Spartans Vow To Regroup And Comeback...

The Spartans are a bit down, but by no means "out." The players and coaches, while bitterly disappointed in a defeat that was snatched out of the jaws of a seeming victory, are eager for the match-up against Utah State this weekend in Utah. They fully understand that it will be no simple task.

The good news: San Jose State junior defensive end Travis Johnson is a football playing "machine", and there are no "if's and's or but's" about it. This week's Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week recorded four quarterback sacks,one causing a safety, to tie a San Jose State single-game school record. he added 10 tackles, one fumble recovery, and two tackles-for-loss.

More good news: from the defensive side of the ball came from senior linebacker Pompey Festejo with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and an interception….all in the first quarter, no less. .

The bad news: San Jose seemed to take the rest of the day off at halftime and appeared to fall asleep on both offense and defense for most of the second half, until it was too late. The Idaho Vandals were the grateful recipients of the Spartan generosity and escaped with a 32-29 come-from-behind victory. In addition, the Spartans' running game has evaporated, along with their vertical passing game.

The Spartans vow to regroup and rebound from a devastating defeat to 7.5 point underdog Idaho on Saturday. Coach Mike MacIntyre and the players were visibly dejected after the game.

"Coming off the Idaho game…… a very disappointing loss for our football team….a game that we controlled," said MacIntyre, "I would say, about 95 percent of the time, and then it kind of slipped away on us. It was a tough loss for our young men."

But, MacInyre added, "they bounced back yesterday evening when we had practice and are excited about going to Utah State and playing."

MacIntyre said that Utah State would be starting a new quarterback against the Spartans, Adam Kennedy, who brought the Aggies back from behind in the Hawaii game (a 35-31 USU victory). He said that, "USU beat Hawaii kind of like Idaho beat us, with some spectacular plays at the end of the game."

MacIntyre stated that Utah State has a great running back in Robert Turbin, who is the best running back in (the WAC). He said that offensively they are big, strong, and fast. On defense, USU is leading the league in rushing defense, so it will be another tough task for the SJSU running game. He said that even though it will be a big challenge this week in Logan, (Utah), the players were looking forward to it.

MacIntyre emphasized that the SJSU players were a tough and resilient group and would bounce back. He said at the team meetings last night the team was attentive and ready to work hard. He hopes last Saturday's loss will fuel the team to rebound and play a good game.

MacIntyre also discussed the need to get the running game back on track, after a two-game hiatus. "I am very disappointed that we were not able to run the ball better. If we had been able to run the ball like we have in several (games) in the past, we would all be here smiling. There's no doubt about it."

MacIntyre added that Utah State will pose a tough match-up. "This USU quarterback is not the runner that Keaton, their other QB, is," he said. "But (he) is a better passer." MacIntyre said he expects USU to open up the vertical passing game as they did against Hawaii, but they will also allow their running backs, Turbin and Kerwynn Williams, to pound the ball inside a lot.

"That is what they have done all year," he said. "And they have done it well."

The game will be televised locally in the Logan, Utah area on KCSG-TV (Cedar City) and can be heard in the South Bay Area on KLIV Radio (1590 AM) starting with the pre- game show at 11:30 AM PST.

Scott Phelps is Senior Editor for Inside Sparta. You are welcome to contact Scott with any questions or suggestions at

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