Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Farewell to 2016: San Jose State Spartans

2016 was a season of recurrent dominance on one side (San Diego State), and a resurgence on the other (Wyoming). The strength of the MWC was once again on the Mountain Division side of the league, as both Boise State and Air Force finished with 10 wins after bowl season was over with, and New Mexico finished with 9 wins. Wyoming, finished with 8 after being one of the worst programs in America in recent seasons. The Cowboys made it to the MWC title game after holding off charges from both Boise State and New Mexico, and while the season could have finished better for the Cowboys, the surge in success in Laramie had to be recognized as a huge move forward for Craig Bohl and his Cowboy program. In the West, Hawaii showed signs of life under Nick Rolovich, but the rest of the division, not including San Diego State, tanked once again, that side of the league will have 3 new head coaches in 2017. Here is a look back at the season that was in 2016.

San Jose State Spartans
4-8 (3-5)

2016 Schedule
Lost to Tulsa 45-10
Beat Portland State 66-35
Lost to Utah 34-17
Lost to Iowa State 44-10
Lost to New Mexico 48-41
Lost to Hawaii 34-17
Beat Nevada 14-10
Lost to San Diego State 42-3
Beat UNLV 30-24
Lost to Boise State 45-31
Lost to Air Force 41-38
Beat Fresno State 16-14

MVP Offense: QB Kenny Potter
Potter was a decent, not great, but decent player on a very sub par offense in 2016, as the Spartans only averaged 24.4 points per game. Potter passed for 2263 yards in 11 games, and passed for 16 scores to 10 picks, which is not a great ratio on any day. Potter did, however, add additional value as a runner, where he added 330 yards rushing with a decent 7 TDs on the ground. He missed the Iowa State game, which was a 44-10 loss. Potter had his best output against Air Force in a 3 point loss, where he passed for 340 yards and 2 scores. He also breached the 300 yard mark with 314 yard, 3 TD performance in a loss to New Mexico. If not for Potter, things could have been much worse for the 4 win Spartans. 
MVP Defense: LB Frank Ginda, DB Andre Chachere
Despite allowing 34.7 points per game, the defense bragged 2 stars who held their own. Frank Ginda was the star up front at LB. He led the team with 99 tackles (8.25 per game), TLFs (11.5), and finished second on the team with 6.5 sacks. He also added 2 forced fumbles. 
Chachere was a star in the secondary, as he finished with 14 PBUs and 2 forced fumbles, while adding 4 INTs to lead the football team. 
Others of Note
Potter actually led the team in carries, with only one RB carrying more than 100 times on the season (Deontae Cooper, 112-484-2). As a unit, the Spartans actually managed 155 yards rushing per game. 
Tim Crawley finished with 55 receptions for 648 yards and 3 scores, but only two other Spartan receivers (Justin Holmes, Tre Hartley) finished with over 20 catches on the season. 
Senior LB Christian Tago missed the first 3 games before rallying to average 8.11 tackles per game in 9 games. 
Isaiah Irving and Nick Oreglia, both seniors on the D line, broke through with 11 TFLs each. Irving led the team with 7 sacks.
Freshman DB Trevon Bierria looked promising, as he broke up 6 passes on the season. 
Sophomore PK Bryce Crawford had an amazing season for the Spartans, as he connected on 16/18 FG tries.
Punter Michael Carrizosa averaged 44.31 yards per punt in a solid effort on his junior season. 
Best Win: None
The Spartans failed to beat a team with a winning record in 2016. Portland State was their best win, a 31 point pounding over an FCS opponent that was not a playoff team.  Worst Loss: Iowa State 44-10
Iowa State is in serious rebuilding mode, but even though the Cyclones showed signs of life, this loss was amplified by the fact that Kenny Potter missed the game, which amplified what life could be without him in 2017. 2017 Non Conference Schedule: 8/26 USF, 8/31 Cal Poly, 9/9 at Texas, 9/16 at Utah, 10/28 at BYU
San Jose State adds a 5th non con game as they play at Hawaii in 2017. There may not be one of these games that I would currently favor the Spartans in, and that includes the game against FCS member Cal Poly. Next season could be worse than this one was. 

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