San Jose State Coaches Hit Recruiting Trail

When asked at the press conference whether or not he would be disappointed next year if the Spartans did not go to a bowl game, MacIntyre responded, "I am disappointed we didn't go this year. But to answer your question, yes, I will be VERY disappointed." That statement pretty much summarizes the direction and expectations for the San Jose State football program.

In 1987 San Jose State quarterback Mike Perez led a powerful Spartan team to victory over the Fresno State Bulldogs at Bulldog Stadium. Little did the Spartan fans know it would be the last victory in Fresno for 24 years. Over that long period of time the San Jose/Fresno rivalry had all but evaporated. After all, a rivalry is supposed to be such that both schools contribute to the competition. Fresno State did it's part. However, the Spartans did not hold up their end of the bargain, losing 18 of the 20 games played since 1988. The Bulldogs had their hearts set on lengthening their 23 game home win streak against SJS, but the Spartans would have no part of it. Led by Matt Faulkner's 363 yard passing night, including two touchdowns, the Spartans stopped the Bulldogs dead in their tracks, winning 27-24, by refusing to allow the Bulldog offense to touch the ball for the last 6:15 seconds of the game thus preserving the victory.

"We had an excellent game at Fresno. It was really exciting for our university, for our football program and for our athletic program. I had a couple of the guys who played on the team 24 years ago text me that were excited to know that it had been that long. Some of the guys didn't even realize it (the win streak) until they saw it in the paper, so they were really excited about what our young men did and what we had accomplished. It was a great way to end a season. It would have been a better way to be in a bowl game, but we fell just barely short of that. I feel that we had marked improvement in our football program this year. I think we are definitely going in the right direction, and we are excited about our future."

MacIntyre had high praise for the seniors on the team. "I can't say enough about the seniors on this year's football team, (and) how they have really bought in the last two years, and really listened to what I had to say and what the coaches had to say. They did really well."

MacIntyre remarked how this win combined with the impressive and high-profile win over Navy a week earlier should provide great momentum for a solid recruiting season for the Spartans. The coaches wasted no time hitting the recruiting trail and all seven (the maximum allowed by the NCAA) are currently on the road visiting prospects who have shown interest in San Jose State, and whom the SJS coaches are interested in. Coach MacIntyre said he personally is going to be out two days this week visiting prospects. He said Saturday's victory really helps give us a leg up on schools that we battle head to head with (like Fresno St.).

Coach MacIntyre says the team will keep improving, just as this year's team did over last year's team. He said this year's team was closer to other football teams physically than the previous year. "We are bigger, we are stronger, and we are deeper than last year." He said that the program is making steady improvement.

Coach MacIntyre said that he and Ryan Otten were sitting talking together after the game in the locker room after it had cleared out and Otten remarked, "Coach, people don't realize what a fine line there is between winning and losing." He said it is hard to maintain that intensity level throughout the game, but he vowed that the team would work hard in the off-season and next year to understand that concept and to achieve that goal. MacIntyre said he believes that the team is understanding the level of intensity it takes to be a winner.

MacIntyre said that the team next year needs to be a better and more consistent running team, and that they have to get better at stopping the run. He said we have gotten better in those areas, but we have to keep getting better. He also wants to continue to improve the scoring offense and the scoring defense.

He pointed out a few areas of improvement in this year's team over last year's. He said the kickoff coverage team was much improved this year which required the other teams to go longer distances in order to score. He said the kickoff return team was very good, as was the punt coverage team. He also said the team is learning to play under pressure situations near the end of the game. He said last year's team got really nervous in those situations, but that this year's team, due to all the close games they played, is learning how to handle that pressure. "They are starting to ‘enjoy the moment' so to speak."

Coach MacIntyre praised the overall play of Matt Faulkner. He admitted there was a turnover problem in the middle of the season, but he ended with six 300+ yard games in a row. He also said, "the players think the world of him. They really trust him, and that's the key." He said after the game, when Faulkner was finished with his interviews, he returned to the locker room and the players picked him up and carried him around the locker room. Then they wanted him to have the game ball, which they presented to him. He said Matt kept progressing throughout the season. He said he got better from the fall to the spring, from the spring to the summer, and he got better in two-a-days. He said that is really a credit to Faulkner. He said the legacy Faulkner leaves behind is the work ethic, the positive attitude, and his devotion to the team. He said Faulkner is a very selfless player who really buys into the team concept. Coach MacIntyre said he texted Faulkner Sunday morning before heading off to church, "Hey Matt, they couldn't have written a better movie script than that," to which Faulkner texted back, "Coach, you're exactly right."




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

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