Redemption. It's not just about turning in a completed stamp book or getting a certain grade for which you've worked for a semester. Sometimes it's a couple of years in coming, and it serves as a measuring stick of sorts for where your program is headed. Two years ago, SJSU lost to UCD on its way to a 1-12 record; here now was an opportunity for redemption for that loss, and the Spartans finally took it to heart in crushing the Aggies by a 45-13 score.
With that said, let's go on to the GB&U...
Travis Johnson = BEAST. Four sacks (really he had five, but it was counted as a "team" sack on the snap that got past Wright) along with seven tackles for loss.
DeLeon Eskridge. Just another day at the office for the young man, going 16 carries for 130 yards, and 3 TD's.
SJSU Offense. Once they woke the frak up (see below), they put up seven straight scoring drives. This is what you do to a FCS opponent in your own house.
Students. The 5:00 p.m. start seems to agree with the kids. To be sure, it seemed to agree with the girls (yowza!!!). More students at games means more fun for everyone. There remains room for improvement, but the kids are really beginning to come out.
Box Office Maffs. According to the box office geniuses, there was only 7462 people at the game last night; if so, then the stadium has shrunk - a more accurate crowd size from last night is somewhere from 17K to 20K. Not great, but certainly not 7500. Many reports indicated the ticket scanners were not working properly, to the point that ticket-takers were actually tearing the stubs. Hopefully this can be rectified and an updated attendance figure can be submitted.
Stadium Intangibles. Perhaps it's just me, but when you are having a night game, it's a pretty good plan to make sure that the lights in your bathrooms are working (which wasn't the case on the northwest side). It was also apparent that the sound guys were having trouble with the speaker volume, and trying to get it balanced just right without ripping peoples' ears off on the east side or creating an echo chamber on the west - these are things that can be worked on before the actual game. And for the love of Dog, could somebody please put some screens in the concession stands that are hooked into the 'Tron feed?
SJSU's first quarter. Bluntly put, SJSU got pushed around in the first quarter. It began with a bad kickoff in which the kicker, Harrison Waid, had to make a TD-saving tackle. Didn't matter, though, as UCD was in the end zone two plays later. SJSU had a total of 10 plays for 24 yards, two dropped balls, one first-down run wiped out by a personal foul penalty, and a defense that was over-reacting to Wright's playaction fakes. SJSU cannot afford to keep waiting until 5 minutes left in the second to wake up.
SJSU kickoff coverage. As mentioned above, Harrison Waid had himself a busy day, and it wasn't just with punting or actual kickoffs, in that he had to make three tackles, two of which directly saved touchdowns. When your kicker is your leading tackler on kickoff coverage, something is bad wrong.
Yellow Gold jerseys. It's a matter of taste, I know, but those yellow gold jerseys could only be described in two words: Butt. Ugly. Go back to the blue, boys. It's a better look on TV, better look on still photos, and a better look on the fanbase.
Q: Coach, how did you guys keep such a level of intensity, since that interception that you said was the turning point, up until what is the entirety of the game?
A: The kids just realized that we need to finish teams off, and we didn’t do that all the time last year. I think that’s the next phase that we’re going to, is to be able to finish off. And when you do that, you don’t have those heartbreaking losses by one point at the end of the game, and that’s what we have to be able to do. There will be games where people will come back, or they’ll get on us and we’ll be able to come back because we’re in phenomenal shape and we have a ‘never say die’ attitude, but I think we’re more mature.
Overall: Outside of the first quarter and a big chunk of the second, there was very little to complain about with this game. SJSU came out and (finally) took care of business against an FCS opponent, and did so in a convincing fashion. This is the first time that SJSU has passed the 40-point mark in MacIntyre's tenure, and this is also by far the largest margin of victory his teams have enjoyed thus far.
Next up is Colorado State, who just lost at home to defending FCS champion North Dakota State. The Rammies are going to be very grumpy when they set foot in San Jose, and SJSU needs to be ready to play FOUR QUARTERS of football next weekend.