In the first half of the game, it looked like it was going to be a shoot out. Passes were flying through the air, multiple 50 yard catch and runs and each Quarterback looked determined to carry their respective defective defenses to victory. San Jose discovered that the way to avoid red zone woes was to just avoid the redzone... and most of the other zones too. The two first half touchdowns for the Spartans were from 83 yard and 77 yard receptions. Colorado State had three passing touchdowns in the first half with a 50 yarder followed soon by a 35 yard one. Colorado State Ram Trent Matthews stopped David Fales from matching Garrett Grayson's 3 touchdowns by intercepting a pass in the Colorado State endzone.
After the second half, the Spartan defense made some adjustments and suddenly the game went from a shootout to a just a plain shooting. The Colorado State effective running game was largely abandoned. Garrett Grayson forced some throws, resulting in Spartans Jimmy Pruitt and Bene Benwikere (Ben-whick-er-ee) getting an interception. San Jose dominated the time of possession in the second half with a couple of 7 minute drives. They got into the very edge of the redzone, but Spartan running back Jarrod Lawson got them out of that dangerous territory with an 18 yard run.
Colorado State looked like it was going to be more in the game than this. What happened?
Going into half time, the score was 24-17 Rams. Maybe their defense wasn't so great at stopping +70 yard receptions, but their offense seemed to be steam rolling the Spartans with a mix of running back Kapri Bibbs and quarterback Grayson. Then, in the second half, Bibbs kinda was like Sasquatch. No, he didn't beat up a bunch of people eating beef jerky, he just was just really hard to find. He only got three touches in the second half, and despite producing on all three he didn't get anymore chances.
Colorado State gave up 431 yards passing and 177 yards rushing. Needless to say, Colorado Sate is probably going to be doing a lot of soul searching this week, with a high probability of yelling by coaches about tackling techniques. I don't even know what the defensive back coaches are going to yell, San Jose had three 60+ yard touchdown passes. Probably not nice things.
San Jose State terrified of redzone, throws three 60+ yard catch and runs to avoid it.
That's one way to avoid redzone woes I guess? David Fales was slinging the ball around like it was 2012 again. Completing 80% of his passes (28/35) for 431 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. Fales displayed a certain mobility this game, scrambling to keep plays alive (Like Jarrod Lawson's 83 yard catch and run) and running for first downs. Weird.
Speaking of running, every week seems to feature a different running back. This week, Tim Crawley was mostly kept in check and Jarrod Lawson was the breakout running back. Jarrod Lawson finished the game with 98 yards rushing and 104 yards receiving. Ron Caragher seems determined to maintain the running game and it's starting to pay off. The Spartans have been picking up some good yardage on the ground which definitely helped them in third down conversions this game (11-18). I can only assume these last two games are practice for when the Spartans face their fears and move the ball into the redzone in order to score points through smaller, less than 60 yard plays.
Spartan defense also stepped up, in more ways than one. Look at that interception above in the picture. JUST LOOK AT IT. Bene Benwikere just took it away from over Coffman's head and Coffman looks SO MAD. Leading tackler Travis Raciti decided he was bored of making all the tackles and at one point took a snap on offense and ran 5 yards for a first down.