#93 San Jose State Football 2012 Preview

San Jose State Spartans

2012 Overall Rank: #93
#4 WAC
#93 San Jose State College Football Preview
San Jose State Team Page


It was almost a tail of two seasons for San Jose State in 2011.  They started off with two losses to Stanford and UCLA of the Pac 12 and another to a decent conference rival in Nevada.  From there they won three of four games and then hit a three game losing streak before winning their final two games of the season.  Those wins were against solid competition in Fresno State and Navy.  The Spartans could have easily racked up a few more wins had they just had a few more points in a couple of games.  Hopefully, results in 2012 fall in their favor instead of the other way around.  Under Mike MacIntrye, San Jose State seems to be coming around.  They increased their win count by four in 2011.  How many more can they accumulate this coming season?

2011 Record: (5-7, 3-4)
2011 Bowl: None
Coach: Mike MacIntrye (6-19)
Offensive Coordinator: Brian Lindgren
Defensive Coordinator:  Kent Baer

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Dasmen Stewart, QB, 111 yards
Passing: Dasmen Stewart, QB, 158 yards
Receiving: Noel Grigsby, WR, 886 yards
Tackles: Keith Smith, LB, 104
Sacks: Travis Johnson, DE, 9.5
Interceptions: James Orth, S, 4

Other Key Returnees: DE David Tuitupou, LB Vince Buhagiar, TE Ryan Otten, WR Chandler Jones, KR Tyler Ervin

Key Losses: QB Matt Faulkner, LB Pompey Festejo, RB Brandon Rutley

While it has been a struggle for Mike MacIntrye trying to get the Spartans to a respectable level in the WAC, he appears to be well on his way.  More than anything this team doesn’t give up and he should feel like he’s close to fielding a competitor.  Their last three losses were by a total of 14 points with one of those to Utah State by just one point.  The Spartans came up big at the end of the year in games against Fresno State and Navy, two good offensive teams that can run the ball.  The Spartans ended the season on an upswing and for a program that is building, that is important.  This squad was also solid at passing.  Quarterback Matt Faulkner tossed for over 3,000 yards and averaged over 275 yards per game through the air.  That is a potent offense going over the top.

San Jose State’s defense will have to improve if it hopes to turn close losses into solid wins.  The defense let the opposition run for over 200 yards on the ground per game and allowed 221.3 yards per game.  That’s nearly 430 yards of offense per contest that the Spartans gave up in 2011.  They also were unable to get enough pressure on the quarterback to prevent other teams from scoring points.  They only averaged 1.33 sacks per game, which is in the bottom 25 in the country in sack totals.  The Spartans also lose some productive players that will be hard to replace.  Faulkner essentially accounted for a great amount of San Jose State’s offense and he will no longer be available to lead the team down the field.  Starting running back Brandon Rutley also moves on and he was a solid performer and the only reliable running back on the roster in 2011.  The next closest rusher had 835 yards less.  San Jose State needs to find talented players at the skill positions and they need to find them early.

The Bottom Line:
After a rough first year and some crushing blows in his second year, Coach MacIntrye seems to be bringing San Jose State out of the doldrums and hopefully in position to compete for WAC titles.  It is a division that is wide open, so nothing is impossible for the Spartans.  But losing quality starters like they’ve lost will be hard to overcome, at least right away.  There will be some growing pains with guys in their new roles.  They will need to shore up that porous defense that let them down last season.  They were so effective through the air that if they could just stop their opponents from scoring they might have a chance to pull away.  That will be an interesting development for this team.  They will have a hard time winning six games or more if they keep giving up 430 yards of offense each contest.  They’ve been trending up under MacIntrye.  They will try and stay on that course in 2012.

Projected Bowl: None

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 101.83 (110th in nation, 7th in conference)
Passing Offense: 276.83 (23, 2)
Total Offense: 378.67 (69, 7)
Scoring Offense: 24.50 (80, 7)
Rushing Defense: 204.33 (106, 7)
Pass Defense: 221.33 (54, 1)
Total Defense: 425.67 (93, 5)
Scoring Defense: 30.33 (86, 5)
Turnover Margin: .08 (49, 13)
Sacks: 1.33 (100, 8)
Sacks Allowed: 1.42 (37, 3)