GAME BLOG: (17) Utah 24, San Jose State 14

GAME BLOG: (17) Utah 24, San Jose State 14

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Score: Utah 24, San Jose State 14
SAN JOSE, CA -- It wasn't pretty, but the Utes extended their winning streak to 16 games as they beat San Jose State 24-14 Saturday night.

Terrance Cain threw for 247 yards on 18-31 passing, with 1 touchdown. The touchdown was a 51 yard quick strike to Jereme Brooks to give the Utes a 7 point lead early in the 4th quarter.

Ball security and special teams issues kept the Utes from putting up more points. Utah fumbled the ball twice, and both times they were recovered by the Spartans. Ben Vroman also missed three field goals, prompting coach Kyle Whittingham to put in JC transfer Joe Phillips into the game with 12 seconds left. Phillips made a 26 yard field goal to put the Utes up 10.

For the Spartans, quarterback Jordan LaSelca separated himself from Kyle Reed, playing for 3 quarters. He finished the game 21-33 for 244 yards and a touchdown with one interception.

Next up for the Utes: at Oregon
Next up for the Spartans: at Stanford

Time Remaining: 0:12 Fourth Quarter
Score: Utah 24, San Jose State 14

Eddie Wide comes up big a key third down. It appeared he would be stopped short, but he kept pushing his legs and got the first down on his second effort. Sausan Shakerin makes his Utah debut, and his first run was impressive as he broke a tackle and ran 46 yards down to the Spartan 4 yard line. Utah elects to play conservatively and run the clock down to 15 seconds left. Joe Phillips comes in to kick the 26 yard field goal instead of Ben Vroman, and Phillips connects to put the Utes up 10. Phillips, a JC transfer from Snow College, may just have won the kicking job over Vroman who was 0-3 on field goals tonight.

Utah seals the win as Mike Wright intercepts Jordan LaSecla's desperation pass and the Utes walk out with the victory.

Time Remaining: 5:02 Fourth Quarter
Score: Utah 21, San Jose State 14

Terrance Cain makes two great pass plays on third downs to keep the drive alive for the Utes. Cain looks much more comfortable in the pocket than he did in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Utah has the ball on the Spartan 30 yard line as Cain pitches it out to Eddie Wide who speeds his way for a gain of 15 yards. Wide then runs it in for a touchdown on the next play for his first career touchdown to push the Utah lead to 14 with nine minutes left.

Jordan LaSelca is taking advantage of the soft Utah coverage. LaSelca has the Spartans now on the Utah 28 yard line on passes of 12, 24 and 14 yards. A pass interference call puts the ball on the Utah 13 yard line. Three more penalties against the Utes gives the Spartans the ball inside the 1 foot line. The Utes hold on 2 QB runs, but the secondary fails to stop the pass on third and goal and now the Spartans are within one score. Marquis Avery brought in the TD catch.

Time Remaining: 11:58 Fourth Quarter
Score: Utah 14, San Jose State 7

Perfect play call by the Utes as they run a quick slant route where Cain hits Jereme Brooks and Brooks turns on the burners and runs 51 yards for the score. Nice downfield blocking by the wide receivers opened it up for Brooks. It looked like Terrance Cain called a hot route on the play to counteract the Spartan blitz.

The Utes buckle down on defense, only allowing the Spartans to gain 1 yard on three plays. Luke Matthews returns the punt 15 yards to give the Utes the ball at their own 43 yard line.

Time Remaining: 1:32 Third Quarter
Score: Utah 7, San Jose State 7

A nice pass play from LaSelca to his key target Kevin Jurovich picks up 30 yards and now the Spartans are in business. LaSelca has all day to throw the football. The Utes need to find a way to get pressure on him to slow him down. Defensive holding gives the Spartans another first down. On the next play, Kevin Jurovich catches a pass, jukes out a defender, and takes it down to the Utah 28 yard line. Dave Kruger and Christian Cox come up with a big sack on LaSelca, forcing a 4th down out of field goal range. Luke Matthews makes the fair catch at the 20 yard line.

Time Remaining: 7:06 Third Quarter
Score: Utah 7, San Jose State 7

The Spartans use a trick play to get a momentum boost and a first down. Poor tackling by the Utes leds to yet another first down by San Jose State. The Utes are giving San Jose State receivers a 10 yard cushion off the line, and QB LaSelca is taking advantage of it. The Utes then gift wrap 15 yards, thanks to a pass interference call. The Spartans now have the ball deep inside Utah territory looking to take their first lead of the game. A crucial fumble takes the Spartans out of field goal range, and the Spartans will punt. Utah will take over on their own 13 yard line.

Utah's offensive line is having trouble with the pressure from San Jose State's defense. Cain is having to rush his passes and Matt Asiata cannot penetrate the defensive front. The Utes fail yet again on 3rd and short and are forced to punt. A great punt by Sean Sellwood pins the Spartans back inside their own 10 yard line.

Time Remaining: 12:23 Third Quarter
Score: Utah 7, San Jose State 7

San Jose State starts the 2nd half with the ball on their own 20. Jordan LaSelca starts the half at QB for the Spartans. Utah plays great defense to force a quick 3 and out. After only a 30 yard punt, Utah takes over at the 50 yard line.

Terrance Cain scrambles for his life, then uses his breakaway speed for a nice 25 yard gain on the left sideline. The Spartans are bringing extra guys on the zone blitz on every play, forcing Cain to make decisions faster than he would like. The Spartans are able to force another field goal attempt, but Ben Vroman misses yet again, this time from 36 yards out. Wow. Vroman is now 0-3 on the day.

Score: Utah 7, San Jose State 7

Everything went wrong for the Utes in the first half. Two fumbles and two badly missed field goals have breathed life into the San Jose State Spartans. This is not what the Utes wanted coming in. Now that the Spartans have kept the game tied, look for them to be more aggressive in the 2nd half as they believe that they can win this game. For the Utes, they must be getting a tongue lashing from coach Kyle Whittingham. They have outgained the Spartans 259-135 in total yards, but the inability to hold on to the ball has kept the Utes from putting up more points.

I would expect the Spartans to let Jordan LaSelca continue to play quarterback as he was successful at moving the ball against the Utes.

For the Utes, they need to secure the ball. The Spartans have forced two turnovers to keep them in this game.

Time Remaining: 1:55 Second Quarter
Score: Utah 7, San Jose State 7

A costly 15 yard chop block penalty on the Spartans puts them in a deep hole that they can't climb out of, and are forced to punt.

Luke Matthews fields the punt and returns it 15 yards, setting the Utes up with excellent field position. RB Matt Asiata puts the team on his back, taking the team down to the 1 yard line, but instead of punching it in on 4th and goal, the Utes elect to have Asiata throw the ball to Cain, but the pass flies well over Cain's head. Another missed opportunity for the Utes.

Time Remaining: 6:41 Second Quarter
Score: Utah 7, San Jose State 7

A big play by the Spartans is negated due to offsetting penalties, and the Utes are able to force a punt. The Spartans make their first mistake as they don't let Luke Matthews catch the punt. The extra 15 yards will sure help give the Utes some of the momentum back.

Utah has 215 total yards compared to only 78 for San Jose State, but the two turnovers and missed field goal aren't helping the Utes. The zone blitz is messing up the reads by Terrance Cain. The Spartans force the Utes to punt, and they will take over on their own 20 following the Sean Sellwood punt that went into the end zone. So far, the Utes have 9 first down; San Jose State has 3. Utah has nearly twice the time of possession and have run more than twice the number of plays, yet the score is tied.

Time Remaining: 9:22 Second Quarter
Score: Utah 7, San Jose State 7

That turned out to be a costly turnover for the Utes. Spartan QB Jordan LaSelca throws a 34 yard pass to Kevin Jurovich, who makes the catch right over cornerback Brandon Burton. Now the Spartans have the ball on the Utes 26 yard line. Jordan is playing much better at QB for the Spartans. If he continues to play this well I don't see Kyle Reed coming back into the game. 6 plays later, RB Brandon Rutley rushes in from 2 yards out to tie the game up at 7.

Utah continues to shoot themselves in the foot by committing a holding penalty on their first play of their next drive, setting up a first and 20. Facing a critical 3rd and 9, Cain dumps it off to Asiata for a 24 yard gain into Spartan territory. The Spartans hold on defense, forcing a 50 yard field goal attempt by Ben Vroman, but the kick falls way short and the Spartans have the ball back with the momentum on their side. I'm sure this makes the Utes' miss dependable kicker Louie Sakoda even more.

Time Remaining: 0:01 First Quarter
Score: Utah 7, San Jose State 0

Again the Utes are able to move the ball up to mid-field on some nice runs by Matt Asiata and a catch by David Reed, but Asiata fumbles and the Spartans recover for the second turnover of the game. Not the start that the Utes are looking for as the Spartans take over on their own 42 yard line.

Time Remaining: 3:16 First Quarter
Score: Utah 7, San Jose State 0

Utah cornerback Brandon Burton makes a great play on the ball to knock it away on a 2nd down pass, forcing 3rd and 10 for the Spartans. It is good to see Burton step up in the void left by NFL draft picks Sean Smith and Brice McCain. Spartan QB Kyle Reed escapes a hit from LB Stevenson Sylvester on the 3rd down try, but Reed only manages a 6 yard gain and the Spartans are forced to punt.

On Utah's next possession, Terrance Cain hits David Reed for a 12 yard gain on a nice out route for a first down. Offensive coordinator Dave Schramm then calls a screen pass to Jereme Brooks for a nice 15 yard gain, but it is all for naught as a costly Utah fumble by WR John Peel gives the Spartans the ball on their own 41 yard line.

Utah's defense comes up big and holds the Spartans to a 3 and out, and after the punt Utah will take over on their own 20 yard line.

Time Remaining: 8:30 First Quarter
Score: Utah 7, San Jose State 0

Utah opens the game on offense following a nice kickoff return. Facing a 3rd and 12, Terrance Cain scrambles to the right for a 30 yard gain and a Utah first down. Right off the bat we see Cain's ability to run the ball downfield, as opposed to last week where he mainly stayed in the pocket. Nice game plan for the Utes, having Cain run the ball multiple times on the drive, setting up a very nice 26 yard pass from Cain to WR David Reed inside the Spartans 10 yard line. Because of Cain's running ability, the Spartans had one-on-one coverage on Reed, and Reed made the catch over the corner. RB Matt Asiata does the rest of the work, punching it in on 4th and goal from the one to give the Utes a 7-0 lead.

![](![](**Week 2 Game Notes** No. 17 Utah (1-0, 0-0 MWC) at San Jose State (0-1, 0-0 WAC) **Date:** Saturday, Sept. 12 **Time:** 8:30 pm (MT) **Site:** San Jose Calif. (Spartan Stadium) **TV:** ESPNU **Radio:** KALL 700 Sports Radio **Series Record:** Utah leads 4-1 **Last Meeting:** (1998) Utah 49, San Jose St. 17 **Kickoff Weather:** Mostly cloudy, temps in the mid 60s
![](**Keys to the Game for Utah**

  • Win the battle up front - Utah will need to control the line on both sides of the ball to keep pressure off of QB Terrance Cain and his first road test
  • Clean up the play - Utah played well last week against Utah State, but gave up too many big plays defensively to look like a Top 20 team. Having defensive end Koa Misi back in the lineup should help shore things up for the defense.

Keys to the Game for San Jose State

  • Big plays early on - the Spartans will need to make a few big plays early in the game to regain confidence after last week's 56-3 loss to USC.
  • Put pressure on Cain - the Spartans can't allow Utah's QB to have time to make decisions. If they are able to put pressure on him they might be able to force mistakes.

Key Match-up
San Jose State's Rush Defense (#109 NCAA, 342 YPG) vs Utah's Rush Offense (#29 NCAA, 233 YPG)

My Prediction
The Utes are looking for their 16th straight win against a team that played well against USC for a quarter and a half, but ultimately lost 56-3. San Jose State quarterbacks Kyle Reed and Jordan LaSecla did little to differentiate themselves last week, so look for both of them to play again tonight.

Utah will be much better defensively as Koa Misi returns at defensive end. A lot of the quarterback scrambles Utah State's Diondre Borel ran against the Utes were around the ends. San Jose State also likes to run the ball around the ends, so this should play into Utah's advantage.

Terrance Cain will be making his first road start for the Utes. San Jose State will likely put a lot of pressure on him, trying to force him into making mistakes. I think Cain will take advantage of having fewer players in the secondary.

If the Utes can hold on to the ball and not make costly drive killing penalties, I like their chances to win tonight.

MY PREDICTION: Utah 38, San Jose State 20 . Let me know what you think. Post your predictions/questions in the comment board.

Utah Miscellaneous Stats

  • Utah leads the Mountain West Conference and ranks 12th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (69.9).
  • Utah is tied for first in the nation in opponent third down conversions (0.00%, 0-12).
  • The Utes lead the MWC and are tied for 10th nationally in first downs (27).
  • David Reed's 253 all-purpose yards against Utah State was the second-best total in the nation last week. In addition, his 10 receptions ranked fourth, and his 172 receiving yards sixth nationally. Matt Asiata's 156 yards rushing yards was the country's sixth-best total last week, and his and Reed's yardage led in the conference in their respective categories.
  • Utah owns the longest current win streak (15 games) and bowl win streak (eight games) in the nation. Utah's 15-game win streak is the third-longest in school history. The Utes won 16 straight games from Nov. 29, 1928-Nov. 27, 1930 and a school-record 18 consecutive games from Nov. 1, 2003-Sept. 10, 2005.

San Jose State Miscellaneous Stats

  • San Jose State is 9-1 over the last 10 years in the first home game of the season. The Spartans have won each of their home openers in the four years Dick Tomey has been head coach.
  • For the first time since the 2001 season, San Jose State is playing nationally-ranked teams in successive games. The Spartans opened the 2009 season at #4-USC. In 2001, San Jose State closed the season at #23-Fresno State and home against #12-Stanford. The 1993 and 1971 Spartans also faced nationally-ranked opponents in back-to-back contests.

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