San Jose State football head coach Mike MacIntyre talked during today's press conference about what his Spartans can do to improve after Saturday's 38-28 loss to Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La.
"We've got to improve on our running game, to get back to a better balance there," he said. "We caused too many turnovers that kept us from getting over the hump."
San Jose State saw a 14-10 lead half way into the second quarter evaporate with La Tech scoring 28 unanswered points. After the Spartans scored on a 60-yard pass play from Matt Falkner to Noel Grigsby, they looked to take control when on the ensuing kickoff the Spartans pinned the Bulldogs at the 7-yard-line. Then La Tech QB Colby Cameron connected with WR Quinton Parron for a 90-yard touchdown score. That was the beginning of a 28-point run by the Bulldogs.
"It looked like they were going to run away with it,"MacIntyre said. "We basically gave them 17 points. We take that away and we win the football game."
When Jay Dudley returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown with 10:55 left in the 3rd, the Bulldog scoring was done for the day.
"Our kids played hard and battled back and we had a chance (to win)< MAcIntrye said. ""In the second half we started moving the ball. They were doing the exact same things they were doing in the first half so we made some changes."
MacIntyre said that Matt Faulkner would remain his starting quarterback against Idaho on Saturday and added that overall he'a happy with his choice.
"Matt's done a good job," he said. "It's feast or famine, in a way, and you definitely want to have more touchdowns than interceptions. We just need to cut down on the interceptions part of it."
He added that without a running game the defense can focus more on the pass. He mentioned that the linebackers and secondary can concentrate more on the pass than the run.
"The windows close," he said. "When that happens it's harder to complete passes and some of the balls were tipped."
Coach Mac added that Faulkner wouldn't carry the performance in this game going forward.
"Oh he'll bounce back," he said. "He won't carry this with him. He proved that in the Colorado State game when he had a pic there and he came back to take us to the winning drive."
MacIntyre said one of the reasons for the dismal running attack was the play of the Tech linebackers. The Spartans rushed 17 times for a net total of 34 yards.
"Their linebackers were very, very good," he said. "They were quick and athletic and were a lot better in person than they were on film."
As for the Spartan defense, MacIntyre said that the number of plays La Tech was able to run was definitely a factor in giving up 497 total yards, 260 on the ground.
"Anytime they run the ball 61 times I think there's a good chance of giving up 200 yards," he said. "They had 88 snaps and we need to cut down on the number of snaps, that's they key there. Ideally you want to cut that down to 70"
There was a crucial thrid down play in the third quarter when Patton appeared to drop a Cameron pass, though it was ruled a completion. SJSU called a time-out hoping to get a review and after some discussion the play was allowed to stand as called without a review.
"They don't have enough cameras," MacIntyre said. "The ball hit the ground and bounced right back up to him. He just fell down instead of running. They couldn't get a good look at it so they couldn't over turn it, so you just have to live with it.
As far as players who will redshirt, MacIntyre said the guys that are playing now can't redshirt. and that those who only played or were injured in the first three games would be eligible to redshirt. He didn't have a specific list of those who would redshirt this season.
Looking ahead to Saturday's matchup with Idaho, MacIntyre hinted that there will be a revenge factor going into the contest. In 2010 the Spartans lost 26-23 in overtime.
"The way we lost the football game still stings in our gut," he said. "Our kids are excited to play them at home. We've done well at home this season."
MacIntrye pointed out that Idaho is much better than their record. They've lost close games to Virginia, and have had several other heartbreakers.
San Jose State plays Idaho on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1:00 at Spartan Stadium.
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