Football: San Jose State-Hawaii preview

Forget the monstrous point spread -- is it 26 or 29 points now? -- because the San Jose State offense … it could be plain scary.

Warrior D weary of
San Jose trickery

By Kalani Wilhelm
Special to RSN
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2002

It is only fitting that on Halloween the University of Hawaii defense have tricks and disguises on their mind.  The film room of the Warrior defense has resembled a Halloween scary movie marathon filled with trickery and disguises courtesy of the San Jose State offense.

"They run more trick plays than all the teams we've played (combined)," defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa said

Among all the shifts and movements by the offense Lempa and the Warriors top ranked secondary is quick to note that getting ready for the Spartan offense has been more than an average week of preparation. Lempa said it has been a bit "scary."

"They almost run a different offense each game," Lempa said. "We can't prepare for everything. We just need to mentally aware of what they may do."

The people responsible for the strange offensive looks are Spartan co-offensive coordinators Norman Joseph and Charlie Roche, directing the attack is quarterback Scott Rislov. Lempa said the Spartan receiving core of Charles Pauley, Jamall Broussard, Kendrick Starling and tight end Marcus Helfman "the best group collectively we've faced all season."

All three receivers have had 100-yard receiving games this season. Pauley, the Spartans' big play threat, also excels on special teams and leads the country in kick-off returner average.

San Jose's talented pass catchers aren't the only challenge. Lempa is also aware of speedy running back Lamar Ferguson. At 5-foot-5, the junior is the smallest player in Division I.

"He's probably the fastest we've seen," said Lempa. "We got to make sure he doesn't get into the open field because he will just run away from everybody."

San Jose State (3-5, 2-2) is currently on a three-game losing streak coming off last week's 45-8 shellacking at the hands of conference front runner Boise State.

The Spartan offense, which averages 26 points per game, had respectable showings against such football powers as Washington, Stanford Ohio State and Illinois.

"We just got to be really ready. We need to just watch a lot of film more than we've had to with any other team," said sophomore corner Abraham Eliminian. "Every week's a challenge. This is just another challenge for us."

Head coach June Jones knows that from hear on out any team they face has the ability to out score Hawaii. San Jose is no exception.

"They can move the ball," said Jones. "They've proven that they can do it against a top 10 team."


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