The Spartans opened conference play with a 33-16 road win over Wyoming. San Jose State is 3-1 overall, with the only loss coming against Auburn in the second game of the year.
Strong chemistry between junior quarterback Chevan Cordeiro and his receivers contributed to the first-half lead. The Spartans' stout defense extinguished any spark of a second-half comeback by the Cowboys.
Cordeiro had no problem finding receivers in the open field and often used a favorable play against the Cowboys.
But they struggled to convert in the red zone early on. In the first quarter, Cordeiro found Elijah Cooks for a 23-yard pass on third-and-21. A Wyoming penalty cut the field goal in half. But the Spartans couldn't find the end zone and their 26-yard field goal was wide.
Minutes later, the Spartans stopped Wyoming on fourth down, and it became easier to stop the defense as the Cowboys started the game in the shotgun. Cordeiro found Cooks at center field for a 52-yard gain that saw them in the red on third down. Skylar Loving-Black caught an eight-yard pass for his first career touchdown and the Spartans' first touchdown of the game to make it 12-3.
They found their rhythm.
The Spartans extended their lead with a one-yard touchdown run from Cordeiro to end the half at 19-10.
After halftime, and still at the same pace, Cordeiro immediately found Cook for a 26-yard touchdown pass that took him a yard into the end zone. Cordeiro ran downfield and Kyrie Robinson scored to make it 26-10.
Linebacker Cade Hall opened the second half with his first career interception; Cornerback Kenyon Reed intercepted a pass, causing the ball to dangle.
The defense and special teams set the tone before the Spartans found a rhythm on offense. A Travis Benham punt went down a yard early in the first quarter and the defense paid the price, forcing Wyoming into the end zone for a safety.
The defense also suffered when linebacker Noah Wright was stretchered off the field after he was injured trying to stop the run. Before getting into the ambulance, Wright held up two fingers on both hands to show his teammates he was OK.
After an injury delay, Wyoming quarterback Andrew Beasley ran 61 yards on third down and found Parker Christensen for 13 yards. A botched two-point conversion cut the Spartans' lead to 10 points. But the Spartans held Wyoming scoreless the rest of the way.
Taking advantage of Wyoming's slack defense, the Spartans started the pass and Cordeiro raced into the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown to ice the game.
Next Friday, Oct. 7, at CEFCU Stadium, the Spartans will take on undefeated UNLV (3-0) with a win over New Mexico.