Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
BYU's #13 Riley Nelson passes out of his end zone as BYU and Utah State play Friday, Sept. 30, 2011 at Lavell Edwards Stadium.

BYU gameday

San Jose State (2-3) at BYU (3-2)

Saturday, 8:15 p.m. MT

LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,278)

Natural grass

Provo, Utah


Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM

Weather: partly cloudy, 50 degrees


For San Jose State . . . the Spartans are looking to record back-to-back nonconference road wins for the first time since 1982 and earn some national respect.

For BYU . . . the Cougars are riding a two-game winning streak and can't afford to lose at home to a team from the Western Athletic Conference. BYU is working through a quarterback quandary and hoping to jumpstart the offense..


For San Jose State . . . the Spartans haven't beaten BYU in Provo in 50 years, when they won a 14-13 decision in 1961.

For BYU . . . the Cougars have won five of the last six meetings against SJSU, though the two teams haven't played since 1998.


San Jose State will win if . . . the Spartans can make big plays against the BYU defense, and force turnovers. SJSU is No. 31 in the country, tied with the Cougars, in takeaways with 10.

BYU will win if . . . the offense can find an identity with either Jake Heaps or Riley Nelson at quarterback, and consistently finish drives.


RILEY NELSON, BYU: The Cougar quarterback, fresh off of rallying BYU to a win over Utah State, could start or see significant action against San Jose State. Can he engineer more scoring drives like he did against the Aggies?


BYU's FRONT SEVEN VS. SAN JOSE STATE QUARTERBACK MATT FAULKNER AND RUNNING BACK BRANDON RUTLEY: The Cougars gave up big running plays last week to Utah State. Spartan running back Brandon Rutley, who is No. 24 in the nation in rushing, averaging 103 yards per game, though he has been slowed by an ankle injury.


SAN JOSE STATE: Running back Brandon Rutley (ankle) has been slowed by an ankle injury and will be a game-time decision.

Cornerback Brandon Driver (Achilles' heel) is expected to miss the rest of the season. Offensive lineman Fred Koloto (knee) is questionable.

BYU: Linebacker Jordan Pendleton (ankle) and offensive lineman Houston Reynolds (foot) are both probable.


San Jose State hosts Hawaii on Oct. 14. BYU travels to Oregon State on Oct. 15.


(All times Mountain)


Sept. 3 BYU 14, Ole Miss 13

Sept. 10 Texas 17, BYU 16

Sept. 17 Utah 54, BYU 10

Sept. 23 BYU 24, Central Florida 17

Sept. 30 BYU 27, Utah State 24

Oct. 8 vs. San Jose State (8:15 p.m., ESPNU)

Oct. 15 at Oregon State (2 p.m., KBYU, Fox College Sports Pacific)

Oct. 22 vs. Idaho State (1 p.m., BYUtv)

Oct. 28 vs. TCU, in Arlington, Tex., (6 p.m., ESPN)

Nov. 12 vs. Idaho (TBD, ESPN Networks)

Nov. 19 vs. New Mexico State TBD (TBD, ESPN Networks)

Dec. 3 at Hawaii (5:30 p.m., ESPN2)