The San Diego State football team takes on San Jose State at 5 p.m. this Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium, aka Aztec Warrior Stadium. The Aztecs and Spartans are both 2-1 on the season and have won two straight games after losing to Pacific- 12 opponents in the first week of the season. Sports Editor Ryan Schuler caught up with The Spartan Daily’s James Simpson, a staff writer for SJSU’s student newspaper. Ryan Schuler: What’s the SJSU football team’s reaction to such a strong start, especially losing a very close game against a tough Stanford team? Was it expected? James Simpson: Everybody as- sociated with the team is saying all the right things. Head coach Mike MacIntyre is not one for moral victories, but is obviously happy with how the team is coming along. SJSU received one 25th place vote in the USA Today poll this past week. RS: Who are some players on of- fense and defense SDSU should look out for? JS: Obviously the big storyline is ju- nior quarterback David Fales, who has been extremely efficient in his three starts so far. He can make all the throws and rarely makes mistakes. Sure-handed wide receiver Noel Grigsby set the Spartan record for career receptions last week and is still a junior. On defense, senior defensive end Travis Johnson is just an absolute monster on the line and offensive tackles have been no match for him at the point of attack. He is currently the career leader in sacks in the Western Athletic Conference for active players. Junior linebacker Vince Buhagiar had a fine game last week, posting 11 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Those two have represented the Spartans with consecutive WAC Defensive Player of the Week awards. RS: What about SDSU? Has Coach MacIntyreexpressedthemostconcern about going into Saturday’s game? JS: Coach MacIntyre has mentioned the overall team speed of SDSU and a potent running game as his main concerns going into this week’s contest. He mentioned how difficult of a game it has always been historically for SJSU on the road. RS: Are there any injuries that would affect the team against SDSU (injuries to key/influential players)? JS: Senior left tackle David Quessenberry was unable to play last week with an ankle injury, but dressed for the game against Colorado State. MacIntyre has said he could be in jeopardy for the game against SDSU, as well. Overall, SJSU has finished games generally healthy all season. RS: Did the team expect Fales to do this well in his first season at the helm? JS: They were confident enough to hand him the starting job to start the season and his quarterback rat- ing has improved every game. The first two games against Stanford and UC Davis, Fales was not asked to do too much in the game plan, completing short slants and screens. That all changed against Colorado State. Fales maintained his accuracy on all throws, with several successful deep balls in tight windows against pretty good coverage. He sure has the look of one of the best quarterbacks the Spartans have had in a long time. RS: Last week, SJSU had three receivers hit the 100-yard plateau. What makes this group so effective? JS: They are all very talented. Grigsby has been the mark of consistency all season and is their best all-around receiver as far as getting open. He rarely drops the football and is definitely the most targeted Spartan receiver. Sophomore wide receiver Jabari Carr has a knack for making his mark with the deep ball, as SJSU will routinely take their shots with Carr on post patterns when they think the defense isn’t ready for it. Junior wide receiver Chandler Jones has the biggest potential in my eyes and has posted some huge games so far in his career. He is very dangerous in the open field and is the X factor for the Spartans. Senior tight end Ryan Otten came into this season with a ton of hype based off his 2011 season, but has been slow to start the year. I trust he will pick it up. RS: Both teams have shown an abil- ity to score a lot of points. Do you expect this game to be a shootout? JS: I think these teams will combine for over 50 points in this game, as I think they are very evenly matched and talented offensively. The Aztecs’ defense has shown some holes lately and SJSU has a knack for letting teams bounce back when they seemingly have the momentum in their favor. RS: What can SDSU expect from SJSU’s defense? What formation do they run? Do they like to blitz a lot or sit back in coverage? JS: SJSU has been very aggressive to start the season, as they lead the WAC in sacks. They play a 4-3, but they also have a strong nickel defense when it calls for it. Pressure is very vital to the Spartans success because their secondary has been suspect when opposing quarterbacks have had time to let routes develop. RS: According to the statistics, SJSU appears to be more of a passing team. How does the run game work into the offense? JS: It will be interesting to see how MacIntyre attacks SDSU because it was the running game that was extremely effective against UC Davis and the passing attack that opened up against Colorado State. As it stands, I think they are going to keep pushing Fales based on how well he has thrown the ball. With that said, SJSU has a pretty clear running back platoon with University of Minnesota transfer De’Leon Eskridge and sophomore Tyler Ervin. Eskridge scored three times against UC Davis. Neither is very big or fast, but they prefer Eskridge between the tackles and Ervin on the outside edge. RS: What is your prediction? JS: As well as SJSU has played, I give the slight edge to SDSU, given how difficult it has been for the Spartans to win on the road. Despite all of their positives to start the season, SJSU has been prone to the big play and SDSU has shown the ability to establish the run and then take their deep shots often to test the defense. The Spartan secondary is the weakest part of their defense, despite their experience. Lastly, SJSU has gotten away with spotty special teams play and I think this game will produce one turnover that way in favor of SDSU. The Aztecs’ kicking game might allow SJSU a late comeback chance if they leave points on the board, but ultimately I see the Spartans losing a close one, 31-24.