a lone loss coming to the SEC’s Auburn Tigers, which turned out to be a very close match-up, only losing by the score of 24-16. Outside of that loss, San Jose State has handled its business. A victory by a measly four points to Portland State may be chalked up to debut jitters. Because the Spartans have shredded their other two opponents, defeating  Western Michigan 33-6 and Mountain West rival Wyoming 33-16.

Quarterback Chevan Cordeiro is a Hawaii transfer now at the helm of this Spartan offense which ranked third in the Mountain West.  Cordeiro is a fascinating talent to watch. He’s rushed for four touchdowns while also throwing for four touchdowns so far this season, with no blemishes in the turnover column.

Matching their third-ranked offense, San Jose State has the second-ranked defense in the conference. In their back-to-back wins, they only allowed 454 total yards and 22-points. Kyle Harmon has been their defensive presence in tackles, sacks, and interceptions.


UNLV will not shy away from San Jose State’s power style of ball. 


UNLV vs San Jose State
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

UNLV also ranks in the top five in offensive and defensive categories. First in offense and fifth in defense, both sides of the ball hold legitimate talents. The duo of Doug Brumfield and Aiden Robbins has taken the conference by storm. Jerrae Williams’s defensive play-making, matched with Austin Ajake’s leadership, has morphed the defense into a physical powerhouse.

Each team is going to look to control the line of scrimmage. Each coaching staff is going to try to establish the run game to then further open up a play-action that, for both of these quarterbacks, can be very dangerous. Beyond just the use of their arms, these signal-callers will rely on their legs by design, and on the fly, it makes for an electric match-up, and UNLV will accept the challenge of playing power football and look to implement their own on Friday night.

UNLV sets their tempo on the shoulders of their offensive line, which has easily been the most impressive front in memories past. This game has all the ingredients for a shoot-out, but if either of these coaching staffs have it their way, the game will be determined by both of these very aggressive fronts.


UNLV heads to San Jose on Friday night for a 7:30 kick-off on the CBS Sports Network. UNLV will look to move to 5-1 and remain undefeated within the Mountain West.

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Brandon Steele – Franchise Sports Media

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