Sunday, December 23, 2012

San Jose Game By Game

And now the path is clear....on the horizon, for Thursday afternoon, is the Military Bowl, featuring the Falcons and the San Jose Spartans.  I will be devoting this space to examining the game that lies ahead.  We're playing a very good team...but that is the way it is supposed to be.  I look forward to seeing how BG performs against a quality team.  (For reference, I had them #18 in my final blogpoll ballot and the blogpoll had them #24.

The first step is to look at the Spartans and each game they gave played this season on their way to a 10-2 mark.

#10 in my blogpoll @ Stanford  17 - 20 (L)

They opened their season against Stanford, the team that today is waiting to play in the Rose Bowl on January 1 and who won the PAC-12.  Stanford led 17-3 at halftime, but the Spartan came out in the second half and scored two unanswered TDs in the third quarter to tie the game.  It stayed tied until early in the 4th when Stanford converted a fumble in a FG for a 20-17 lead.  From there, Stanford D's locked it down pretty tight and forced three straight 3 and outs and then a pick on the last possession to preserve the win.

The Spartans held Stanford to 4.2 yards per play and actually outgained them as well.  San Jose had 2 turnovers and Stanford did not have any.

UC Davis - 45 - 13 (W)

SJS cruised over IAA UC-Davis in their second game.  That's 503 yards of total offense for the Spartans.  De'Leon Eskridge had 130 yards and 3 TDs (8.1 avg) and David Fales had 277 passing yards.  The SJS forced 3 turnovers, 1 fumble and 6 sacks.  Travis Johnson had 4 sacks and 6 TFL.

UC Davis finished 4-7.

Colorado State - 40 - 20 (W)

The Spartans racked up 568 yards in beating the Colorado State Rams with a strong second half surge.  Colorado State finished 4-8.  Fales was 37 of 34 for 370 yards and 3 TDs, which is a pretty productive day by any measure.  Three receivers had 100 yard games and Noel Grigsby became the career receiving leader at the school.  Eskridge ran for 86 yards.  The defense had 5 sacks and an INT.

@San Diego State - 38 - 34 (W)

This was a huge road win over a quality football team.  Looks like this was a pretty exciting game.  The Spartans scored 17 points in the last 5 minutes of the game, including a TD pass with :50 left to seal the victory.  It was the first win for SJS in 60 years in San Diego.  The Spartans had only 367 yards but they also ran only 55 plays to get there.  Their offense was assisted by one special team TD as well.  The defense contributed 5 sacks by 5 different players.

@Navy 12 - 0 (W)

The Spartans went on the road and won a low-scoring game against Navy.  SJS did dominate the game with 36 minutes of possession time and 3 of their field goals came on red zone possessions, once from the 2.  Looking at the stats, you'd never guess this was a team that scored 12 points.  Meanwhile, the defense got 5 sacks on 18 Navy passing attempts and held the Navy option attack to 102 sack adjusted yards on 33 carries.  Navy finished 8-4.

Utah State 27 - 49 (L)

In their final loss of the regular season, SJ State ran into a buzzsaw on their own field and lost handily to Utah State.  As we know, the Aggies went on to finish 11-2 including a bowl win over Toledo and then sent their coach to Wisconsin.

I swear to god, I am not making this up. Utah State sacked Fales 13 freaking times for 102 yards.  They attempted 50 passes so with the sacks that's 63 attempts which puts the sack percentage at around 20%.  Dang.

Utah State had bolted out to a 28-3 but the Spartans staged a furious late 2nd Q rally to get to 28-20 at  the half, but the Aggies reasserted their dominance to pull away in the 2nd half.  This is really the first team to solve the SJS defense, allowing no sacks, rushing for 8.8 yards per carry and passing for 273 yards on 26 of 35 passing.  San Jose ran a ridiculous 92 plays in the game.

@ UTSA - 52 - 24 (W)

SJS got their mojo back with an easy win over Texas-San Antonio, which is making a transition between FCS and FBS.  The Spartans had 38 points at halftime, and scored all 52 with only 17 first downs.  UTSA had 6 turnovers for the game.  Fales had 279 passing yards with a struggling rushing game.  The Spartans also had a fumble recovery for a TD and a kickoff return TD.  UTSA was 8-4 with a hybrid schedule.

Texas State 31 - 20 (W)

Texas State was actually leading this one at the half (20-17) and then San Jose State scored 2 second half TDs to put the win away.  The defense threw a 4 punt, 2 INT shutout in the second half as well.  For the game, Texas State had only 10 first downs despite having 303 yards in total.  They turned the ball over twice and were 4-13 on third down.  For the first time in several weeks, SJS had success running the ball, with 5.1 yards per carry.  Fales threw for 376 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs.  Texas State was 4-8.

@Idaho  42 - 13 (W)

This is the only common opponent between BG and San Jose State.  BG beat Idaho 21-13 in the season's darker days, while the Spartans smoked the Vandals at the Kibbie Dome.  Idaho finished 1-11.  It wasn't a perfect performance for SJ State--they led 14-7 at halftime and had 4 turnovers for the game.  For the game, Fales ended up 27 of 39 for 328 yards.  The running game was pretty ineffective, however.  The defense whipped up 6 sacks in holding Idaho to 12 first downs and 288 yards.  Idaho was 4 of 18 on third down.

@ New Mexico State 47 - 7 (W)

As you would expect, SJS throttled NM State, who finished 1-11 and was among the worst FBS teams.  They led 37 to 0 at halftime and cruised home from there.

BYU - 20 - 14 (W)

In another big win, the Spartans beat BYU, who won their bowl game over SD State.  It was 20-7 until late in the 4th when BYU scored to make it this close.  BYU outgained the Spartans but had 3 turnovers.  Fales threw for 305 yards and 3 TDs, again with little support from his running game.  The defense had 4 sacks to go with the turnovers.

Louisiana Tech 52 - 43 (W)

In a wild shoot out to finish the season, San Jose State beat a very good La Tech team 52-43. BenĂ© Benwikere tied a school record with 3 INTS, and Eskridge had 217 rushing yards to help the cause.  Fales had 367 yards passing.  In total, SJ State had 610 yards and LA Tech had 541--483 of them through the air.  As La Tech rallied to try and catch up, they threw INTs on both of their last two possessions.

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