San Jose State and the Elways

Jack Elway was the San Jose State football coach from 1979 to 1983. The Elway name is familiar to all Football fans as in John Elway, the great Stanford quarterback from 1979 to 1982 and the Denver Bronco quarterback that broke the Denver Super Bowl Jinx.<br><br>San Jose State and Stanford have played football since 1900, but the games I remember were the match ups between father and son in the 1981 and 1982 seasons.

Jack Elway led his underdog Big West teams to a 28 to 6 victory over the John Elway led Stanford team in 1981, then came back to win again 35 to 31 in 1982 in John's senior year.

After beating Stanford again in 1983, Stanford hired Jack Elway as their head coach. Jack coached as Stanford from 1984 to 1988, and then was hired by the Denver Broncos as their director of pro-scouting.

The year before Jack Elway became the head coach at San Jose State, Boise State got one of their biggest football victories in their short football history over the Spartans.

The 1978 season was a season of injuries for the Boise State Broncos. Season ending injuries to the top 2 Bronco wide receivers led the Broncos to gain most of their yards via the rushing game featuring Cedric Minter, Terry Zahner and David Hughes. Minter set an all time Boise State single season rushing record in 1978 when he rushed for 1526 yards. The one dimensional offense cost the Broncos Big Sky wins and the Broncos finished 4th in the Big Sky Conference.

The highlight of the 1978 Bronco football season were their three victories over Division 1A Big West teams. The Broncos opened their season with a 42 to 12 pounding of Fullerton State followed by a 19 to 13 victory over Long Beach State. The Long Beach coach was very angry after their loss to Boise State, and vowed that San Jose State would "beat up" on the Broncos when they played. The Long Beach Coach went on to say the no little division 1aa school could beat San Jose State. The honor of the Big West Conference was at stake. San Jose State was the preseason favorite to win the Big West Championship.

The Jim Criner led Broncos were primed for the mighty Spartans when they arrived in Boise. Spurred on by the quote from the Long Beach coach, the Broncos shut down the mighty Spartan offense. The opportunistic Bronco offense rose to the occasion spurred on by the rushing of sophomores Cedric Minter and Terry Zahner. The Broncos came away with a relatively easy win, 30 to 15 over the Spartans.

By the time the Broncos moved up to Division 1A in football and joined the Big West Conference, San Jose State had already made the jump to the Western Athletic Conference. They would not play again until 2001, after Boise State joined San Jose State in the WAC.

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