Spartan Football Season Preview and Predictions!

Whom ever emerges as the starting quarterback will find it hard to stack up to the work of the underrated Scott Rislov who completed 59.7 percent of his 437 passes last year for 3,016 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.

Quarterback is the big question mark for this years San Jose State football squad.

Coach Fitz Hill apparently isn't too worried about trying to find a replacement for efficient Scott Rislov heading into fall camp.

"We're going to run the football," Hill told the San Jose Mercury News after his team's final spring scrimmage. "We don't have to depend on the quarterback to do a whole lot because we're going to make the commitment to run the football."

The Spartans will go into fall practice with seniors Dale Rogers and Beau Pierce and redshirt freshmen Adam Tafralis all in the running to replace Rislov.

"We'll go into fall camp without naming a quarterback and kind of see who emerges," Hill said.

Your San Jose State Spartans return just nine starters from last year's 3-8 squad, including just two on offense.

PROJECTED OFFENSIVE STARS:

TB Lance Martin -- One of just two returning offensive starters. Led the team with 520 rushing yards but is expected to be the focus of a San Jose State offense that now wants to run the ball effectively.

TB Lamar Ferguson -- The elusive 5-foot-4 senior led the team in rushing two years ago but missed the 2003 season with a knee injury. He's back this year and expected to play a key role again.

PROJECTED DEFENSIVE STARS:

DB Josh Powell -- Regarded as one of the team's top defenders a year ago before missing the final eight games with an ankle injury that required surgery.

DE Sean McNamara -- Only weighs 215 pounds but the senior defensive lineman still led the Spartans with five sacks a year ago.

INJURY IMPACT:

No new injuries reported.

KEY GAME:

At Stanford, Sept. 11 -- The Spartans have a chance to create a buzz in the Bay Area and maybe even attract a few more fans to their games if they can find a way to upset their big brothers from the Pac-10 in Palo Alto.

THE MINDSET:

Talk about fragile. Not only do the Spartans return just nine starters from a disappointing 3-8 squad, rumors continue to swirl around campus that the school may drop football because of budgetary concerns.

BIG SHOES TO FILL:

Whoever emerges as the starting quarterback will find it hard to stack up to the work of the underrated Scott Rislov who completed 59.7 percent of his 437 passes last year for 3,016 yards and 18 touchdowns and threw just five interceptions.

QUOTE TO NOTE:

"The quarterbacks know the first thing I'm concerned about is taking care of the football." -- San Jose State coach Fitz Hill quote.

Before all the spring practices really get underway, here's a very early thought as to how the WAC standings might end up in 2004 taking into account schedules, returning players, etc.

These early selections aren't necessarily indications of how good the teams are. A great team might have a nastier schedule than an average team and finish up lower in the standings.

There are still a million things that can happen between now and opening day as injuries, depth chart changes and recruits could end up making a big difference in how the teams look.

Here is how SpartanThunder.com see's the WAC shaping up in 2004.

1. Boise State

2. Fresno State

3. Hawaii

4. Nevada

5. Tulsa

6. SAN JOSE STATE

7. Rice

8. UTEP

9. LA Tech

10. Southern Methodist


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