Now that the depression from the loss to Minnesota has worn off, here are some more positive things about the Spartans to think about.
Though there is no doubt the loss of Noel Grigsby is a huge blow for the Spartans, the San Jose State wide receiver corp has refused to take a step back. Wide receiver Chandler Jones has 370 receiving yards so far this season, a little over half his 2012 yardage. In last week's game against Minnesota, he had 197 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 28.1 yards per catch! His longest reception was for 76 yards, taken to the house (the house of touchdowns). For his effort, he won the College Football Performance Award "Wide Receiver Performer of the Week".
Tight end Billy Freeman also got an honorable mention for "Tight End Performer of the Week" for his game. He grabbed two, just two, passes for 81 yards. A 39 yard pass completion and another for 42 yards. Billy Freeman looks like he is the replacement for Ryan Otten who graduated last year.
All hope is not lost for the Spartans, they haven't played a single in-conference game yet so their 1-2 record doesn't count for much. If play-calling improves for the San Jose State offense, they're easily up 14 more points in each of their last two games.
The home game against Utah State is coming up this Friday and the Spartans are scrambling to fix their more blatant mistakes. Tackling and endurance especially, as seen in today's practice. Jimmy Durkin from the San Jose Mercury News described practice as "old school":
It was an old school practice today for #SJSU. Defense doing up-downs after mistakes, running sideline sprints in between plays.— Jimmy Durkin (@Jimmy_Durkin) September 23, 2013
If San Jose State does a little more to keep San Jose in the game then they might have a chance at a shootout against Utah State. I am especially looking forward to Bene Benwikere being more of a factor in this game, as the last two have been against teams who emphasize the running attack.