It’s a clash of mid-major programs on the gridiron out in Silicon Valley as a member of the MAC takes on a foe from the Mountain West. The Western Michigan Broncos are on the road as they travel west to face the San Jose State Spartans Saturday night. Western Michigan comes in off a 34-13 home loss to #23 Pitt in their most recent contest last Saturday. San Jose State had a bye week last week: they were beaten 24-16 on the road by Auburn in their most recent contest back on September 10. These programs have met just once as FBS opponents with Western Michigan picking up a 23-3 victory at home in the lone meeting on September 25, 2021.
Western Michigan Broncos Looking to Earn Road VictoryWestern Michigan hung in for a while but eventually was overwhelmed by #23 Pitt at home last week. The Broncos dropped to 1-2 on the season overall with both defeats coming to ranked opponents though they are 1-0 in the MAC. Against Pitt, Western Michigan was down 10-3 after the opening quarter, 13-6 at the half and still was within 20-13 after three quarters. The Broncos ran out of steam as they were outscored 14-0 in the final stanza to lose going away. Western Michigan was outgained by a 417-180 margin in total offense, gave up 23 first downs while picking up 10 and was crushed in time of possession by a 38:36 to 21:24 margin. Adding insult to injury, the Broncos turned the ball over three times while forcing just one turnover in the loss.
On the season, the Broncos are 106th in the nation in passing offense by averaging 184.3 yards per contest while they are 92nd in rushing offense with an average of 132.7 yards per game this season. Western Michigan is 108th in the FBS in scoring offense as they put up 21 points per game while they are 103rd in scoring defense by allowing 33 points per contest. Jack Salopek has completed 52 of 97 passes for 522 yards with one touchdown against four interceptions while adding 52 yards on the ground. Anthony Samubucci completed his lone throw for a 31-yard touchdown. Sean Tyler leads the run game with 37 carries for 189 yards plus two scores. La’Darius Jefferson (33 carries, 132 yards, three TD) is a solid secondary option in the ground attack. Corey Crooms leads the team with 18 receptions for 169 yards plus a score on the year. Jehlani Galloway (10 catches, 142 yards) and tight end Blake Bosma (seven grabs, 41 yards) are the only other players with more than five catches. Palmer Domschke is five of five on extra points and has connected on all four field goal attempts with a long of 42 this season.
San Jose State Spartans Rested and ReadySan Jose State had a bye week last week, giving them two weeks to prepare for this contest as they try to climb back over the .500 mark. The Spartans enter this game 1-1 overall on the season. Against Auburn, San Jose State led 10-7 at the half before getting outscored 10-0 in the third quarter to trail 17-10. The Spartans were unable to get closer than four the rest of the way. San Jose State was outgained 378-329 in total offense despite owning a 21-18 edge in first downs and controlling the clock by a 33:21 to 26:39 margin. The Spartans forced a pair of turnovers in the contest while not committing one yet fell short.
On the season, the Spartans are tied for 53rd in the nation in passing offense with 257 yards per game and 129th in rushing offense with an average of 51.5 yards per contest. San Jose State is 114th in the FBS in scoring offense with an average of 18.5 points per game while they are 51st in scoring defense by allowing an average of 20.5 points per contest. Chevan Cordeiro is 39 of 70 passing for 514 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions on the year. He is second on the team with 23 rushing yards plus a pair of scores. Kairee Robinson (21 carries, 59 yards, TD) is the team’s leading rusher but as a team, the Spartans average a paltry 1.8 yards per carry. Elijah Cooks leads the team with 10 receptions for 169 yards this season. Charles Ross (five grabs, 89 yards), Justin Lockhart (six catches, 76 yards) and Jermaine Braddock (four receptions, 70 yards) are the only other players that have at least 60 receiving yards. Taren Schive hit all four extra point attempts and three of five field goal tries with a long of 37 this year.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Neither offense has been overwhelmingly good in the first month of the season entering this contest. Western Michigan was routed by Michigan State and Pitt in their two defeats, getting outscored 69-26 in those contests. While San Jose State isn’t at that level of talent defensively, they did a solid job keeping Auburn in check on the road at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Now, Auburn may have some issues but the fact that San Jose State was in a one-score game in a hostile environment against an SEC opponent works in their favor. The Spartans are at home here and they should take advantage of an inconsistent Broncos team to earn the victory here.
Full-Game Total Pick
Western Michigan has gone over the total in two of their three contests this season. The Broncos have combined for 48 points (at Michigan State), 67 (at Ball State) and 47 (vs. Pitt) in their games this year. Meanwhile, the totals for those games were set at the sportsbooks at 55, 51 and 46.5 points, respectively. They were an extra point away from having the Pitt game end up under the number as opposed to going over the mark. Meanwhile, San Jose State has stayed under the total in both of their games. The Spartans combined for 38 points in the game with Portland State and 40 points in the road clash at Auburn. Those games had totals of 51 and 48.5 points so they were in some low-scoring affairs. This game is another low-scoring affair, keeping this game well under the number.