San Jose State Team Report

San Jose State coach Mike MacIntyre praised his players for turning in their best effort of the season against Navy despite being eliminated from bowl contention a week earlier. He'd like to see more of the same when the Spartans conclude the season at Fresno State on Nov. 26.

San Jose State stopped a three-game losing streak with a 27-24 victory over the Midshipmen on Nov. 19 at Spartan Stadium. Senior quarterback Matt Faulkner passed for 345 yards, senior running back Brandon Rutley reemerged after struggling for weeks and the San Jose State defense did an admirable job against a Navy offense that came in averaging 319.7 rushing yards per game.

"I would say, top to bottom, finishing it, defense, special teams, everybody complementing everybody -- I'd say yeah," MacIntyre said when asked if it was his team's most complete performance. "I would think this was probably our best game."

Most notable was the resurgence of Rutley. In his final home game, Rutley rushed for 132 yards on 27 carries, caught a career-high eight passes for 101 yards and scored two touchdowns. He appeared to be healthy for the first time in nearly two months.

"Rutley was well," MacIntyre said. "He was completely well. We blocked well and executed well. Our kids were determined to do well, but he was able to cut crisper and get through arm tackles a little better."

Rutley rushed for 340 yards in back-to-back victories over New Mexico State and Colorado State in late September and early October, helping the Spartans vanquish a 13-game losing streak with three wins in four weeks.

Rutley suffered a sprained ankle that forced him to miss an Oct. 8 game against BYU. In his first four games back, he was held to 194 yards on 79 carries, an average of 2.5 yards per carry. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry against the Midshipmen.

"I just felt good and the line was blocking well and opening holes," Rutley said. "I was focusing more on one cut downhill. I haven't felt like this in weeks."

NOTES, QUOTES

--San Jose State has gained at least one turnover in 10 consecutive games after recording one fumble recovery in a 27-24 victory over Navy on Nov. 19. LB Tiuke Tuipulotu hit Navy QB Kriss Proctor to knock the ball loose and LB Vince Buhagiar recovered at the Navy 44-yard line late in the second quarter.

--The Spartans lead the Western Athletic Conference with 29 takeaways. They are first in the WAC with 17 fumble recoveries and tied for second with 12 interceptions.

--Navy was averaging 319.7 rushing yards per contest going into its game against San Jose State, but the Spartans held the Midshipmen to 254 rushing yards and 344 total yards. The Spartans defended the option well, forcing Navy QB Kriss Proctor to uncharacteristic go to the air. Proctor completed just 9 of 20 passes for 90 yards and rushed for 82 yards on 20 carries.

KEEP AN EYE ON: San Jose State has proven it must be somewhat balanced offensively in order to succeed. The Spartans achieved the desired balance in their win over Navy, rushing for over 100 yards for the first time since beating Hawaii on Oct. 14. In the three previous games, all losses, the Warriors rushed for 134 yards on 72 carries, averaging 1.86 yards per carry.

LOOKING GOOD: Senior QB Matt Faulkner and his receiving corps have the San Jose State passing game clicking. Faulkner completed 33 of 44 passes for 345 yards against Navy, spreading the ball around to seven different receivers. Faulkner has thrown for over 300 yards in four of the past five games.

STILL NEEDS WORK: San Jose State committed two more turnovers against Navy, both by Faulkner. He threw an interception in the second quarter and fumbled in the third. The Spartans have 28 turnovers this season, by far the most in the Western Athletic Conference.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a team you have a lot of respect for. It's guys who go out and fight in wars for our country, so obviously we have a lot of respect for them." -- Senior QB Matt Faulkner, on playing Navy for the first time in school history.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

PLAYER NOTES:

--K Jens Alvernik made his 16th field goal of the season against Navy to tie San Jose State's single-season record. Alvernik had a school-record four field goals against Utah State on Nov. 12.

--QB Matt Faulkner completed 33 of 44 passes for 345 yards against Navy, throwing for over 300 yards for the fourth time in five games. Over that stretch, he has completed 134 of 203 (.660) passes for 1,667 yards. He had thrown 112 passes without an interception before Navy's Tra'ves Bush picked off a pass in the second quarter.

--WR Noel Grigsby had seven catches for 73 yards against Navy, moving into fifth on San Jose State's all-time list with 137 career receptions. He has 81 catches this season, the third-best single-season total in school history. He needs five catches against Fresno State on Nov. 26 to set a single-season record.

ROSTER REPORT

--DE Travis Johnson was credited with 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks in the victory over Navy, giving him the Western Athletic Conference lead with 9.5 sacks this season. He tied a school record with four sacks against Idaho on Nov. 5.

--TE Ryan Otten had eight catches for 101 yards against Navy. It was his third 100-yard receiving game this season.



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