Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith walks the field before the spring showcase at Reser Stadium, Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Corvallis, Ore.

Oregon State Spring Game597

DJ Uiagalelei has strong debut, No. 18 Oregon St. tops San Jose St.

DJ Uiagalelei completed 20 of 25 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for two more touchdowns, and No. 18 Oregon State cruised to a 42-17 win over San Jose State on Sunday afternoon in San Jose, Calif.

Deshaun Fenwick added a rushing touchdown for the Beavers (1-0), who picked up where they left off after winning seven of their last eight games to end the 2022 season. Jack Velling, Jeremiah Noga and Anthony Gould had one touchdown reception apiece.

Chevan Cordeiro completed 18 of 32 passes for 143 yards for San Jose State (0-2).

Oregon State opened the scoring with 5:51 to go in the first quarter. Uiagalelei, in his team debut after transferring from Clemson, kept the ball and scored on a 1-yard run to finish off an 11-play, 82-yard drive.

San Jose State pulled within 7-3 with 9:24 left in the second quarter when Kyler Halvorsen made a 41-yard field goal.

The Beavers responded with two touchdowns in the final five minutes of the first half to grab a 21-3 lead heading into the break.

First, Uiagalelei connected with Velling for a 14-yard touchdown with 4:21 to play. Uiagalelei added his second rushing touchdown with 14 seconds to go in the half.

Oregon State maintained its dominance in the third quarter, as Uiagalelei found Noga for a 31-yard touchdown with 6:02 left in the frame. That increased the Beavers’ lead to 28-3.

San Jose State notched its first touchdown of the game with 14:52 left in the fourth quarter. Cordeiro fumbled near the goal line, and tight end Sam Olson pounced on the ball in the end zone for a score.

The Beavers made it 35-10 on Uiagalelei’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Gould with 10:13 to go.

Fenwick added a 3-yard rushing touchdown for Oregon State with 3:13 remaining.

San Jose State capped the scoring on a 19-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Jay Butterfield to Branden Alvarez with four seconds left.

–Field Level Media

Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (5) throws a 46-yard pass to wide receiver Beaux Collins (80) for a touchdown during the first quarter at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky Saturday, November 6, 2021.

Ncaa Football Clemson At Louisville

D.J. gives No. 18 Oregon State a fresh spin at San Jose State

A once highly touted quarterback gets a chance to put a new spin on the narrative around his college football career in what amounts to a fresh start with No. 18 Oregon State.

The first chance for former Clemson signal-caller D.J. Uiagalelei arrives Sunday afternoon when the Beavers open their regular season in a nonconference match on the road against San Jose State (0-1).

Uiagalelei spent three seasons at Clemson, starting 28 games and appearing in 36 overall. He showed flashes of his great potential but ultimately entered the transfer portal as the Tigers failed to achieve the same success as they did under previous top quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Oregon State gladly offered a landing spot for Uiagalelei and confirmed his starting role this week.

“He just continued to get better and better,” Beavers head coach Jonathan Smith said. “We had two big scrimmages and he played the best in those two.”

Behind Uiagalelei on the quarterback depth chart will be freshman Aidan Chiles and redshirt sophomore Ben Gulbranson. Chiles was a four-star recruit out of California and figures to get an opportunity if Uiagalelei struggles or gets injured this season.

Oregon State is hoping to pick up where it left off last season, when it finished with seven wins in its last eight games. The Beavers finished with a 10-3 record, including 6-3 in the Pac-12 Conference.

As Oregon State prepares for its season debut, San Jose State will face a ranked opponent for the second time in as many weeks. The Spartans visited No. 6 Southern California at L.A. Memorial Coliseum last week, when they started respectably but ultimately lost 56-28 to the Trojans.

“We didn’t make the plays we needed to stay in it and keep it close, and I was disappointed we had a couple breakdowns that really hurt us,” San Jose State head coach Brent Brennan said. “But that’s football. I think we’ve got a resilient team. We’ve got some really talented kids on this team.”

San Jose State’s Chevan Cordeiro completed 21 of 38 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns against USC. He also rushed 10 times for 52 yards.

Quali Conley had 108 rushing yards on only six carries to lead the Spartans, and Nick Nash caught a team-high six passes for 89 yards and three touchdowns.

The Spartans’ performance against USC caught the attention of Smith and his Oregon State squad.

“There’s some advantages of being able to see their first game on tape and I think there’s some disadvantages,” Smith said. “Usually you make a huge jump in improvement from week one to week two.

“I think being able to see them on tape compete at a high level against a really good football team — they went toe to toe with those guys for a long time. They had our attention, but it raised our urgency recognizing how good (of) a football team this is.”

Oregon State leads the all-time series 4-2. This will be the programs’ first meeting since 2015, when the Beavers pulled away for a 35-21 win on their home field.

The teams have not met in San Jose since 1988, a 41-27 Oregon State victory.

–Field Level Media

Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) celebrates Tahj Washington (16) scoring a touchdown against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the first half at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Williams, No. 6 USC set sights on San Jose State

Heisman Trophy in hand, USC quarterback Caleb Williams feels like he has unfinished business as the 2023 season kicks off.

Determined to add a national championship to his resume, Williams begins that quest Saturday when the sixth-ranked Trojans take on San Jose State in Los Angeles.

Williams more than measured up to expectations in his first season with the Trojans.

Aside from setting USC single-season records for total offense (4,919 combined yards) and touchdowns (52), Williams was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, AP Player of the Year and was the seventh Trojan to win the Heisman.

Now among favorites to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, Williams insists his focus is anywhere but individual accolades.

“We’ve got a lot to go get this year,” Williams said. “Everyone has the same goal and mindset this year. A whatever-it-takes kind of mindset to get all of what we want. It’s going to be a good year. Can’t wait.”

In addition to seeing how Williams will follow up his Heisman season, USC coach Lincoln Riley has other reasons to be excited, as he feels like his team is extremely deep heading into the season opener.

“Little more competition across the board. There was probably less position battles at this point (last year), or you kind of knew who was gonna play,” Riley said. “But there’s still a lot of youth on this team.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, we got a lot of growing. We’ll have to grow some during these early games.”

Riley, also entering his second season in LA, led the Trojans to an 11-3 record in 2022.

The Spartans have lost all five of their all-time meetings with USC, but San Jose State coach Brent Brennan believes this year’s group has what it takes to end the losing streak.

“It’s been a great training camp, our players have worked extremely hard,” Brennan said. “I feel really good about our coaching staff and the teaching and just the vibe and the culture of this team I think is really healthy. As you look at our schedule, we’re gonna need it. We’re opening with an incredible opponent with USC.”

Chevan Cordeiro, who was named Mountain West Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, returns as the starting quarterback for SJSU.

Cordeiro spent four seasons at Hawaii before joining the Spartans last season. He tallied 3,251 yards passing with 23 TDs and six interceptions.

Brennan is preparing for Cordeiro’s counterpart, and knows that slowing down Williams will be a tall task.

“We’re playing against the best player in America, right? And so that presents a whole different kind of challenge,” Brennan said. “He’s very strong, it’s hard to get him down, and his ability to make every throw — whether he’s in the pocket or on the move — makes him incredibly hard to defend.

“So that’s gonna be a big challenge for our team.”

San Jose State safety Tre Jenkins will look to help disrupt the Trojans’ passing attack. A three-time All-Mountain West honorable mention, Jenkins tied a career high with two interceptions last season to go along with a career-best seven pass breakups.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2022; Boise, Idaho, USA; Eastern Michigan Eagles quarterback Taylor Powell (7) runs for a first down during the first half of action of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against the San Jose State Spartans at Albertsons Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Powell, E. Michigan beat San Jose St. at Idaho Potato Bowl

Taylor Powell passed for 298 yards and two touchdowns to Darius Lassiter and Samson Evans rushed for 82 yards and two scores to help Eastern Michigan defeat San Jose State 41-27 on Tuesday at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho.

Eastern Michigan (9-4) responded from an early deficit to finish with the second-most victories in a season in school history and claim its first bowl victory since a win against San Jose State in the 1987 California Bowl.

San Jose State (7-5) outgained the Eagles 498-416 but ultimately was unable to recover from a 33-0 Eastern Michigan run spanning parts of the first three quarters. Spartans quarterback Chevan Cordeiro scored on a 27-yard run just 1:08 into the game and threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Justin Lockhart just more than seven minutes later.

The Eagles blocked the ensuing point-after, with Tristen Hines returning it to the end zone for two points. Eastern Michigan followed with four touchdowns before the close of the first half for a 30-13 lead.

San Jose State stopped the Eagles’ surge with a sparkling touchdown with 5:28 to play in the third quarter, as Cordeiro connected with Nick Nash for a 17-yard score. Nash, a former quarterback, leapt to snag a contested pass near the right pylon. The point-after drew the Spartans within 33-20.

The teams traded touchdowns after that, and the Spartans had the opportunity to move within one score after Powell was intercepted in the end zone with 4:42 to play. The Eastern Michigan defense responded with its third interception of the game on the ensuing possession to seal the victory.

The Spartans entered the game with just six turnovers this season, tied for the fewest among FBS schools.

Jaylon Jackson rushed for 54 yards for the Eagles, including a 31-yard touchdown. Lassiter had six receptions for 108 yards.

Cordeiro was 26-for-44 passing for three touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing for 50 yards and a score.

Isaiah Hamilton had five catches for 137 yards and a TD. Elijah Cooks added six catches for 93 yards.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2022; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Eastern Michigan Eagles running back Samson Evans (22) pushes Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back D.J. Taylor (3) down at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.

Football Asu Fb

Like it’s 1987: Eastern Michigan, San Jose State meet in a bowl once again

Eastern Michigan and San Jose State might not have extensive bowl histories in their respective programs, but believe it or not, there is bowl history with one another.

When the teams collide on Dec. 20 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, it will be the second meeting in a bowl game between the Eagles and Spartans.

The teams also met in the 1987 California Bowl, where Eastern Michigan earned what still is its only bowl win in school history, a 30-27 triumph.

Now, 35 years later, the teams will hook up in the postseason once again.

Eastern Michigan enters with an 8-4 record and will be making its seventh appearance all-time in a bowl game. It is also the fourth time in the last five seasons the Eagles will be in a bowl game.

The Eagles have lost all four of those games, but three of them were by a combined 10 points.

Eastern Michigan head coach Chris Creighton said not only does the team want to get over that hump and win its first bowl game in more than three decades, but also hoist another trophy after claiming the Michigan MAC Trophy after wins over rivals Central and Western Michigan this year.

“That was the first time our guys have hoisted a trophy,” Creighton said. “The postgame was a ton of fun and we want to do it again.”

The Eagles are led on offense by senior running back Samson Evans (1,084 yards rushing, 13 touchdowns) and on defense by end Jose Ramirez, who was named the Mid-American Conference’s Defensive MVP after registering a single-season school record 12 sacks.

San Jose State enters with a 7-4 mark and will be playing in a bowl game for the 12th time ever and second time in the last three seasons.

The Spartans are seeking their first bowl win since a 27-16 win over Georgia State in the 2015 Cure Bowl.

“We’re playing an incredible opponent and I think it’s going to be a great show for everyone to watch,” San Jose State head coach Brent Brennan said.

The Spartans are led on offense by quarterback Chevan Cordeiro (2,884 passing yards, 20 touchdowns) and wideout Elijah Cooks (63 receptions, 983 yards, 10 touchdowns), and on defense by Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Viliami Fehoko (9 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss).

–Field Level Media

Sep 1, 2022; San Jose, California, USA;  General view of the San Jose State Spartans helmet before the start of the game against the Portland State Vikings at CEFCU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose State RB Camdan McWright struck by bus, dies

San Jose State running back Camdan McWright died early Friday morning when he was struck by a school bus, the university announced. He was 18.

McWright, a freshman, was riding his electric scooter near campus and ventured into the path of the bus, NBC Bay Area reported. None of the 14 students aboard the bus were injured in the 6:50 a.m. accident.

“We lost an amazing young man tragically this morning,” head coach Brent Brennan said. “Camdan had a bright future ahead of him and everyone in this community that had the opportunity to spend time with him knew that. We are still trying to deal with the news of this tragedy, and appreciate everyone’s support during these difficult times. … Camdan will always be in our hearts and he will be profoundly missed.”

Campus president Steve Perez echoed the coach’s thoughts.

“The loss of our student is heartbreaking and devastating for our San Jose State community,” Perez said. “We grieve for Camdan, his family, friends, teammates, and the Spartan family. We grieve together and will provide all of the support that Camdan’s family, our students and our football program require to help move through this tragic time.”

McWright was listed as a three-star 2022 prospect from St. Genevieve High School in Panorama City, Calif., by the 247Sports composite. As a senior, he ran for 1,667 yards and 24 touchdowns, averaging 12.7 yards per carry.

He played in one game for the Spartans and gained six yards on three carries.

The Spartans are scheduled to play a nonconference game on Saturday against New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M. The school said Friday that the game was “pending.”

“SJSU will do what’s best for the student-athletes,” an athletic department news release said.

–Field Level Media

Auburn Tigers quarterback Robby Ashford (9) runs an option play as Auburn Tigers take on Mercer Bears at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. Auburn Tigers leads Mercer Bears 28-7 at halftime.

Auburn enters San Jose State game with QB questions

The Auburn Tigers are seeking a 2-0 start as they look to make last season’s disastrous finish a distant memory when they host San Jose State on Saturday.

Quarterback T.J. Finley threw for a touchdown and running backs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter combined for five scores on the ground as the host Tigers rolled to a 42-16 win over FCS opponent Mercer last week.

Last season, Bryan Harsin’s Tigers became the first Auburn team in 71 years to end a season with five consecutive defeats. They finished 6-7 after losing to Houston in the Birmingham Bowl and endured an offseason in which Harsin’s future was very much in doubt.

The Tigers’ biggest question mark is at quarterback where junior Finley was 9-for-14 passing for 112 yards with a touchdown against Mercer. But his two interceptions opened the door for Robby Ashford, a transfer from Oregon, to get playing time. Ashford went 4-for-7 passing for 100 yards and rushed for 68 yards on just six carries.

Harsin said Finley will start against San Jose State (1-0), but Ashford will be involved in the game plan.

“Everyone feels like if there’s two guys playing, there’s some controversy,” Harsin said. “If they’re good enough to play, then we should find a role for them.”

Regardless of who is under center, expect Bigsby and Hunter to get the ball frequently in Auburn’s run-oriented offense.

Bigsby rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries — an average of 9.2 yards per attempt — while Hunter had 34 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries.

Nine Tigers had at least one carry, as Auburn rushed for 285 yards and five scores on 41 attempts, an average of seven yards a carry.

San Jose State rallied for a 21-17 win over visiting Portland State when quarterback Chevan Cordeiro’s two-yard run with 1:11 left capped a six-play, 32-yard drive that gave his team the lead for good.

Cordeiro completed 15 of 30 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown, while Elijah Cooks had six catches for 123 yards and Kairee Robinson added 35 yards on 10 carries.

However, the Spartans gave up seven sacks and mustered just 49 rushing yards on 29 carries, an average of 1.7 yards per attempt against Portland State.

“It’s going to be an incredible environment,” San Jose State coach Brent Brennan said of playing at Jordan-Hare Stadium. “We are expecting a really tough game. We have to play clean football and that’s the biggest challenge.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2021; San Jose, California, USA; San Diego State Aztecs defensive lineman Sefo Mailangi (55) tackles San Jose State Spartans running back Shamar Garrett (24) for a loss during the second quarter at CEFCU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

No. 24 SDSU pulls out double-OT win over SJSU

Backup quarterback Lucas Johnson found Jesse Matthews for a 24-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime Friday night, lifting No. 24 San Diego State to a 19-13 win over host San Jose State.

The Aztecs (6-0, 2-0 Mountain West) earlier stopped the Spartans in the second OT when Trenton Thompson intercepted Nick Nash’s pass for Derrick Deese Jr. in the end zone. On third down, Johnson and Matthews teamed up for the game-winner.

Johnson entered the game late in the fourth quarter for Jordon Brookshire, who completed 13 of 27 passes for 132 yards. Nash was 16 of 34 for 228 yards.

San Diego State was outgained 354 yards to 240 and got a great game from punter/kicker Matt Araiza. He averaged 52.9 yards on seven punts, including an 86-yarder in the third quarter, and downed five kicks inside the Spartans’ 20 while also booting two field goals.

Each team scored a touchdown in the first overtime. San Diego State got a 14-yard TD pass from Johnson to Matthews, but Tyler Nevens’ 1-yard plunge forced another overtime. It also made the Aztecs the last FBS team this year to allow a rushing touchdown.

San Jose State (3-4, 1-2) could have won the game on its last drive of regulation, but Matt Mercurio came up short on a 52-yard field goal with 15 seconds remaining.

Araiza initiated the scoring with 11:16 left in the first half, booming a 53-yard field goal one play after San Jose State was flagged for being offside. That was one of seven first-half penalties on the Spartans for 60 yards.

Mercurio converted a 32-yard field goal less than three minutes later to tie the game. Nash hit Jermaine Braddock and Deese for 29- and 37-yard gains, respectively, to set up the score.

San Diego State responded with its best sustained drive of the half, running 11 plays and reaching the Spartans’ 9. However, a third-down pass fell incomplete, and Araiza kicked a 26-yard field goal with 54 seconds remaining, giving the Aztecs a 6-3 lead at intermission.

Mercurio kicked a 48-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to tie the score.

–Field Level Media

Sep 4, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA;   USC Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) sets to pass in the first half of the game against the San Jose State Spartans at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

No. 15 Southern California pulls away from San Jose State

Greg Johnson’s 37-yard interceptions return for touchdown punctuated a strong defensive effort from No. 15 Southern California, and the Trojans overcame San Jose State’s own stout defense to win their season-opener 30-7 on Saturday in Los Angeles.

USC (1-0) intercepted San Jose State quarterback Nick Starkel twice, both of which led to Trojans’ touchdowns. Johnson jumped a route in the fourth quarter and streaked down the sideline untouched for a score with 11:42 remaining that effectively put the game away.

Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis finished 25-of-36 passing for 263 yards and no interceptions.

USC struggled to put distance between itself and reigning Mountain West Conference champion San Jose State (1-1), which went scoreless for the game’s first 37:35 but pulled to within 13-7 on Tyler Nevens’ 2-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter.

After Slovis threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Tahj Washington in the opening quarter, San Jose State, playing an aggressive defensive style heavy on blitz packages, kept the Trojans out of the end zone for the next 40:19 of game time. The Spartans recorded eight tackles for loss on the day and brought consistent pressure on Slovis with three quarterback hurries.

Viliami Fehoko sacked Slovis in the early fourth quarter to limit USC’s most promising drive since the mid-first quarter touchdown.

That score — set up after edge-rusher Drake Jackson intercepted Starkel at the San Jose State 39-yard line — looked like it was going to open the floodgates for the Trojans.

Slovis found Washington, who went over a Spartans defender to haul in the score and give USC a 10-point lead less than eight minutes into the game. The Trojans scored on a 27-yard Parker Lewis field goal just 2:39 earlier.

But USC’s inability to complete drives relegated it to three Lewis field goals, all attempted in the red zone.

The Trojans finally broke through for another offensive touchdown when Slovis found a sliding Erik Krommenhoek for a 20-yard score with 2:07 remaining.

USC’s Drake London caught a career-high 13 passes for 144 yards, and Washington hauled in four passes for 56 yards.

Keaontay Ingram rushed for 86 yards, and USC totaled 423 yards as a team.

San Jose State totaled 356 yards, with Starkel’s 308 yards on 24-of-46 passing leading the way. The Spartans finished just 1-of-3 on red-zone opportunities.

–Field Level Media

Nov 14, 2020; San Jose, California, USA;  San Jose State Spartans quarterback Nick Starkel (17) passes the football during the first quarter against the UNLV Rebels at CEFCU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

No. 22 San Jose State, Ball State embrace trip to Arizona Bowl

San Jose State coach Brent Brennan and Ball State coach Mike Neu have never coached against each other because they have primarily operated in two different regions of the country throughout their coaching careers.

They have achieved similar success, however, with programs that will take part in the Arizona Bowl on New Year’s Eve at Tucson.

“I’ve been following him since he took over there,” Brennan said of Neu, who was hired by Ball State, his alma mater, in 2016. “And there’s a really similar path to ours. I think this is a really fascinating matchup, if you look to where he was in 2017 and ’18. There’s some real similarities there. What they’ve been able to do this year has been awesome.”

The 22nd-ranked Spartans (7-0) were 3-22 in Brennan’s first two seasons in 2017 and 2018. After going 5-7 last season, his team is unbeaten and Mountain West champions for the first time in program history.

Brennan is becoming a noted coaching candidate, specifically at Arizona, where he was a graduate assistant in 2000. He is also a finalist for the Eddie Robinson national coach of the year award.

Neu did not have more than four wins his first three seasons, but last year, the Cardinals went 5-7 and they are 6-1 this season with a Mid-American Conference title for the first time since 1996.

“(Playing in the Arizona Bowl) is a tremendous opportunity for our program,” Neu said. “A lot of hard work has to be done between now and then facing a great opponent in San Jose State. We’re really looking forward to it. A lot a lot of good preparation lies ahead here for the next several days before we get a chance to leave.”

Neu said that preparation includes becoming hydrated to better handle Tucson’s warmer weather than Muncie, Ind., this time of year. The last time Boise State has traveled this far west was in 1993 to play in the Las Vegas Bowl — when Neu was the starting quarterback.

“The first thing when we found out (when the bowl matchup was announced) we saw that it was 76 degrees in Tucson,” Neu said from Muncie, where the high was 44 with precipitation. “The first thing we have to communicate with our young men is hydration. That starts now.”

San Jose State features quarterback Nick Starkel, who completed 32 of 52 passes for 453 yards and three touchdowns in the Mountain West title win over Boise State. He broke former Fresno State star Derek Carr’s championship record of 404 yards passing set in 2013 in win against Utah State.

“Nick has put up a huge year,” said Neu, who was a quarterback coach with the New Orleans Saints before his hire at Ball State. “We’ll have a lot of tape here to study and put a great game plan together and go take on that challenge.”

Ball State quarterback Drew Plitt has also had a productive season passing for 1,937 yards while completing 152 out of 232 pass attempts in only seven games. He has 16 touchdown passes and six interceptions.

–Field Level Media