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San Jose State Preview 2006
San Jose State Spartans
Posted Aug 9, 2006

Head coach Dick Tomey had a decent first season getting the team to improve as the year went on with the emergence of a running game helping to lead the way to two straight wins to break a 15-game losing streak to D-I teams.

Offense | Defense | Depth Chart | Further Analysis

Now the program might have to start from scratch again, at least on defense. Considering San Jose State has come up with one winning season since 1992, any positive steps are great.

The team has to come up with wins over every mediocre team on the schedule. It took care of New Mexico State and Idaho, but lost to Utah State. San Jose State can't give away wins to anyone, and it has to figure out how to pull off more close games after losing three last season by a touchdown against Nevada, Utah State and Hawaii. Swing two of those the other way, and all of a sudden the Spartans are a solid 5-6 and the fan base will start to get into the team more. And that's the biggest hurdle to overcome.

Head coach: Dick Tomey
2nd year: 3-8
26th year overall: 161-118-7
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 20, Def. 18, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 18
Ten Best Spartan Players
1. OT Mat Cantu, Sr.
2. LB Matt Castelo, Jr.
3. RB Yonus Davis, Jr.
4. P Waylon Prather, Jr.
5. WR John Broussard, Sr.
6. SS Christopher Vedder, Sr.
7. PK Jared Strubeck, Soph.
8. FS Christopher Owens, Soph.
9. DE Jarron Gilbert, Soph.
10. OG Marcel Burrough, Sr. 

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 2-10

9/2 at Washington
9/9 Stanford
9/23 Cal Poly
9/30 San Diego State
10/14 Utah State
10/21 at Nevada
10/28 Louisiana Tech
11/4 at New Mexico State
11/11 Boise State
11/18 at Hawaii
11/25 at Idaho
12/2 Fresno State

2005 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 1-10
2005 Record: 3-8

Preview 2005 predicted wins

9/3 E. Washington W 35-24
9/10 at Illinois L 40-19
9/24 at San Diego St L 52-21
10/1 Nevada L 30-23
10/8 at Utah State L 24-17
10/15 at Boise State L 38-21
10/22 Hawaii L 45-38
10/29 at La Tech L 31-14
11/5 at Fresno State L 45-7
11/19 at N Mexico St W 27-10
11/26 Idaho W 26-18

Tomey has been a success everywhere he has been, and he has a lot of work to do to change the culture of San Jose State football to make it more competitive, more exciting, and more relevant. Unfortunately, the lowest attendance of the year for perennial road warriors were for the final two games, both wins, and only more victories are going to bring fans out to Spartan Stadium and get the excitement going.

In the WAC, you have to be prepared to get involved in some firefights, and the Spartans are better equipped. The offense should be appreciably better with one of the best lines the program has had in several years along with a solid backfield with several good options. The quarterback situation will work itself out and the receiving corps shouldn't be too bad after a little bit of time.

The defense, well, the offense should be better. Only two starters return from a D that did nothing against the pass but improved overall with a senior dominated group. The linebacking corps might be the smallest in America, and the line is going to be steamrolled over by decent power running teams. It's a quick group that will fly around the ball, just like Tomey likes, but it's going to need time to be halfway decent.

It'll be another transition year to 2007 when the team will be loaded with experience on both sides of the ball. Until then, any wins are good wins.

The Schedule: San Jose State has seven home games for the first time ever and no absolute killers on the non-conference slate. Washington, Stanford, Cal Poly and San Jose State is about as light as it can possibly get before jumping into WAC play with an absolute must-win against Utah State. Boise State and Fresno State have to come to San Jose, but road trips to Nevada and Hawaii might mean another major struggle to get out of the bottom four in the final conference standings.

Best Offensive Player: Senior OT Matt Cantu. His move from center to tackle in the middle of last year helped the ground game explode. Now he'll be one of the best all-around blockers in the WAC leading a strong line that has get the running game consistently moving.

Best Defensive Player: Junior LB Matt Castelo. He might be woefully undersized for a middle linebacker at 5-10 and 210 pounds, but he's the WAC's leading returning tackler and one of the few returning starters to the defense. He'll have to be all over the field cleaning up messes until the rest of the linebacking corps gets a little experienced.

Key player to a successful season: Junior QBs Sean Flynn and Adam Tafralis. Redshirt freshman Chad Bozzo is also in the mix. The quarterbacks have to be much, much sharper at keeping the offense moving and have to be far more accurate on third downs. The defense is going to give up 30+ points a game way too often, and the quarterbacks have to keep pace.

The season will be a success if ... the Spartans win six games. It'll take a few upsets and at least two roads wins, which is harder than it sounds without an away victory since 2003. There can't be any slip ups against teams like Utah State and Cal Poly and wins at New Mexico State and Idaho are a must.

Key game: Oct. 28 vs. Louisiana Tech. Beating Utah State at home won't raise any eyebrows, but a stunner over Louisiana Tech would get the Spartans in the WAC race early on going into a winnable game at New Mexico State followed up with a home showdown with Boise State.

2005 Fun Stats: 
- First half scoring: Opponents 228 - San Jose State 125
- Third down conversions: Opponents 81 for 179 (45%) - San Jose State 47 for 167 (28%)
- Sacks: San Jose State: 27 for 185 yards - Opponents 14 for 86 yards

The Last Time San Jose State…
…played in a bowl game…1990 (California Bowl vs. Central Michigan)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…2003 (Grambling)
…was shutout…1999 (TCU)
…scored 50 points…2004 (Rice)
…went undefeated…1939
…won a conference title…1990 (Big West)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2003 (Scott Rislov)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2000 (Deonce Whitaker)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2001 (Edell Sheperd)
…had a first-round draft choice…1983 (DB Gill Byrd)

Related Stories
San Jose State Preview 2006 - Offense
 -by  Aug 9, 2006
San Jose State Preview 2006 Further Analysis
 -by  Aug 9, 2006
San Jose State Preview 2006 - Depth Chart
 -by  Aug 9, 2006

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