San Jose State was one of the best teams in the Mountain West’s West Division in 2022.
The Spartans went 7-5 overall with a 5-3 record in conference play. Their year ended with a 41-27 loss to Eastern Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, however.
SJSU goes into 2023 wanting to remain one of the top teams in the Mountain West.
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San Jose State Football’s Mountain West Title Odds
SJSU’s odds to win the Mountain West are +1600, via BetMGM.
San Jose State Football’s Over/Under Win Total
SJSU’s win total Over/Under is 5.5, with Under 5.5 at +105 and Over 5.5 at -125.
San Jose State Football’s Schedule
8/26 at USC
9/3 vs Oregon State
9/9 vs Cal Poly
9/16 at Toledo
9/23 vs Air Force
10/7 at Boise State
10/14 at New Mexico
10/21 vs Utah State
10/28 at Hawaii
11/11 vs Fresno State
11/18 vs San Diego State
11/25 at UNLV
Bold indicates Mountain West contests.
Key San Jose State Football Returners
2022 All-Mountain West 2nd Team
QB Chevan Cordeiro
Chevan Cordeiro To Lead San Jose State’s Offense Once Again
San Jose State has a stellar group of skill players.
Chevan Cordeiro, the preseason conference offensive player of the year, has a great argument to be called the best Mountain West quarterback.
In four seasons at Hawaii, Cordeiro threw for 6,167 yards, 45 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions while completing 59% of his throws, making the 2020 All-Mountain West honorable mention list.
Last season, Cordeiro led the conference with 3,251 yards and 23 touchdowns to go with a 61% completion rate and six interceptions. He also ran for nine touchdowns, which is the most in a single season by an SJSU quarterback in the modern era. San Jose State added former Oregon quarterback Jay Butterfield this offseason to give the position group some depth.
Kairee Robinson is also among the best Mountain West running backs. He tied for fifth in the league with 10 rushing touchdowns in 2022 while adding 752 yards, which was 12th. Through the air, he caught 26 passes for 144 yards. At SJSU, he’s recorded 1,464 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing and 476 yards and three touchdowns on 70 catches. SJSU also added former Utah Tech running back Quali Conley this offseason.
Though Elijah Cooks is gone, one of the best Mountain West wide receivers, Justin Lockhart, returns. He was among the conference’s top 15 with 36 receptions and 578 yards to go with one touchdown last year.
In his previous three seasons at Nevada, Lockhart tallied 744 yards and four touchdowns on 67 receptions. Tight end Dominick Mazotti, who caught 21 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns, is also back.
SJSU was 11th in the Mountain West in rushing yards per game (95.8) and allowed the third-most sacks (42) in the league. But the team’s offensive line should continue to improve as right tackle James McNorton, guards Jaime Navarro and Ryan Stewart, center Anthony Pardue, and left tackle Fernando Carmona Jr. were all San Jose State’s Day 1 starters last season and all return with the experience they gained last year.
San Jose State’s Defense Led By Bryun Parham
The Spartans ranked fifth in the Mountain West for both scoring defense with 22 points per game allowed and total defense with 339.9 yards per game allowed in 2022. But they lose some playmakers going into this year.
Edge rusher Viliami Fehoko, who was drafted by the Cowboys, is one of the five SJSU players who were in the top 11 on the team in tackles and are now gone. But some talented players also return.
Bryun Parham was second on the team with 74 tackles last year. He also added five tackles for loss, three sacks, two pass breakups, and two forced fumbles.
Tre Jenkins is also back. He racked up 60 tackles, seven for loss, as well as five pass breakups, two sacks, and two interceptions.
SJSU also added a couple defensive backs from other Division I schools via the transfer portal in D.J. Harvey (Virginia Tech) and Jay’Vion Cole (Cal Poly).
San Jose State Football Season Prediction
SJSU won’t win the Mountain West and will fall just short of six wins in the regular season.
The Spartans will cause problems for a lot of teams. But I don’t think their schedule is exactly favorable.
They have to begin the year playing at USC and Oregon State, which I think are two losses for SJSU. Then the Spartans host Cal Poly and play at Toledo, which I think could be a couple victories for them.
But in terms of the rest of the Mountain West, I don’t believe SJSU is better than Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State, or San Diego State. I could, however, see the Spartans defeating New Mexico, Utah State, and Hawaii.
And if they do, that leaves SJSU’s game at UNLV at the end of the season as a matchup that would decide if the Spartans get to .500. While I do think it could be close, UNLV might have the advantage at home.
So I think the Spartans could win five games, but getting to six victories will prove difficult.