Southern Utah at San Jose State - 8/28/21 College Football Picks and Prediction
Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
San Jose State Spartans (0-0) vs Southern Utah Thunderbirds (0-0)
Game Info: Saturday, August 28, 2021 at 10:00 pm (CEFCU Stadium)
Betting Odds: San Jose State Spartans -21 -- Over/Under: 56 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Southern Utah Thunderbirds will head on the road to face the San Jose State Spartans this Saturday during NCAA Football’s opening weekend. The Southern Utah Thunderbirds will be playing their first official game since 2019 after their 2020 campaign was limited to 6 spring games during 2021.
Southern Utah had a rough time during their spring tune-ups, going 1-5. They allowed 27.3 points per game and had a tough time stopping the run. Defensively they will return linebacker La’akea Kaho’ohananhano-Davis, and he will look to lead this inexperienced defense in what will likely be a difficult matchup. Offensively they were led by sophomore quarterback Justin Miller. He threw for 1,713 yards and 15 touchdowns in spring and will start this season with another year of experience under his belt. He will retain his number one option this season, junior wide receiver Lance Lawson. He led the team in receiving during the spring campaign, so the connection is still there.
On the other side the San Jose Spartans will look to post back-to-back winning seasons after going 7-1 in a COVID shortened 2020 season. Senior quarterback Nick Starkel will again lead the offense. He had a solid 2020, throwing for 2,174 yards and 17 touchdowns. He will also retain his main weapon, running back Tyler Nevens. The Senior led the team with 515 rushing yards and five touchdowns the year prior. The offense did lose their top two wide-outs, but most of the offensive line returned. They should be able to rely on the run until Starkel can build a rapport with his new options. Defensively they ranked 15 in the FBS with just 19.9 points allowed per game in 2020.
With a large spread like this, it is hard to justify laying the points. However, this is a stylistically bad matchup for the Thunderbirds, as they have not been able to stop the run consistently and are not known for their defense. The Spartans rely on the run and will likely look to set the tone early against this porous Southern Utah defense. Justin Miller has impressed in limited action as the starter, but he will have to face the best defense he has seen in his career. Expect him to be tested often in this one. The Spartans should get ahead early and grow the lead as the game advances. Give me San Jose State to cover, with a lean to the under.