2008 San Jose State Spartans Football Preview
San Jose State2007 Record: (5-7, 4-4 WAC)
2007 Bowl: none
San Jose State Hed Coach: Dick Tomey (17-19 at San Jose State, 175-129-7 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Marcus Arroyo and Steve Morton
Defensive Coordinator: Keith Burns and Dave Fipp
Returning Leaders for San Jose State:
Other Key Returnees: C Ronnie Castillo, DE Justin Cole, DT Adonis Davis, TE Brian Elledge, DT Jarron Gilbert, S Duke Ihenacho, OT Fred Koloto, G Isaac Leatiota, WR David Richmond, K Jared Strubeck
Key Losses: OT John Booker, RB James T. Callier, LB Matt Castelo, RB Jacob French, S Jonathan Harris, LB Demetrius Jones, CB Dwight Lowery, G Moa Ngatuvai, P Waylon Prather, DT Jerome Pulu, QB Adam Tafralis
San Jose State did not follow up their 9-4 record in 2006 with another bowl trip, but the pieces are still building towards a team that could become a perennial contender in the Western Athletic Conference. However, with rumors swirling about Coach Dick Tomey heading to Hawaii, the recruiting class was not that strong and that will catch up to the Spartans in a year or two.
San Jose State's Strengths:
What SJSU is doing is building up some much needed depth. Seven starters return on each side of the ball and transfers and young players are getting the chance to see some playing time. What San Jose State does best is limit mistakes. The team ranked seventh in the nation and first in the conference in turnover margin and also had the fewest penalty yards of any team in the WAC. Even if they cannot stay with the power teams in the conference based purely on talent, the Spartans will at least give themselves a chance. The Spartan receivers might not put up numbers like the group at Hawaii or New Mexico State, but Kevin Jurovich, David Richmond and newcomer Marquis Avery might just be the most talented group in the WAC. Jurovich tallied 1,183 receiving yards last season and Richmond added 852.
San Jose State's Weaknesses:
But who will throw the ball to the talented receivers? Adam Tafralis came on strong at the end of his collegiate career and the battle is on to replace him. Myles Eden has the early lead heading into the fall, but Jordan LaSecla was the team’s choice behind Tafralis at the end of last season. However, California transfer Kyle Reed is probably the most talented, but he will need to catch up fast after missing time during the offseason with a broken bone in his foot. The biggest problem on defense is at the linebacker spot where last year’s leading tacklers, Matt Castelo and Demetrius Jones, need to be replaced. The secondary lost corner Dwight Lowery, who was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft, and safety Jonathan Harris. However, Christopher Owens is back after picking off six passes last year and Coye Francies, a transfer from Oregon State, could end up being even better than Lowery.
The Bottom Line for the Spartans:
If all the pieces fit into the puzzle, SJSU will have a big time turnaround. There are plenty of junior college transfers who will at least provide some depth. In addition to Reed and Francies, defensive end Jeff Schweiger is transferring in from a Pac-10 school and is expected to make an impact right away. Assuming one of the quarterbacks can be halfway decent and the team can find a running back and not rank 112 th in the nation in rushing offense again, the Spartans will go to another bowl.
2007 San Jose State Spartans Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 83.75 (112th in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 264.33 (33, 4)
Total Offense: 348.08 (88, 8)
Scoring Offense: 20.42 (103, 9)
Rushing Defense: 165.42 (73, 5)
Pass Defense: 242.58 (78, 5)
Total Defense: 408.00 (75, 4)
Scoring Defense: 29.33 (77, 4)
Turnover Margin: 1.08 (7, 1)
Sacks: 1.50 (96, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 1.92 (51, 3)
By Joel Welser
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2008 WAC Football Preview
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