In case my username doesn't tip you off to the fact that I'm a San Jose Spartan fan, let me reiterate that I am a Spartan fan. I want to point this out because I wish to state that I'm feel like I'm one of the whiniest Spartan fans out there. I found myself nitpicking the Spartans to death despite them taking back the lead from Hawaii in the second quarter and holding it the rest of the game.
Hawaii is progressing offensively, but is Schroeder the answer at quarterback?
Hawaii started fast in the 1st quarter, something they had been struggling to do their first 4 games. They put up 14 points in the first quarter, 8 more points than the 1st quarter in their previous 4 games combined! Hawaii's quarterback Schroeder passed for 342 yards and three touchdowns, but that performance was marred by three interceptions.
Interceptions aside, Schroeder threw several very catchable balls down-field that were just barely broken up by Spartan defenders or just dropped by Warrior receivers. Schroeder kept Hawaii in the game late into the 4th quarter and if the defense can match his progress then things may be looking up for the Hawaii Warriors.
Hawaii's wide receivers, despite some drops, were giving the Spartan secondary fits. Vasquez Haynes and Scott Harding in particular were making spectacular plays and chewing up the field in 20 yard chunks. Harding in particular got banged up pretty bad on at least two plays but played through it. That guy is tough!
Spartan run defense picking up?
Hawaii running back Steven Lakalaka shlaka'd the Spartan defense on occasion, on one play breaking off 29 yards, but the Spartans were mostly able to contain Hawaii's run game, holding Hawaii to just 87 rushing yards. Spartan Christian Tago was all over the field causing havoc for the running back and the quarterback. He even managed to nab an interception and had a nice return on it.
Spartan's running game confuses pretty much everyone.
I've stuck up for the Spartan running game (sort of, kinda), if only because it keeps Fales on his feet. A lot of people have been faulting Ron Caragher for sticking with it, but perhaps tonight he was vindicated. The Spartans ran for 216 yards against the Warriors divided between three different running backs. With Jason Simpson and Osirus Burke missing practice time due to nagging injuries, it was time for the freshest running attack in the Mountain West. ... Freshest in the sense that A. they were pretty cool and B. Tim Crawley and Jarrod Lawson are red-shirt freshmen, Thomas Tucker is a true freshman. Tim Crawley gained 97 yards, breaking tackles and making nice gains on the edges. Jarrod Lawson was displaying some nice vision, cutting up field and breaking tackles for 5-6 yard gain, averaging 7.4 yards a carry.
David Fales struggling and it's not all the running plays called.
Ugh. ONLY 318 yards and three touchdowns? WE WANT (David) CARR. WE WANT (David) CARR. But seriously, David Fales was struggling against the Hawaii Warriors. Not only did the Hawaii Warrior secondary make some great plays on the ball, getting two interceptions off of Fales, but he was also having a hard time with short passes. I don't know if it's a timing issue or whether it's an issue of missing Noel Grigsby and Jabari Carr, but he was just not connecting with receivers sometimes, which really hurt on 3rd downs. San Jose only converted 6 of 19 3rd downs (incidentally, Hawaii also only converted 6 of 19 3rd downs).
He did possibly find a new favorite receiver though Tyler Winston was his favorite target today, with 6 receptions and 159 receiving yards. He's another true freshman on an offense that's getting younger by the minute.
And finally, penalties.
San Jose State finally was nowhere near the 100 yard mark on penalties. YAY!