#100 San Jose State Football 2014 Preview

San Jose State Spartans

Overall Rank: #100
#8 Mountain West

San Jose State Team Page#100 San Jose State Football 2014 PreviewBuy San Jose State Football Tickets

This should be an interesting season for San Jose State. The expectations were pretty high last year during Coach Ron Caragher’s first year at the helm. The Spartans had a hot quarterback in David Fales and some potent weapons on offense. But in the end the team finished with a disappointing 6-6 overall record. And now many of those weapons, including Fales, are gone.

2013 Record: (6-6, 5-3)
2013 Bowl: None
Coach: Ron Caragher (6-6 at San Jose State, 50-28 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jimmie Dougherty
Defensive Coordinator: Greg Robinson

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Jarrod Lawson, RB, 788 yards
Passing: Billy Freeman, TE, 60 yards
Receiving: Tyler Winston, WR, 858 yards
Tackles: Christian Tago, LB, 90
Sacks: Eugene Taylor, DE, 4.0; Christian Tago, LB, 4.0
Interceptions: 6 tied with 1

Other Key Returnees: CB Forrest Hightower, K Austin Lopez

Key Losses: QB David Fales, WR Chandler Jones, LB Keith Smith, CB Bene Benwikere, WR Kyle Nunn, OL Nicholas Kaspar, OL Ryan Jones, P Harrison Waid

For two years in a row San Jose State has ranked sixth in the country in passing offense. Last season Fales threw for 4,189 yards and 33 touchdowns. Chandler Jones caught 79 of his passes for 1,356 yards and 15 scores. Those two are now gone, but the Spartans offense will still be relatively potent. Receiver Tyler Winston had a promising freshman campaign, catching 58 passes for 858 yards and five scores, and is ready to turn into the go-to-receiver. But of course the bigger question is at quarterback. Blake Jurich, a 6-4 senior, is the most experienced option. However, last season he threw just six passes for 22 yards. The Spartans will attempt to balance out their offense a little more with sophomore backs Jarrod Lawson and Thomas Tucker. Lawson rushed for 809 yards and four touchdowns and Tucker averaged 5.1 yards per carry on 66 attempts. Yet, running will not be as easy this year if the passing game falters.

The Spartan defense allowed over 35 points per game and their two best playmakers are gone. Cornerback Bene Benwikere picked off five passes during his senior season and was drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft and linebacker Keith Smith led the squad with 159 tackles. Those two are not going to be easy to replace. The good news is that seven starters are back and what was a young defense should be more consistent now. But for a team that averaged just a sack and a half and allowed 35.1 points per game, consistency may not be enough.

The Bottom Line:
Besides tough non-conference games at Auburn and Minnesota, the schedule is manageable. The Spartans once again miss Boise State and start conference play with home games against Nevada and UNLV. A couple wins there and this team can stay alive in the West Division race until November road trips to Fresno State, Utah State and San Diego State.

Projected Bowl: None

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 137.3 (97th in nation, 11th in conference)
Passing Offense: 355.9 (6, 2)
Total Offense: 493.3 (15, 2)
Scoring Offense: 32.4 (44, 5)
Rushing Defense: 211.7 (102, 6)
Pass Defense: 247.6 (86, 5)
Total Defense: 459.3 (103, 7)
Scoring Defense: 35.1 (103, 8)
Turnover Margin: -0.4 (94, 10)
Sacks:  1.50 (99, 10)
Sacks Allowed: 1.75 (48, 4)


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