San Jose State’s Brennan silent on Starkel’s status against No. 24 San Diego State

San Jose State coach Brent Brennan, his struggling team in dire need of offense, still won’t say when injured starting quarterback Nick Starkel might return.

It’s his policy.

“We don’t talk about injuries here,” Brennan said. “And I’m hopeful that Starkel will be ready to go soon.”

Asked Monday if Starkel is probable, questionable, doubtful or out for Friday’s homecoming game at CEFCU Stadium against 24th-ranked San Diego State, Brennan smiled.

“No,” he said, “this isn’t the NFL, buddy.”

It once again looks as if the keys to the offense will belong to backup Nick Nash, a dual-threat QB who couldn’t find his rhythm during Saturday’s 34-14 loss at Colorado State.

Nash tossed touchdowns at the end of each half, going 4-of-4 for 104 yards on those two drives. The rest of the game, which consisted of nine possessions, he went 6-of-17 for 48 yards with a pair of turnovers – an interception and a lost fumble.

San Jose State (3-3, 1-1 Mountain West) needs Nash to be more like the guy who in 2020 engineered a second-half comeback at San Diego State after replacing an injured Starkel in the first quarter.

“I think at the time we were all holding our breath a little bit just because Nick (Nash) hadn’t played much and he hadn’t played for a full game,” Brennan said.

Nash completed 16-of-25 passes for 169 yards and two TDs while also rushing for 53 yards and a game-clinching 14-yard scramble with 93 seconds in the 28-17 triumph.

That performance came at the midway point of the regular season, as the Spartans swept their way through the Mountain West for an unbeaten conference title.

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Halfway through the current campaign, SJSU finds itself alternating wins and losses.

“Right now we’re in a different place,” Brennan said. “Coming off a really tough loss at Colorado State, we’ve got to find that belief. And we’ve got to find that ability to finish games.”

San Diego State (5-0, 1-0) is the lone unbeaten team in the Mountain West.

The résumé includes two wins over Pac-12 teams, Arizona and Utah.

The Aztecs dominate in the trenches, ranked No. 11 in rushing offense and second-best in the nation in rushing defense, allowing a meager 50.0 yards per game.

“They know who they are and they play to that identity well,” Brennan said. “They know how they’re built and they know who they want to be, so that’s how they play football. And so far, who can argue with the results?”

After Saturday’s loss, Brennan was asked whom he angered to be dealt a schedule that included three games in four weeks in different time zones, followed by consecutive conference games on short rest.

“I don’t love the schedule, but I don’t get to make the schedule,” Brennan said. “I just gotta play it, so I’m not wasting any time complaining about the schedule because it doesn’t matter. We just have to line up and play. The next week we play on Thursday, so it doesn’t matter if we have to go to Tijuana or Mozambique or China. Like, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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