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CFN Take: SJSU Ruins Fresno State's Run

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 29, 2013


2013 San Jose State Spartans ... Head Coach: Ron Caragher


San Jose State Spartans

2013 Record: 6-6
8/29 Sacramento St W 24-0
9/7 at Stanford L 34-13
9/14 OPEN DATE
9/21 at Minnesota L 43-24
9/27 Utah State L 40-12
10/5 at Hawaii W 34-24
10/12 at Colorado St W 34-27
10/19 OPEN DATE
10/26 Wyoming W 51-44
11/2 at UNLV W 34-24
11/9 SDSU L 34-30
11/16 at Nevada L 38-16
11/22 Navy L 38-32 3OT
11/29 Fresno State W 62-52
at San Jose State 62, Fresno State 52
Basically … Fresno State’s BCS bowl dreams were dashed, and San Jose State became bowl eligible, as David Fales won the duel of big-time quarterbacks throwing for 547 yards and six touchdowns with three to Chandler Jones and two to Kyle Nunn, but Carr was on fire, too, throwing for six scores with three to Davante Adams. It was a seesaw game up until late in the third when the Spartans, helped by the lone interception of the game coming from Keith Smith, took control with two Austin Lopez field goals and a Fales sneak for a score on the way to a 62-44 lead.
- San Jose State QB David Fales completed 37-of-45 passes for 547 yards and six scores, and he ran for 33 yards and a touchdown. Fresno State QB David Carr completed 38-of-50 passes for 519 yards and six touchdowns with a pick.
- Fresno State WR Davante Adams caught 13 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns. Isaiah Burse caught ten balls for 96 yards and a touchdown.
- San Jose State WR Tyler Winston caught ten passes for 164 yards and a score, and Kyle Nunn caught ten passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Chandler Jones caught eight balls for 146 yards and three scores.
- Time of possession: San Jose State 39:23 – Fresno State 20:37

Navy 38, at San Jose State 32 3OT
Basically … Keenan Reynolds ran for seven touchdowns, with his final one from 25 yards out in the third overtime after David Fales threw a pick in the end zone on San Jose State’s possession. The Spartans needed a minor miracle just to get to overtime, allowing Reynolds to run for a 20-yard score with just over two minutes to play and with no timeouts remaining, and then getting a two-yard touchdown catch from Kyle Nunn on the last play of regulation followed up by the two-point conversion. In overtime, Nunn caught a ten-yard touchdown pass, but Reynolds ran for a 25-yard score. Reynolds’ sixth touchdown run was answered by a five-yard touchdown run to force a third overtime. Fales finished with five touchdown passes on the day.
- Navy QB Keenan Reynolds completed 4-of-6 passes for 46 yards and a score and he ran 36 times for 240 yards and seven touchdowns.
- San Jose State QB David Fales completed 42-of-56 passes for 440 yards and five touchdowns with a pick
- San Jose State RB Thomas Tucker caught nine passes for 107 yards and score, and ran 11 times for 62 yards and a touchdown. Chandler Jones caught seven passes for 101 yards and a touchdown.
- Nay outgained San Jose State 432 yards to 160 on the ground.

Navy 38, at San Jose State 32
Basically … Keenan Reynolds ran for seven touchdowns, with his final one from 25 yards out in the third overtime after David Fales threw a pick in the end zone on San Jose State’s possession. The Spartans needed a minor miracle just to get to overtime, allowing Reynolds to run for a 20-yard score with just over two minutes to play and with no timeouts remaining, and then getting a two-yard touchdown catch from Kyle Nunn on the last play of regulation followed up by the two-point conversion. In overtime, Nunn caught a ten-yard touchdown pass, but Reynolds ran for a 25-yard score. Reynolds’ sixth touchdown run was answered by a five-yard touchdown run to force a third overtime. Fales finished with five touchdown passes on the day.
- Navy QB Keenan Reynolds completed 4-of-6 passes for 46 yards and a score and he ran 36 times for 240 yards and seven touchdowns.
- San Jose State QB David Fales completed 42-of-56 passes for 440 yards and five touchdowns with a pick
- San Jose State RB Thomas Tucker caught nine passes for 107 yards and score, and ran 11 times for 62 yards and a touchdown. Chandler Jones caught seven passes for 101 yards and a touchdown.
- Nay outgained San Jose State 432 yards to 160 on the ground.

at Nevada 38, San Jose State 16
Basically … Nevada broke open a tight game after halftime with 17 unanswered points with Don Jackson running for a 39-yard score and cody Fajardo running for a 17-yard touchdown. San Jose State settled for too many field goals, getting three from Austin Lopez from 47, 44 and 50 yards out, and David Fales found Billy Freeman for a five-yard score, but Kendall Brock ran for two short touchdowns and Brandon Wimberly caught a two-yard touchdown pass on the way to a 21-16 halftime lead.
- Nevada QB Cody Fajardo completed 20-of-27 passes for 171 yards and a score, and he led the team with 104 rushing yards and a score on 14 carries.
- San Jose State QB David Fales completed 28-of-43 passes for 326 yards and a score.
- Nevada outgained San Jose State 311 rushing yards to 58.
- Nevada WR Brandon Wimberly caught 11 passes for 93 yards and a score.

San Diego State 34, at San Jose State 30
Basically … Down 23-12 going into the fourth quarter, San Diego State scored 22 points with Donnell Pumphrey running for a two-yard score and Adam Roberts added a one-yarder, but it was Adam Muema’s 12-yard touchdown run, his second score of the day, that pulled the Aztecs ahead for good. San Jose State got three touchdown passes from David Fales including two to Tim Crawley from 13 and 12 yards out along with a 40-yarder to Chandler Jones. There was still plenty of time for the Spartans to come back, but Fales was picked off by J.J. Whittaker on fourth down.
- San Diego State RB Adam Muema ran 21 times for 113 yards and two scores.
- San Jose State QB David Fales completed 27-of-48 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns with two picks.
- San Jose State WR Chandler Jones caught 11 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown.
- San Diego State QB Quinn Kaehler completed 18-of-31 passes for 235 yards and two scores with a pick.

San Jose State 34, at UNLV 24, Nov. 2
Basically … San Jose State jumped out to a 24-3 lead over UNLV and then had to fight off a furious second-half rally from the Rebels. The Spartans had 312 yards on the ground, a departure from their normal pass-heavy attack. Jarrod Lawson led the way in the first half with more than 120 rushing yards for San Jose State.
- Lawson finished with 187 yards on the ground and a score on 28 carries.
- UNLV QB Caleb Herring threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns, and added 55 yards and a score on the ground, but threw two costly picks.
- San Jose State was outgained 295-161 yards in the second half.
- UNLV scored 10 points off of its two takeaways compared to the 14 San Jose State scored off its two takeaways.

San Jose State 51, at Wyoming 44
Basically … David Fales capped off a phenomenal day with a one-yard touchdown run with just eight seconds to play to give San Jose State a wild win. Wyoming came up with 642 yards of total offense led by Shaun Wick, who ran for 234 yards with a 15-yard score, and Brett Smith threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns, but Fales helped the Spartans overcome a 30-14 deficit in the third quarter and got hot. With 482 yards through the air and five scores, Fales found Chandler Jones for three scores including a 76-yarder in the second and a 30-yard play in the fourth. Following a one-yard Tedder Easton run to help Wyoming tie it up at 44, San Jose State went 65 yards in 12 plays and just over five minutes to pull out the win.

San Jose State 34, at Colorado State 27
Basically … David Fales bombed away for 431 yards with three very, very long touchdown passes, finding Jarrod Lawson for an 83-yard play in the first, Chandler Jones for a 77-yard touchdown in the second, and the game-winner to Tyler Winston from 62 yards out with less than six minutes to play in the game. Colorado State kept the pace in the first half with three Garrett Grayson touchdown passes with two to Kivon Cartwright from 50 and 35 yards out, but the offense only managed a 47-yard Jared Roberts field goal in the fourth.
- All of a sudden, San Jose State got the win that might really jumpstart the season. The Hawaii win was fine, but going 2-1 in Mountain West play with a second straight road win was a big deal, and now the potential is there to start dreaming of a bowl bid. David Fales was fantastic with 341 yards and three scores, but his receivers helped the cause with Tyler Winston catching eight passes for 151 yards and a score, and Jarrod Lawson catching three balls for 104 yards and a score.
- What happened to the secondary? San Jose State bombs away on everyone, but it was able to hit on some massive deep balls to change around the game. The Ram offense fell flat in the second half, and even though Garrett Grayson threw for 310 yards and three scores, and he spread the ball around well, drive after drive stalled. San Jose State converted on 11-of-18 third down chances, while CSU hit on 3-of-10 tries.

San Jose State 37, at Hawaii 27
Basically … David Fales threw three touchdown passes including a 61-yarder to Chandler Jones, and Austin Lopez nailed three field goals as San Jose State took a 34-14 lead in the third quarter and hung on late. Hawaii got the passing attack going with Sean Schroeder throwing three touchdown passes including a 61-yarder to Chandler Jones and a 50-yard play to Chris Gant late, but the game didn’t get closer than ten points after halftime.
- David Fales still might not be back to his old form, and he only completed 16-of-35 passes with two picks, but he drives the ball down the field as well as anyone in the country when he gets his feet set and has time to work. The emergence of Tyler Winston to help the receiving corps has been a huge plus, catching six passes for 159 yards and a score.
- The Hawaii passing game was solid, and despite the three interceptions, it got things moving – it’s a step in the progression. The mistakes were costly, but Sean Schroeder’s 342 yards and three touchdowns were enough to keep the team alive. However, the Warriors couldn’t keep up the pace in the second half.
- The Warrior defensive front might have made several plays in the backfield, and the two sacks weren’t bad, generating decent pressure on Fales, but there were way too many problems against the run. San Jose State doesn’t pound the ball all that well, but it was effective when it had to be.
- The Spartan corners might have had a few issues coming up with stops, but Dasheon Frierson won more than his share of battles with several broken up passes with some good open field stops.

Utah State 40, at San Jose State 12
Basically … Utah State broke the game wide open with two Chuckie Keeton touchdown passes in the first quarter and three of Nick Diaz’s four field goals in the second. San Jose State could only manage two Austin Lopez field goals until Jason Simpson ran for a score late in the third, but by that time, Keeton had already put the game away.
- David Fales might be the better pro prospect, but Chuckie Keeton had the stronger game completing 29-of-42 passes for 260 yards and three scores, and he ran for 52 yards and a touchdown.
- Fales wasn’t bad, doing what he could, but he threw two picks, and most of the 314 passing yards didn’t really go anywhere. There were a few big throws, but his receivers couldn’t break free. He had to force too many passes.
- Keith Smith continues to put up humongous numbers. The Spartan linebacker made 20 tackles with two tackles for loss. Travis Raciti did a decent job of generating a push in the interior with seven tackles and two sacks.
- Not everything went perfectly for the Aggies - committing nine penalties and losing guard kyle Whimpey to a knee injury - but San Jose State was flagged 11 times and turned it over four times. The Aggies and Keeton kept control of the game throughout, hanging on to the ball for almost 37 minutes. The defense was aggressive at getting behind the line – there wasn’t a San Jose State running game.

at Minnesota 43, San Jose State 24
Basically … Backup quarterback Mitch Leidner ran for four scores and Minnesota ran for 353 yards, but it was a fight for a half. San Jose State got two big plays from David Fales in the first half, connecting with Chandler Jones for scores of 76 and 32 yards out, and the two hooked up for a late 28-yard touchdown, but it was all gophers in the second half with 24 straight points on two one-yard runs from Leidner and another from David Cobb.
- While Philip Nelson is Minnesota’s most dangerous all-around quarterback option, but Mitch Leidner might be too good to keep off the field. With his excellent size and tremendous speed, he took off for big, big yards, running for 151 with four scores. David Cobb added 125 yards and two touchdowns on the ground; the Gopher offensive front was terrific. However, Leidner’s passing leaves way too much to be desired, completing 5-of-12 passes for 71 yards.
- Without top receiver Noel Grigsby to throw to, David Fales still had a decent day hitting 22-of-35 passes for 439 yards and three touchdowns. He bombed and bombed some more, throwing some beautiful balls and pressing down the field all game long, but he also gave up two picks. His biggest problem was the run defense – the Spartans couldn’t get off the field.
- Minnesota wants to go with the ground-and-pound, and it showed, hanging on to the ball for over 41 minutes. The Gophers were in several third-and-short situations.
- While it was hardly a plus to be on the field so much that he had so many opportunities, San Jose State tackling-machine linebacker Keith Smith did what he could, making 21 tackles. The problem was the lack of penetration. The Spartans didn’t to the plays before they could get started, and the Gophers runners had too much room to move.

at Stanford 34, San Jose State 13, Sept. 7
Basically … Stanford took control early with a 17-3 lead helped by a 40-yard Devon Cajuste touchdown catch and a 16-yard Tyler Gaffney scoring run. San Jose State hung around, and pulled within 14 late in the third on a 13-yard Noel Grigsby catch, but the Cardinal pulled away in the fourth on Gaffney’s second short scoring run.
- David Fales was better. After a mediocre performance in the opener, hitting just 50% of his passes, he kept everything short and underneath on the way to a 29-of-43 day for 216 yards and a score. There wasn’t any running game to help him out; Stanford stuffed everything.
- The key to the game was third down. Stanford didn’t dominate the time of possession, but it managed to convert just about every key play, making good on 12-of-15 chances. San Jose State only converted 3-of-12 tries, but Fales was better on fourth downs converting 3-of-4.
- Tyler Gaffney appears ready to be able to handle the load. He only ran 20 times for 104 yards and two touchdowns, and he was effective working behind the terrific Cardinal line.
- Keith Smith has started out the season on fire. The San Jose State veteran linebacker made 12 tackles with a tackle for loss. He was all over the field for the second game in a row.

at San Jose State 24, Sacramento State 0
Basically … The Spartan defense pitched a shutout coming up with two turnovers, while the offense came got up early and coasted with two David Fales touchdown passes and a 55-yard Jason Simpson touchdown run.
- Fales had a lousy day – for him. The normally accurate passer completed just half of his throws for 225 yards and two scores, but he was helped out by a big day from the ground game and Jason Simpson, who ran 21 times for 135 yards and a score.
- Keith Smith had an all-star day making 18 tackles and stuffing the run time and again, but it was Bene Benwikere who turned into the big difference-maker with a pick, three broken up passes and five tackles.
- Who’s going to step up as the new star pass rusher? Eugene Taylor did his part with two sacks and five tackles.

Spring Analysis

Why To Be Excited The cupboard isn’t bare for new just because Mike MacIntyre took off to take the Colorado head coaching job. 16 starters are back for Ron Caragher, led by the ultra-accurate David Fales, who finished third in the nation in passing efficiency and top target Noel Grigsby. The offensive line gets back four senior starters, while on the other side the linebacking corps should be fantastic with Keith Smith and Vince Buhagiar a great 1-2 punch. Also returning is the perfect Austin Lopez, who nailed all 17 of his field goal attempts.

Why To Be Grouchy Travis Johnson might have been hit-or-miss, but he was also one of the nation’s best pass rushers. The former defensive end will work at outside linebacker in the NFL, while tight end Ryan Otten will also be earning a fat paycheck next year after a decent all-around season as one of Fales’ outlet targets. The secondary takes one of the biggest hits losing three starters, but the lone returner, corner Bene Benkwikere, is an interception machine.

What Needs Working On It’s time to get more out of the running game. Fales was too good and too effective to not use on a consistent basis, but it would be a plus to get the running backs more involved. The problem is the personnel with De’Leon Eskridge, Ina Lianina and Ray Rodriguez all gone. Fortunately, second-leading rusher Tyler Ervin is back, but he only ran for 205 yards and a score. Finding a new punt returner, and getting a lot more production, will also be a priority after losing Ronnie Yell.

Team Concerns For 2013: The Spartans have to go on without head coach Mike MacIntyre, who's off to Colorado, but there's enough talent returning to hope for a decent year. However, the defensive front has some major replacements to find on the end with Travis Johnson and David Tuitipou gone, and finding three new starters in the secondary will be a concern. The offense will revolve around the passing game, but not having running back De'Leon Eskridge to count on to run the ball will be a concern.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. It's a new era for the Spartans, but there are already a slew of decent prospects in place - there isn't much of a need to load up for right now. However, the defensive line is getting some reinforcements with JUCO transfer Garrett Guanella a pass rushing end and Travis Miller and Nate Velichko two big bodies for the interior. The receiving corps is getting some help with Delvon Hardaway and Thomas Tucker, while Brandon Monroe could become an early factor at running back.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 95. That Class Was Heavy On ... Tight ends. Things are starting to look up for San Jose State with a strong team returning, head coach Mike MacIntyre getting an extension, and a winning season and a WAC title both reasonable goals. Now it’s time to look forward, and for MacIntyre to run his offense like he wants to, he needs good pass catching tight ends to take over once Ryan Otten leaves. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 106. That Class Was Heavy On ... Joseph Gray. The Spartans loaded up last year, and now they need to find more playmakers. For the second year in a row, the defensive line gets the best overall players with 6-1, 305-pound Nathan Falo a possible anchor on the inside. However, the team needs more pop from the offense, and it needs smallish passing quarterback Joseph Gray to be the type of star who the rest of the program can build around. If ever one player can make a class, this might be it. It needs to be. No pressure, Joe.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 82. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. SJSU had one of the smallest classes in the country last year, and it made up for it by loading up this year for both sides of the ball. New coach Mike MacIntyre is a defensive head coach and he needed bodies up front. He got them, led by stud JUCO transfer Ah'Keem McKinney, who'll likely be penciled in as a starting tackle. JUCO transfers Andrew Moeaki and Ja'Rodd Watson also add some instant beef up front, while speed ends Sean Bacon, Marcus Howard, and Vince Buhagiar are for the future.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 97. That Class Was Heavy On ... 2010. With one of the smallest recruiting classes in the country, next year will be all about bringing in the bodies. There might not be many players coming in from this class, but there are some good ones with JUCO transfer Lamon Muldrow ready to be one of the main running backs right away, while the pitch-catch combination of Dasmen Stewart to James Orth looking to be rolling in a few years.



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