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San Jose St. Football Preview

   by Matt Fargo - 08/12/2008

No. 97 San Jose St. Spartans

2007 Record ~ 5-7 SU ~ 6-5 ATS

Starters Returning ~ Offense (6) Defense (6)

Things seemed to be on a big upswing in San Jose. The Spartans, who had seven total victories in 2003 through 2005 combined, came away with eight wins in 2006 followed up by a win over the Lobos in the New Mexico Bowl. Bigger things were on the way for 2007 but injuries took their toll on this team instead. There was no rushing game to speak of and the defense collapsed at the wrong time. San Jose St. could be in the running for its second bowl in three years if its luck turns the other way this season.

Last year, the quarterback situation was solid while the running game was decimated by injuries. This season, it is the complete opposite as the running game should be strong but the quarterback slot is in question. Yonus Davis was hurt on the first play of last season and was granted a sixth year of eligibility after missing nearly all of last season. He is a two-time All-WAC running back and he will improve the Spartans putrid 2.6 ypc average from last season. There is still a fight for the starting quarterback position.

The defense slipped last season after putting together a solid campaign the prior year. We could see a return of that 2006 effort if the secondary can come together as losses hit that unit the hardest. The defensive line will be the strong suit as three starters are returning along with USC transfer Jeff Schweiger. The linebackers have only two returning starters but depth is everywhere. Last season, the Spartans allowed 19 ppg in its five wins but gave up 38.1 ppg in its seven losses so it is obvious what needs to be done.

Last season, the Spartans started the year with road games at Arizona St. St., Kansas St. and Stanford. This time around, UC Davis leads the way followed by a game at Nebraska and then a home game against San Diego St. Instead of 0-3, San Jose St. should be 2-1 heading into road games at Stanford and Hawaii. Following that, four of the next five games are doable so six wins are definitely possible. This is a team that could struggle but may be worth a look early on since the running game will be a big boost to start.

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