San Jose State survives final game to win in Hawaii – Marin Independent Journal
San Jose State needs to regain its pace on offense if they seek to repeat themselves as Mountain West champions.
A month-long road trip continued on a blustery Saturday night in Honolulu with a patchy performance that culminated in a spectacular 17-13 victory in Hawaii to claim the third annual Dick Tomey Legacy Trophy.
The Spartans (2-1, 1-0 Mountain West) needed a defensive stoppage as time passed to seal their ninth consecutive conference victory. .
Trailing 7-0 in the first half, the two touchdowns for San Jose State came within 3 minutes and 3 seconds.
The first – a 13-yard pass from NIck Starkel to Isaiah Hamilton – was set up by a blocked punt from De La Salle product Kairee Robinson. After a three-and-out by Hawaii, Starkel immediately got back to work, connecting with tight end Dominick Mazotti on a passing play that traveled 46 yards and left the Spartans on the goal line. Instead of waiting for the replay to confirm if it was a touchdown, Starkel took a quick hit that caught Hawaii off guard and Jermaine Braddock was discovered for a one-yard TD with 2:23 to to play.
Starkel finished 23 of 50 for 235 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception, as gusts of wind over 20 mph would not allow either of the two attacks to sync.
It didn’t help that San Jose State running back Tyler Nevens was unavailable, as well as wide receiver Terence Loville and tight end Sam Olson for undisclosed reasons. Tight end Derrick Deese Jr. left the first quarter with an injury and did not return.
The Spartans added insurance points with 1:19 left on a 21-yard field goal from Matt Mercurio, the product of a Rico Tolefree fumble moments earlier just outside the red zone.
San Jose State co-captain Kyle Harmon, who led the Spartans with six tackles in the first half, was sent off on a questionable targeting call with 14:21 left in the fourth quarter. He will miss the first half of next week’s game against Western Michigan (2-1), which has just triumphed 44-41 at Pitt.