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2013 San Jose State
Schedule and Odds
San Jose State has a lot to deal with this year. It will be their first year playing in the Mountain West Conference and will be doing so with a slew of new coaches. Ron Caragher takes over at head coach where he held the same job at San Diego. After reaching 11 wins last season, a lot of people are expecting good things from the Spartans as they return plenty of talent from last year's roster.
There's no returning player that's more important than quarterback David Fales who could set himself up as a first-round NFL Draft pick if all goes well this season. Fales first came onto the scene two years ago after leading the junior college ranks in a number of categories. He completed a ridiculous 72.5 percent of his passes in his first season with SJSU and will be getting back his three top receivers. WR Noel Grigsby led the way with 82 grabs for 1,307 yards and nine TDs. The question for the SJSU offense will be in the running game where De'Leon Eskridge is gone. With new coordinator Jimmie Dougherty installing more of a pro-style attack, new running back Tyler Ervin will need to be able to handle the load. He's a smaller back that was only used as a change-of-pace last season. The line returns four starters so if they can figure out the rushing game, the Spartans offense could be better this year than in 2012.
Defensively, San Jose State's numbers were good last year, but playing in a new conference will change that. Two games that stand out are when they gave up 34 points to San Diego State and 49 to Utah State. New coordinator Kenwick Thompson brings in a 3-4 defense which may take some time to transition to. They return a good core of players that should help with that. Last year, Travis Raciti recorded 8.5 sacks and Bené Benwikere had seven interceptions. Leading tacklers are also back at the linebacker spot in Keith Smith and Vince Buhagiar.
2013 San Jose State Football Schedule
Aug. 29 vs. Sacramento State
Sept. 7 at Stanford
Sept. 21 at Minnesota
Sept. 27 vs. Utah State
Oct. 5 at Hawaii
Oct. 12 at Colorado State
Oct. 26 vs. Wyoming
Nov. 2 at UNLV
Nov. 9 vs. San Diego State
Nov. 16 at Nevada
Nov. 22 vs. Navy
Nov. 29 vs. Fresno State
Not only is San Jose State's conference schedule harder, but they also get two road games in non-conference play at Stanford and Minnesota. If they can beat the Gophers right before MWC play starts, it would be a nice confidence booster.
They'll open conference play up with Utah State who also comes over from the WAC. The Aggies came away with a 49-27 win last year at Spartan Stadium. The good news for SJSU is that three of their road games are against three of the worst teams in the MWC and they don't even have to play Boise State. The bad news is that their last three MWC games come against their toughest competition in the West division. Playing San Diego State and Fresno State at home is definitely a plus, though.
If the Spartans can reach balance on the offensive end, it will be much easier for Fales to have another great year. If not, defenses will be able to prey on their passing game. This is a team that could fight for the conference championship game and could very well have another double-digit win season.
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