Nevada San Jose St Football

San Jose State quarterback Nick Starkel prepares to throw a pass against Nevada during last Friday in Las Vegas. The Spartans will take on Boise State in the Mountain West Championship game.

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It’s been a breakthrough season for San Jose State’s football program, and the Spartans were rewarded accordingly Sunday.

That’s when the undefeated Spartans found out they would be hosting Boise State in the Mountain West championship game — sort of. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, SJSU isn’t able to play in its home stadium, so the team’s temporary home is Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

The Spartans and Broncos will square off Saturday at 2:15 p.m. The contest will be televised on FOX.

San Jose State (6-0 overall, 6-0 MW) secured its first-ever spot in the championship contest with its come-from-behind 30-20 triumph over Nevada last Friday in Las Vegas. Had the Wolf Pack prevailed, they would have advanced to the title tilt.

Boise State (5-1, 5-0) punched its ticket to Saturday’s showdown with a 17-9 road victory over Wyoming in a blizzard last Saturday. This is will BSU’s fourth straight appearance in the Mountain West’s showcase game.

The Spartans have a higher composite computer rankings than the Broncos, thus they secured the right to host the title game.

San Jose State and Boise State are both assured of bowl berths, and the winner of Saturday’s game will likely appear in the Arizona Bowl, which will be contested on Thursday, Dec. 31.

Two Mountain West teams accepted bowl bids this past weekend in Nevada (6-2, 6-2) and Hawaii (4-4, 4-4).

Nevada’s opponent in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be Tulane (6-5, 3-5 American Athletic Conference). The Potato Bowl will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Like Nevada, Hawaii will also take the field against an AAC opponent. The Mexico Bowl, scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 24, will feature the Rainbow Warriors and Houston (3-4, 3-3). This game will be contested in Frisco, Texas, due to coronavirus restrictions in the Land of Enchantment.

MW WEEKLY AWARD

Isaiah Chavez, a true freshman walk-on quarterback from New Mexico, was selected as the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week after completing 14 of 18 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown in his team’s 49-39 triumph over Fresno State.

Chavez also rushed for 95 yards on 15 attempts to help his team rally past the Bulldogs.

Hawaii linebacker Darius Muasau was named the MW Defensive POTW after racking up a career-high 18 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss, and one sack in his team’s win over UNLV. The sophomore’s 18 tackles were the most by a Hawaii player in a game since 2007.

SJSU’s Shamar Garrett was tabbed as the conference’s Special Teams POTW after returning three kickoffs from 131 yards in the Spartans’ aforementioned triumph over Nevada. The freshman brought back one of the kickoffs 98 yards to the house.

USU FINAL RECORD

The Mountain West officially declared the Utah State-Colorado State a forfeit, meaning the Aggies finished the season with a 1-6 record. The Rams finished at 2-3.

USU’s players elected to boycott the game following a players-only team meeting last Friday. The players claimed inappropriate comments were made by university President Noelle Cockett during a Zoom call earlier in the week.

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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