San Jose State has lost 15 straight road games dating to 2003. New Mexico State has dropped 19 consecutive against D-1 opponents, a streak that began in 2004.
But like San Jose State, the Aggies are improved this season. This won't be an easy game for the Spartans.
San Jose State is 5-2 and 2-1 in the WAC.
"We are looking forward to playing Saturday. Our team is gaining confidence all the time, and we are playing better," San Jose State coach Dick Tomey said. "We are excited about going on the road and trying to get a win. This team is very confident, and they understand that they can play very well anyplace. We just have to improve a lot of things from last week.
"This team has lost two road games to the two best teams we have played, and we had a chance to win both games in the fourth quarter. This team has been very competitive on the road and is capable of winning on the road. We hope we get our first one this Saturday. We just have to make enough plays to win."
Perhaps the No. 1 reason for San Jose State's turnaround this season has been the play of its secondary. The Spartans lead the conference in pass defense. Junior cornerback Dwight Lowery leads the nation with nine interceptions and 11 takeaways while his counterpart, Chris Owens, had also been solid.
"Chris Owens has played really well. I think he has really held up his end of the bargain," Tomey said. He may not have the number of interceptions as Dwight, but he has made a lot of plays. I think he and Dwight have challenged each other, and have helped each other prepare better. They have their own way of preparing for a game that is very mature and is a winning way to prepare.
"We have a lot of guys that do a lot more than the coaches ask them to do to prepare, and that's what it really takes."
SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: The offense has been inconsistent this season, especially for a 5-2 team. More times than not, it has looked better than anyone could have expected, but there have been games in which they simply cannot move the football.
This week shouldn't be a tough assignment, though, as New Mexico State's defense has little depth and won't likely be able to contain the Spartans' running game.
SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: The focus this week is containing the nation's leading passer, New Mexico State sophomore QB Chase Holbrook. Holbrook is questionable with a back injury, but San Jose State will prepare as if he's playing nonetheless.
"One of the things they do is constantly go for it on fourth down, which they do more than anyone in the conference," Tomey said. "Their spread offense is not the same as Hawaii. They give you many looks. At the same time, they throw the ball early and often. They are excellent in pass protection."
San Jose State has the top-ranked pass defense in the conference.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Our defense is continuing to get better and stingier as far as points are concerned. That's what it's really all about. Scoring defense is the only kind of defense that matters. We worry about yards per attempt, per completion, and yards per rush. We don't put a whole lot into total defense. We feel we are improving every week on that side of the ball." -- San Jose State coach Dick Tomey.
THIS WEEK'S GAME: San Jose State at New Mexico State, Nov. 4 -- If New Mexico State quarterback Chase Holbrook can play and is healthy, this could be an intriguing matchup. While the Aggies still have a 19-game losing streak against D-1 opponents, they have played Hawaii and Boise State competitively this season.
"New Mexico State presents problems both offensively and defensively, and are much improved from last season," San Jose State coach Dick Tomey said. "They have some of the top performers in the nation on offense and special teams. It's going to take an improved performance by us to have a chance to win on the road."
San Jose State defeated the Aggies 27-10 last season.
QB Adam Tafralis -- Has been solid the majority of the season but has disappeared for stretches. If this ends up being a high-scoring shootout, the Spartans will need him desperately.
CB Dwight Lowery -- The nation's leader with nine interceptions should have plenty of chances to increase that total.
ROSTER REPORT: OL Bradis McGriff didn't play this past Saturday in the rout of Louisiana Tech but is expected to start this week.
DB Trae Jackson suffered an ankle injury against Tech and his status for New Mexico State is questionable.
S David Sullivan, a walk-on, made his debut last Saturday, playing the last three defensive plays. Sullivan joined the team this fall after two tours as a Marine sniper in Iraq.
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