#61 San Jose State Football 2013 Preview

San Jose State Spartans

Overall Rank: #61
#4 Mountain West

San Jose State Team Page#61 San Jose State Football 2013 PreviewBuy San Jose State Football Tickets

The 2013 season is the start of a new era on multiple fronts for the San Jose State Spartan football program. New Head Coach Ron Caragher takes over for Mike MacIntyre who left for Colorado after last year’s 11 win season. The Spartans are also moving into a new conference, the Mountain West.  The Spartan program should continue to grow with the increased national profile the Mountain West Conference provides.

2012 Record: (11-2, 5-1 WAC)
2012 Bowl: Military Bowl vs. Bowling Green (W 29-20)
Coach: Ron Caragher (0-0 at San Jose State, 44-22 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jimmie Dougherty
Defensive Coordinator: Kenwick Thompson

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Tyler Ervin, RB, 226 yards
Passing: David Fales, QB, 4,193 yards
Receiving: Noel Grigsby, WR, 1,307 yards
Tackles: Keith Smith, LB, 97
Sacks: Travis Raciti, DT, 8.5
Interceptions: Bene Benwikere, CB, 7

Other Key Returnees: WR Chandler Jones, WR Jabari Carr, LB Christian Tago, K Austin Lopez, RB/KR Tyler Ervin, LB Vince Buhagiar, LG Ryan Jones, C Reuben Hasani, RG Nicholas Kaspar, RT Jon Meyer, S Damon Ogburn Jr.

Key Losses: RB De’Leon Eskridge, TE Ryan Otten, LT David Quessenberry, DE Travis Johnson, S Cullen Newsome

The Spartans return the most accurate quarterback in the FBS last season.  Senior David Fales completed 72.5 percent of his passes in 2012 and threw for 33 touchdowns to lead San Jose State to an 11 win season.  Senior receiver Noel Grigsby leads a talented core of receivers that will give Mountain West defensive coordinators plenty to think about in 2013.  Grigsby had 1,307 yards receiving as Fales’ go-to target.  Chandler Jones will again need to stretch the opposing defenses as he did last year scoring 11 touchdowns. Defensively, the Spartans will get after the quarterback as they had 42 sacks in 2012 led by defensive tackle Travis Raciti who had 8.5 of them. They also have a great ability to turn opposing offenses over.  Last season cornerback Bene Benwikere had seven interceptions and caused havoc all over the field by finding the football. In the kicking game, Austin Lopez was a perfect 17 for 17 in field goals; however, it will be critical for him to recover from his torn meniscus in his kicking leg that he suffered during spring ball.

The Spartans were not effective in rushing the football in 2012. They averaged a mere 113.5 yards per contest going up against WAC defenses. With the increased caliber of player they will see in the Mountain West Conference, they will have to be more balanced under the direction of first-year offensive coordinator Jimmie Dougherty. The Spartans are also going have to find guys to step up at tight end and fullback to make the pro-style attack that much more effective. Defensively, it will be critical for the Spartans to adjust to Kenwick Thompson’s new 3-4 scheme and several position changes. The question remains, can San Jose State generate team chemistry quickly so they can fire on all cylinders by the time conference play rolls around?  

The Bottom Line:
The Spartans have a tough out of conference schedule with trips to Stanford and Minnesota. However, this should prep them well for the new slate of opponents in the Mountain West Conference. If Fales can have another huge year in the passing game and the offense can develop even at least a threat of the run, the Spartans should be in a strong position to return to another bowl game in 2013. The culture and foundation of expecting to win was laid by former coach Mike MacIntyre and should continue with a lot of experienced personnel returning on offense. New head coach Ron Caragher will have plenty of weapons to work with as he looks to build upon the momentum that is in place at San Jose State. There will be some growing pains in a new league, but overall the Spartan program is on the right path and should be in position to consistently be a bowl team.

Projected Bowl:  New Mexico Bowl

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 113.46(106th in nation, 3th in conference)
Passing Offense: 332.69 (6, 2)
Total Offense: 446.15 (30, 3)
Scoring Offense: 34.77 (29, 3)
Rushing Defense: 122.23 (18, 2)
Pass Defense: 222.46 (46, 2)
Total Defense: 344.69 (24, 2)
Scoring Defense: 21.31 (24, 2)
Turnover Margin: 0.62 (27, 2)
Sacks: 3.23 (6, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 2.00 (66, 3)

Madness 2014 NFL Draft Rankings:
#11 David Fales


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