Emotions ran high for the 15 SJSU seniors on Saturday afternoon for the final home game of their careers in front of an announced crowd of 12,271.
There were questions whether the game would be moved to a different location or even be played at all due to air-quality issues caused from the Camp Fire.
But when Saturday afternoon came, everything was a go. Including the SJSU defense.
Nevada has a tough time finding success the first 20 minutes of the game after they missed a field goal wide right on their opening drive.
Spartans senior quarterback Michael Carrillo, who started in place of injured Josh Love, put SJSU in the lead with a touchdown pass to tight end Josh Oliver, but the PAT was missed.
Carrillo is the third quarterback to start this season for the Spartans.
“I thought our defense played lights out,” SJSU Head Coach Brent Brennan said. “I think that is a great credit to Coach Odom, and the defensive staff and the players on that defense, because last week was a really tough week.”
In the first half, the SJSU defense recovered a fumble, intercepted a pass and stopped Nevada’s fourth down attempt.
Nevada quarterback Ty Gangi didn’t have a stellar game, but he did beat the Spartan defense deep a few times. He finished the day 19 of 32 for 314 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Nevada took a 14-6 lead after Gangi connected on a 57-yard pass to set up the touchdown a couple plays later to start the third quarter.
San José State cut it to 14-12 with 3:24 remaining in the third on a 22-yard pass to DeJon Packer, however, Brennan decided to go for two and didn’t get it.
Nevada went on a seven play, 85-yard drive to take a 21-12 lead with 12:38 left in the game.
The Spartans never really threatened from there. They got close to midfield twice but couldn’t sustain either drive.
One of the biggest offensive issues for SJSU all season long has been the non-existent run game and it haunted them again on Saturday.
The Spartans had a total of 30 rushing yards on 26 carries. If SJSU isn’t connecting deep down field, they have trouble scoring because of the run game.
Michael Carrillo finished the day 17 of 26 for 188 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
San José State closes out the 2018 campaign next Saturday, November 24, when they travel to take on the Fresno State Bulldogs for the annual Valley Trophy game.