SJSU got back on the winning track in game two with a 34-13 victory over the Cal Poly Mustangs from the FCS ranks. The oddsmakers feel the Longhorns will do the same this weekend against the Spartans, installing Texas as a four-touchdown favorite.
Texas should roll the Spartans, but is it possible that Maryland could beat the ‘Horns twice?
San Jose State at Texas
Kickoff: Saturday, Sept. 9 at 3:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: Longhorn Network
Spread: Texas -27
Three Things to Watch
1. Maryland hangover
The emotional swing from the kickoff of Tom Herman's coaching tenure to getting taken apart by a three-score underdog must have left the Longhorns feeling sick last weekend. Herman and his players came off as shell-shocked in the immediate aftermath of their loss to the Terrapins, and it didn't appear as though the head coach had emerged from the stupor when he met the media on Monday.
Time for UT to move on, but that may prove difficult for a team that has become accustomed to disappointment.
2. Is Austin Sam's town now?
Shane Buechele came away from the Maryland game with a shoulder injury that has limited his availability in practice this week. If the sophomore can't go, true freshman Sam Ehlinger will get the call against the Spartans.
Ehlinger's skill set might fit a little bit better in Herman's offense than what Buechele brings to the table. Still, it’s unclear if he’s anywhere near ready for prime time.
3. Stopping San Jose State’s running game
Led by sophomore running back Zamore Zigler, the Spartans churned out more than five yards per rushing attempt in their game against Cal Poly. When all was said and done, they had racked up nearly 300 yards on the ground.
Meanwhile, Maryland’s rushing attack battered UT for 263 yards on 43 attempts. Texas’ defense lacked physicality and looked completely unprepared for what the Terrapins came at them with on the ground.
If your team is looking to chase away the blues, San Jose State makes for a nice opponent. South Florida put forth a lackluster effort two weeks ago and still managed to blow the Spartans away. Texas could potentially do the same.
After the Maryland debacle, though, a merely adequate performance won't calm the frazzled nerves around Austin. If Herman and his staff can’t get their players up for this one, it could indicate he’s having trouble generating buy-in from the guys who were recruited to Texas by Charlie Strong.
Prediction: Texas 35, San Jose State 10
— Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Kenney is founder and editor of BlatantHomerism.com and host of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BlatantHomerism.