SJSU accomplished its goal of both starting fast and finishing strong Saturday night with a 40-20 win over Colorado State. What happened between the beginning and end, however, may still an area of concern for the Spartans.The Spartans scored on their first two possessions of the game and then outscored Colorado State 27-7 in the second half but fizzled in the second quarter and early in the fourth quarter to allow the Rams to get back into the game despite the early 14-point Spartan lead.We started off fast then let them come back, head coach Mike MacIntyre said following the game. They schemed a couple things but we got it fixed and it did not hurt us again. That is the great thing about having a great staff and a lot of veterans.A flurry of late fourth-quarter scores, however, gave SJSU the win and its first 2-1 record since the 2008 season. With the score at 27-20 early in the fourth quarter after allowing a touchdown following a break for Rams after a ball punted by SJSU touched one of its own players on the punt team, the Spartans started pouring it on.The first fourth-quarter score came on a trick play pass from junior wide receiver Kyle Nunn to junior Chandler Jones. Nunn received the handoff from junior quarterback David Fales and started on an end around then pulled up and fired to a wide open Jones, who found the end zone thanks to a much-needed downfield lock from Noel Grigsby. The touchdown made the score 33-20 with 9:39 left in the game.That play reassured everyone that we had momentum, Jones said. We had to keep fighting tonight and we had to dominate. That play was reassuring to our offense.After a three-and-out by Colorado State, SJSU found the end zone for the final time in the game with a 51-yard touchdown pass from Fales to Jones at the 7:56 mark in the fourth.(Coach MacIntyre) always emphasizes that we need to have killer instinct, that we have to be consistent with our offenses attack, Fales said about the 51-yard touchdown to seal the victory. That is how we got that touchdown.On their first possession of the game after receiving the opening kickoff, the Spartans came out nearly as aggressive as they possibly could have. SJSU methodically moved the ball down the field using both the pass and run while putting all of its offensive tools on display including junior backup quarterback Blake Jurich out of the wildcat. The eight-play, 83 yard drive was capped by a 25-yard touchdown pass from Fales to Grigsby.After forcing a punt on Colorado States first drive of the game, SJSU came right back and continued to apply early pressure against the Rams. The first play of SJSUs second drive of the game resulted in a 51-yard pass from Fales to Grigsby, the longest pass play of the season by the Spartans. Fales completed another pass, this time to Nunn, and then the SJSU run game took over. A 10-yard run from sophomore Tyler Ervin gave SJSU a 14-0 lead with 4:31 left in the first quarter.That really got us going and gave our offense a lot of confidence, MacIntyre said about the two early first-quarter scores. Colorado State came back but we kept on going.It was a gallant effort by everyone. We battled back and have been able to go at it the first three game but there is No say die on this team.SJSU, however, then seemed to let its foot off the gas just slightly and allowed Colorado State to crawl back with two touchdowns of its own in the second quarter. After starting their drive at their own 21 yard line. Three straight completions by Grayson and then a 16 yard run by Grayson delivered the Rams another touchdown. A fourth quarter touchdown pass from Garret Grayson to Charles Lovett also showed that the Rams still had life in the game but ended up being too little too late. Grigsby, Jones and Jabari Carr all finished with more than 100 yards receiving Saturday night. Jones led all receivers with 133 yards on six catches and was tied with Carr at two touchdown receptions apiece.The man who delivered them the ball, Fales, had an incredible game himself. Fales finished with 370 yards passing on 27-of-34 passes and three touchdowns.I have not coached anyone who has had such a great start to their major college career, MacIntyre said. Our receivers catch everything that is throw to them.Junior middle linebacker Vince Buhagiar, who led all Spartans with 11 tackles said it always feels good to win but tonights win will only be shortly celebrated.It feels great but we understand that this is oneweek and tomorrow, we will make our corrections and come in and prep for San Diego State.MacIntyre had similar comments to Buhagiars regarding Saturdays win.We will enjoy the win tonight, then get back and beat San Diego State, he said. They are a fellow CSU and this game is a big deal for us. We are excited about this rivalry and we will go out and give it all we got.
Ron Gleeson will cover San Jose State football for Comcast SportsNet all season. Follow him on Twitter @rtgleeson.