San Jose State (3-8) at San Diego State (6-5) (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Qualcomm Stadium (54,000) -- San Diego, California. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: SJSU 2-3, SDSU 5-0. Away Record: SJSU 1-5, SDSU 1-5. Neutral Record: SJSU 0-0, SDSU 0-0. Conference Record: SJSU 2-5, SDSU 4-3. Series Record: San Jose State leads, 19-16-2.
GAME NOTES: The San Diego State Aztecs try to finish off the 2014 regular season on a positive note, as they clash with the San Jose State Spartans in Mountain West Conference action on Saturday.
Although they have alternated wins and losses over the last five outings, the Aztecs still have the potential to win the West Division of the MWC if they can defeat San Jose State and have Fresno State fall to Hawaii this weekend. The team's most recent outing came against Air Force on Nov. 21 and ended with a 30-14 victory, so they'll need to buck their recent trend in order to possibly make it to the conference title game.
Meanwhile, no matter what the outcome of this finale game of the regular season, the Spartans will be heading home until 2015, due to the fact that they have a total of just three victories in 11 opportunities at this stage. Last week SJSU was blown out of the water by Utah State, 41-7, on the road, the squad's fifth consecutive defeat after winning back-to-back contests versus UNLV and Wyoming in conference play in October.
According to SJSU sources, the Spartans own a 19-16-2 advantage in the all- time series, although San Diego State won the most recent encounter a season ago, 34-30, on the road.
Other than a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Mitch Ravizza in the second quarter last week, there was little offense to speak of for the Spartans during their lopsided loss to Utah State in Logan. In fact, San Jose State produced only 252 yards on 72 snaps, an average of just 3.5 yards per play against a team that was averaging nearly double that.
Both Ravizza and Blake Jurich saw time under center for the Spartans, although the latter didn't attempt a pass and was sacked once. Ravizza hit on 13-of-21 passes for 61 yards and he was taken down three times behind the line, but that made little difference in the outcome. Tyler Ervin was credited with a team-best 104 yards on 22 rushing attempts, followed by Ravizza with 64 yards on 18 carries.
Akeem King posted 11 tackles and Travis Raciti a career-high nine, with 1.5 tackles for loss to his credit. Raciti is now fourth on the team's tackles list for the season with his 65 stops, while his six TFL and three sacks pace the program.
The good news for the Spartans is that they still rank first in the nation in pass defense with only 125.5 ypg allowed, the bad news is that the run defense is permitting 225.5 ypg and that has the unit ranked 114th in the FBS this week.
Back on the offensive side, it appears as though Ravizza will be the one taking all of the snaps at quarterback this weekend, seeing as how Jurich has joined Joe Gray on the injured list with a knee injury. What all that means is that the running game will probably get more of a workout than usual and that might not be the best thing since the group is averaging only 145.3 ypg with carries averaging less than four yards even as Ervin (805 yards, four TDs) averages close to six yards himself when he takes the ball.
Kicker Donald Hageman played a key role for the Aztecs during their win over Air Force, booting three of his four field goal attempts through the uprights in order to give San Diego State some breathing room in an otherwise close contest.
Also, quarterback Quinn Kaehler found some holes in the AF secondary, exposing them for 326 yards and a touchdown as he converted 17-of-30 passes. Although he did not make it into the end zone, Ezell Ruffin was still able to stretch the field for SDSU by creating 126 yards on seven catches.
Donnel Pumphrey scored the lone rushing TD as he carried the ball 27 times and finished with 131 of the unit's 176 yards on the ground. One of the nation's top runners, Pumphrey now has 1,494 yards and has scored an astounding 16 touchdowns, but has been a mule for the Aztecs with 234 carries.
When Pumphrey is not lugging the ball around, Kaehler is converting his passes at a 58.1 percent clip for a modest 198.2 ypg. However, the signal caller has made his share of mistakes, leading to 10 interceptions which is one more than he has touchdowns.
Unfortunately for the SDSU defense, the unit may be without tackle Alex Barrett yet again due to an injury and that would be an issue given that fact that he leads the Aztecs in both TFLs (nine) and sacks (three) in his 10 appearances.
Not much has gone right for the Spartans this season and with the team probably going with a third different starting quarterback, the chances of coming out on top in this finale also took a major hit.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego State 34, San Jose State 17Game Date and Time
Saturday, November 29, 3:30 p.m. (ET).