San José State Spartans vs Portland State Vikings Season Opener Tonight

Coming off a disappointing 5-7 season in 2021, the San José State Spartans football team opens the 2022 campaign tonight against Division I FCS Portland State Vikings inside CEFCU Stadium at 9:30 p.m. (Central Time)/7:30 p.m. (Pacific Time).

The game will be televised on NBC Sports Bay Area.

SJSU head coach Brent Brennan begins year six at the helm of the program and has guided the Spartans to a 20-37 (.351) overall record during his first five seasons, including the 2020 Mountain West Conference championship season.

The Spartans are a 22-point favorite (per Bovada) tonight against the Vikings, as I write this.

This is the second ever meeting between the two programs. SJSU got a 66-35 win in 2016 in the first ever meeting.

Looking at SJSU:

Nick Starkel, who was the starting quarterback the last two years, is gone. So Brennan signed former Hawaii QB Chevan Cordeiro via the transfer portal. Cordeiro made a big impact during Spring practice, and I assume he’ll likely be QB1.

The Spartans offense only returns five regular starters from 2021: quarterback Nick Nash, wide receivers Jermaine Braddock, Isaiah Hamilton and Charles Ross, and left guard Jaime Navarro. The two-deep does have two experienced transfers in former Nevada receivers Justin Lockhart and Elijah Cooks.

The Spartans defense I have a feeling will be good. The unit returns nine starters, including defensive end Cade Hall, defensive end Viliami Fehoko and linebacker Kyle Harmon. The unit also gained two experienced players in the transfer portal in former USC safety Chase Williams and UCLA cornerback Elisha Guidry.

Final Thoughts and Prediction:

For obvious reasons, this is a must win for SJSU. They can’t afford to lose to a lower division team, and also need to build some confidence for the game at Auburn on September 10th.

My prediction: San José State 35, Portland State 14.

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