SJSU's season possibly hanging in balance vs. Utah State

October 13, 2012, 12:09 am
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SJSU faces a fork in the road in its season Saturday when it matches up against one of the Western Athletic Conferences best teams in Utah State. Not that a loss would necessarily force the Spartans onto a course without a bowl berth at the finish line, but a win sure would help their cause.Saturdays homecoming game at Spartan Stadium is the first game in WAC play for both SJSU (4-1) and Utah State (4-2) and has large implications on standings with Louisiana Tech (5-0) rounding out the three favorites to win conference title.Were excited but still taking our season week by week, said junior quarterback David Fales about Saturdays important matchup. Our goal since the beginning has been to win the WAC, so every game within the WAC in big.The Aggies are lead by two playmakers on offense senior running back Kerwynn Williams and sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton and a stifling defense that ranks second in the WAC in yards allowed and has given up just seven touchdowns the least in the conference.Williams leads all WAC players in all-purpose yardage with 137.5 yards per game and rushing averaging 89.5 yards and undoubtedly the most explosive player on this Utah State roster.The most dynamic Aggie, however, is Keeton, who can use both his arm and his feet to accumulate yardage for Utah State. Keeton is fifth in the conference throwing with 247.5 yards per game and is also tenth in average rushing per game with 38.2 yards.Utah State is scary, said SJSU head coach Mike MacIntyre. They have a lot of speed. Their quarterback makes a lot of things happen not only with his arm but also his feet. He can buy time in the pocket and make plays.While Keetons rounded play impresses MacIntyre and causes a deal of concern for the Spartan defense, MacIntyre said he is even more concerned with the whereabouts of Williams on the field at any time during the game.Keeton makes a lot of plays but you always have to know where No. 25 (Williams) is he scares me the most, MacIntyre said. He catches the ball, runs it and thats when they win is when hes making plays.A game of Wheres No. 25 has become a common part of practice for the Spartans over their two-week preparation for Utah State with a bye last Saturday.Before every play, our coaches have been having us point him out Theres No. 25, said sophomore defensive tackle Travis Raciti. We do it almost as a form of intimidation and also recollection to know where he is every play.It seems the modified game of Wheres Waldo has given the Spartans an extra boost of confidence.Hes explosive, but well contain him, Raciti said.Neither Keeton nor Williams did much damage against Brigham-Young University this past Saturday in a 6-3 loss to the Cougars. BYUs third-ranked defense in the nation allowing just 8.8 points per game held Keeton to 202 yards passing and WIlliams to just 18 yards rushing.SJSU faces both Utah State and Louisiana Tech at home this season. Should the Spartan defeat the Aggies Saturday, it could set up a showdown for the conference title in the seasons final game against Louisiana Tech on Nov. 24.First things first, though, for the Spartans, who just want to take this game against Utah State before anything else. SJSU lost a heartbreaker against Utah State last season on a touchdown pass with 47 seconds remaining in the game.MacIntyre not only wants to win Saturday for standings purposes but to also avenge the teams loss last season and added that his team knows how impactful this weekends game is on this season.They know it they understand how good Utah State is, he said. They know theyve beat us in heartbreaking fashion. No one on this team has beat that team.
INJURY REPORT Starters junior linebacker Keith Smith and sophomore wide receiver Jabari Carr are expected to play Saturday after missing the Sept. 29 12-0 win over Navy.

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