San Jose State Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

San Jose State Spartans


San Jose State is making just their second bowl appearance since their multiple visits to the California Raisin Bowl in the 1980’s. Back in 2006 they beat New Mexico in the New Mexico Bowl, their first bowl trip in 16 years. Behind that less than inspiring history is a very good football team. It took Coach Mike MacIntyre a couple years to get things rolling, but the Spartans only losses this season came to Stanford and Utah State. And SJSU is playing quite well right now. In their last two games they beat BYU and Louisiana Tech.

2012 Record: 10-2, 5-1
Coach: Mike MacIntyre
Coach Bowl Record: 0-0

Big Wins: 9/22 at San Diego State (38-34), 11/17 BYU (20-14)
Bad Losses: 8/31 at Stanford (17-20), 10/13 Utah State (27-49)

Everywhere you look, San Jose State has talent. David Fales has done an amazing job during his first season with the Spartans. The junior college transfer has thrown for 3,798 yards and 31 touchdowns. Receivers Noel Grigsby and Chandler Jones are in the midst of All-WAC caliber seasons. Grigsby has caught 73 passes for 1,173 yards and nine touchdowns, while Jones added 48 receptions for 618 yards and ten scores. If those two are covered, Fales has an outlet with tight end Ryan Otten. But just calling Otten a check-down receiver is not doing him justice. Otten can make some big plays and averages 16.0 yards per catch. That is a big average for a tight end. And then there is running back De’Leon Eskridge. The former Golden Gopher fell just short of the 1,000 yard mark during the regular season, but he did have a superb season finale and provides a balanced offense for San Jose State. On the other side of the ball, defensive end Travis Johnson spearheads a great pass rush. The team averages 3.33 sacks per game, ranking fifth in the entire country. Safety Bene Benwikere has picked off seven passes this season and Jimmy Pruitt is an underrated defensive back. Throw in the big hitting, versatile Keith Smith at linebacker and there is not much this defense cannot do.

The defense forces a lot of turnovers, but the offense commits quite a few too. Fales has thrown nine interceptions on the season, which is not a horrible number by any means, but fumbles have been a problem too. The Spartans may win the turnover battle, but they could dominate that statistic if they could just hang onto the ball. Another potential problem in the bowl game is the offensive line. Tackle David Quessenberry is a great talent and a great story, but Fales is sacked more than twice per game. If the Spartans are going to win their third straight bowl game, Fales will need time to operate.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: De’Leon Eskridge, RB, 992 yards
Passing: David Fales, QB, 3,798 yards
Receiving: Noel Grigsby, WR, 1,173 yards
Tackles: Keith Smith, LB, 87
Sacks: Travis Johnson, DE, 12.0
Interceptions: Bene Benwikere, S, 7

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 124.17 (101st in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 327.50 (11, 2)
Total Offense: 451.67 (31, 3)
Scoring Offense: 35.25 (30, 2)
Rushing Defense: 123.67 (20, 2)
Pass Defense: 227.75 (53, 2)
Total Defense: 351.42 (28, 2)
Scoring Defense: 21.42 (25, 2)
Turnover Margin: 0.67 (24, 2)
Sacks: 3.33 (5, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 2.08 (72, 4)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2006    New Mexico Bowl          New Mexico (20-12)
1990    California Raisin Bowl    Central Michigan (48-24)
1987    California Raisin Bowl    Eastern Michigan (27-30)
1986    California Raisin Bowl    Miami (OH) (37-7)
1981    California Raisin Bowl    Toledo (25-27)

*all team stats through 11/24


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