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Air quality prompts San Jose State to move up kickoff for Nevada game

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It remains to be seen whether the deadly wildfires in Northern California will affect Saturday’s Big Game, but they have already had an effect on one FBS game.

In a press release Friday afternoon, San Jose State announced that the kickoff of its game tomorrow has been pushed up to three p.m. ET.  The game had originally been scheduled to commence at five p.m. ET but, after consultations between both programs as well as the conference, it was decided to move the start time up two hours.

From the school’s release:

Officials from the Mountain West, San José State and Nevada have been working together all week in monitoring air quality and considering various contingencies. Air quality readings vary greatly across the Bay Area and daytime figures have been more favorable in San Jose than in surrounding areas, falling within recommended NCAA guidelines. With health and safety as the ultimate priority, medical and athletic department officials from San José State and Nevada will evaluate the conditions prior to the scheduled start time and throughout the game. Working in close partnership with both institutions, the Mountain West will continue to actively monitor the situation and coordinate any further changes with the universities.

The entire Mountain West family offers its thoughts, prayers and support to all those throughout the state of California who have suffered unimaginable loss as a result of the wildfires.

Boise State possible landing spot for ex-UCLA QB Devon Modster

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A month after leaving UCLA, the market for Devon Modster is beginning to take shape.

According to 247Sports.com, Modster visited Boise State over the weekend, the first school he’s taken a trip to since parting ways with the Bruins.  There’s one significant personal connection with the MWC program as the quarterback’s older brother, Sean Modster, is a senior wide receiver for the Broncos.

Per Devon Modster, he was told by Boise quarterbacks coach Zak Hill the Broncos are “still evaluating what they want to do [at the quarterback position] and he would let me know by December if they were going to take an older guy or if they want a young guy out of high school.”

In addition to Boise, other Mountain West schools like Nevada, San Diego State and San Jose State have expressed some level of interest.  Additionally, he’s “heard a little from North Carolina State too.”

On Sept. 21, Modster announced he would be transferring from the Bruins.  Shortly thereafter, he enrolled at a California junior college.  Regardless of where he ends up, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2019, the first of his two seasons of eligibility he’ll have remaining.

The California native was a four-star signee in the Bruins’ 2016 recruiting class.  As the backup to Josh Rosen last season, Modster 51-of-79 passes for 671 yards and four touchdowns.  Prior to transferring, he hadn’t thrown a pass this season.

Colorado State becomes FBS’ seventh FCS victim in 2018

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Don’t worry, Colorado State.  You certainly have some company.

Colorado State came into Saturday’s game in Fort Collins as anywhere from a four- to a six-point favorite over FCS No. 16 Illinois State.  After 60 minutes of play, the Rams exited with an embarrassing 35-19 loss at the hands of the Redbirds.  It was actually even worse than the final score indicated as the Rams scored a garbage-time touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth to slice into what was a 22-point deficit.

CSU simply had no answer defensively as ISU put up 538 yards of total offense — 271 passing, 267 rushing.  Most notably, they allowed ISU to run for 6.4 yards per carry.

With the loss, CSU becomes the seventh FBS team to lose to an FCS team this season.  The others?

  • UC Davis 44, San Jose State 38 (August 30)
  • No. 19 Villanova 19, Temple 17 (September 1)
  • Northern Arizona 30, UTEP 10 (September 1)
  • No. 18 Nicholls State 26, Kansas 23 in overtime (September 1)
  • No. 14 North Carolina A&T 28, East Carolina 23 (September 2)
  • No. 22 Maine 31, Western Kentucky 28 (September 8)

This is actually a “down” year for the FCS (thus far) as last season there were nine such FBS losses, the same number as in 2015.  In 2016, the FBS lost 10 games to lower-level teams.  The single-season record for FCS wins over FBS teams is 16, set in 2013.

Exactly 10 years ago, there were two FCS upsets — Cal Poly over San Diego State and New Hampshire over Army.

The last time there was an FCS upset past September was 2015, when Georgia State and North Texas lost in October.  South Carolina dropped one in November of that year as well.

And the first-ever FCS upset of an FBS team, since the 1978 split to I-A and I-AA? Lamar lost to Stephen F. Austin Sept. 23, 1978.  A little over three years later, the Cardinals dropped down to the FCS level, where they have remained ever since.

That same year, by the way, Boston College lost to UMass 27-0 in late November in the midst of a 0-11 season.  UMass, of course, now plays at the FBS level.

San Jose State counting on football ‘revenue games’ to increasingly fund entire department

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If you’re a college football fan at any level, chances are you’ve heard the term ‘revenue games’ or ‘guarantee games.’ For the uninitiated, this is typically where a big Power Five program will pony up six-figures or more to a Group of Five or FCS team to travel to their stadium in the non-conference schedule. Generally the games are anything but close and more along the lines of a glorified practice for the bigger programs as they tune-up for conference play or better opponents down the road.

The San Francisco Chronicle took a deep dive into this practice at San Jose State this week and the numbers they uncovered were pretty eye-opening given some of the amounts involved and just how much the football team has cashed in over the years:

That (Alabama) game was part of a very profitable run for the Spartans, who have played as many revenue games as any school in the country. The result is almost always a beatdown on the field. Since 2010, the Spartans are 0-13 in revenue games and have been outscored 516-155.

But the practice also has brought millions into the university’s athletic program. Over the course of those 13 games, the Spartans have pocketed $9.4 million. They’ll make another $1 million Saturday at Oregon. The athletic department says it couldn’t function at its current level without the games.

Getting eight-figures over the years is nothing to overlook at a Mountain West program and the Chronicle notes that nearly six percent of the entire athletic department budget ($1.525 million of the overall $26.5 million figure) in 2018 will come directly from SJSU playing at Oregon and Washington State this season.

Funny enough, the piece also makes mention of the flip side to all these games too:

Sometimes, San Jose State is on the paying end. It gave UC Davis $400,000 to pay a Week 1 visit this year; the Aggies not only got the money but beat the Spartans 44-38.

The school is far from the only one who uses these football paydays to help the rest of the department but the niche they’ve developed is certainly notable for how prolific things have become in San Jose.

San Jose State becomes FBS’ first FCS victim of the 2018 season

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Congrats, San Jose State?

Through the first nine such matchups this season, the FBS held a perfect 9-0 mark against teams from the FCS.  The 10th, however, wasn’t as kind to the big boys of college football as UC Davis, led by former Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins, marched into CEFCU Stadium and earned a 44-38 win over home-standing San Jose State.

The Aggies took a 14-point lead into halftime, then extended it to 16 with a safety less than 10 seconds into the third quarter.  Twice the Spartans sliced the second-half lead to six points, each time on Bobby Gaither touchdown passes to Montel Aaron.  The second scoring connection came with less than 1:30 left in the second half, but UC Davis was able to run out the remainder of the clock for its first win of the 2018 season.

Leading the way for the Aggies was quarterback Jake Maier, who completed 37-of-55 passes for 446 yards and three touchdowns.  The redshirt junior spread the wealth throughout the game as he completed passes to nine different Aggies.

The loss, Brent Brennan‘s 12th in 14 games as the Mountain West school’s head coach, was San Jose State’s first to an FCS team since 2010.  The Spartans’ conquerors that season?  UC Davis.

Conversely, UC Davis is now 3-14 all-time against teams from the FBS.  In addition to the twin triumphs over San Jose State, UC Davis also owns a 20-17 win over Stanford in 2005 in what was the second-to-last season for Walt Harris down on The Farm.