Group of Five Heavy Hitter Friday Preview 9/27/19

A week ago there probably wasn’t a Group of Five game worthy of a game of the night but that was before San Jose State rattled into Fayetteville, Arkansas and defeated the SEC’s Razorbacks 31-24. This week, those Spartans travel to Colorado to face Air Force. The Falcons themselves come into this off a road loss but gave Mountain West favorite Boise State all it could handle last week.

San Jose State, which has tallied just a 3-22 the past two seasons, which makes the upset that surprising. It was the Spartans’ first-ever victory against an SEC team and first over a Power 5 program since beating Stanford in 2006.

Air Force lost 30-19 at Boise State last Friday. The Falcons ran for 242 yards, which was 100 under their season average entering that game. Air Force is still fourth in the country in rushing offense (316.3 ypg)

San Jose State (2-1) at Air Force (2-1)
When: Friday, September 27th, 8:00 pm EDT
Where: Falcon Stadium, USAFA, Colorado
TV/Streaming: CBS Sports Network/CBS Sports App (subscription required)

San Jose State Spartans

The Spartans are trying to win consecutive games for the first time since back-to-back wins over UNLV, 33-10, and at Wyoming, 27-20, in the 2014 season. Since joining the Mountain West in 2013, San Jose State is 0-6 in conference openers. One of those losses was to Air Force, 37-16 in 2015.

SJSU is just 1-3 all-time versus Air Force. The only victory for the Spartans came in 1997 at home. Air Force won the last meeting between the two schools in 2016 as these two teams are each in the opposite divisions of the Mountain West.

Courtesy of San Jose State Athletics

Key Player: QB Josh Love is coming off a career-best 32 completions and 402 passing yards against the Razorbacks. He will need to have similar numbers for the Spartans second straight road victory. This is especially true as the running game for the Spartans has been struggling (just 299 yards through 3 games).

Air Force Falcons

Air Force is second in the conference in total defense (188.7 ypg) and has already faced the tough Boise State squad as well as Colorado from the Pac-12. Offensively, Air Force will be running the ball most of the game. Only two other teams, fellow service academies Navy and Army, are averaging more than the Falcons’ 56 rushing attempts per game. Despite last week’s loss, the Falcons are still averaging 316 rushing yards per game.

QB Donald Hammond III is the cog that makes the option game go. In fact, Air Force has tried just 26 passes through its four games so far.

Courtesy of Air Force Athletics

Key Player: FB Kadin Remsberg leads the team in both rushing yards (267) and carries (42). He’s averaging 6.4 yards per attempt and is second with three rushing touchdowns. He knows how to plow up the middle and will be key on the dive play for the Falcons to stay on schedule.

Fearless Prediction: San Jose State’s confidence is sky high right now but it might have been a mirage of what this team really is. While the Spartan defense was great last week in the upset of Arkansas (just 131 yards rushing), it gave up 256 yards on the ground and three touchdowns to Tulsa earlier this season. SJSU will come back to earth in this game and Air Force will be able to run well and win by double digits. Air Force 31 San Jose State 20