San Jose State beats New Mexico for first 2-0 start since Reagan administration

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SAN JOSE — San Jose State beat New Mexico 38-21 on Saturday night at CEFCU Stadium behind another sensational performance from quarterback Nick Starkel.

The graduate transfer from Arkansas threw for 467 yards and five touchdowns, completing 34 of 47 attempts, as San Jose State opened a season 2-0 for the first time in 33 years.

In a marathon Mountain West Conference game, there were 52 passes, a slew of replay reviews and 35 points on the scoreboard — all before halftime, which finally arrived some two hours after the 4 p.m. kickoff.

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State wide receiver Isaiah Hamilton (9) catches a second quarter touchdown pass New Mexico’s Letayveon Beaton (15), Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State wide receiver Tre Walker (10) scores a first quarter touchdown against New Mexico’s Antonio Hunt (12), Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State wide receiver Tre Walker (10) is congratulated by team mates Jermaine Braddock (13) and Trevor Robbins (57) after catching a first quarter touchdown against New Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State tight end Derrick Deese, Jr.’s (87) second quarter touchdown against New Mexico’s Letayveon Beaton (15), is nullified by a penalty Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State’s Bailey Gaither (84) flexes after a 55-yard pass reception against New Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State wide receiver Isaiah Hamilton (9) celebrates his second quarter touchdown pass with Derrick Deese, Jr. (87) against New Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: New Mexico quarterback Teviaka Tuioti (8) heaves a 39-yard touchdown pass to Cedric Patterson III (11) as San Jose State offensive lineman Cade Hall (92) is blocked by Kyle Jarvis (85), Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: New Mexico wide receiver Cedric Patterson III (11) is hoisted by team mates after catching a 39-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter against San Jose State, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State head coach Brent Brennan awaits a review on the team’s third touchdown of the first half, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, against New Mexico at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State’s Bailey Gaither (84) catches a 69-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter against New Mexico’s Jerrick Reed II (9), Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State’s Bailey Gaither (84) races into the end zone on a 69-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter against New Mexico’s Jerrick Reed II (9) and Corey Hightower (24), Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State’s Bailey Gaither (84) carries the team’s ceremonial gold belt after catching a 69-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter against New Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State’s Sam Olson (88) is mobbed by team mates after scoring on a 1-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against New Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State’s Isaiah Hamilton (9) leaves New Mexico’s Kameron Miller (11) on the CEFCU Stadium turf, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State’s Tyler Nevens bulls his way down to the 1-yard line during a third quarter Spartans’ touchdown drive against New Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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    SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Jose State’s Bailey Gaither (84) breaks free on a 55-yard pass reception against New Mexico’s Jerrick Reed II, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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San Jose State put the first points on the board when Nick Starkel found Tre Walker for a 37-yard touchdown in the first quarter. The Spartans increased their lead to 14-0 in the second quarter when Starkel found Isaiah Hamilton on a 43-yard dime.

That touchdown woke up the visitors. New Mexico, which didn’t play last week and couldn’t play host to San Jose State this week because of COVID-19 issues in its home county, responded when Tevaka Tuioti hit Cedric Patterson III from 39 yards, cutting the deficit to 14-7.

The Spartans got the two-touchdown lead right back when Starkel found Walker, who made an acrobatic tip-toe catch while falling to the ground for a 26-yard touchdown.

The Lobos immediately responded. On fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard-line, Tuioti scrambled before finding Andrew Erickson, slicing the Spartans’ lead to 21-14.

New Mexico kept rolling to start the second half, tying the game 21-all as Tuioti snuck in from the 1-yard line.

Matt Mercurio kicked a 35-yard field goal the next possession to give SJSU a 24-21 lead.

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Author: Justice Delos Santos

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