SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Nick Starkel threw for 467 yards and a career-high five touchdowns to help San Jose State beat New Mexico 38-21 on Saturday night and open the season with back-to-back wins for the first time 33 years.
The Spartans (2-0, 2-0 Mountain West Conference) won their first two games of the season for the first time since 1987 and opened their conference schedule with consecutive wins for the first time since 2011, when they were a member of the Western Athletic Conference.
Bailey Gaither set career highs with 10 receptions and 208 yards receiving, including a 69-yard touchdown. Tre Walker had 107 yards receiving and two TDs on nine catches for SJSU. His acrobatic 26-yard touchdown catch made it 21-7 in the second quarter.
Teveka Tuioti was 20-of-35 passing for 294 yards and two touchdowns with one interception and had 14 carries for 69 yards and a score for New Mexico (0-1, 0-1).
The game was relocated to San Jose, California, as a result of public health orders in New Mexico related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Athletic director Eddie Nunez said Friday that the Lobos have partnered with UNLV to allow New Mexico players and coaches use of student housing and Sam Boyd Stadium, the former home of the Runnin’ Rebels’ football program. UNLV now plays in Allegiant Stadium, the brand-new 65,000-seat, $1.8 billion home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders.
It’s the latest move UNM has made in trying to escape New Mexico’s strict COVID-19 guidelines. Nunez said UNM’s football team has had 491 tests this week with zero positive results in nearly two weeks.