This with a very confident grin on his face, just like the one Jack Nicholson flashed in the movie called "the shining".
Then the typical Spartan meltdown started.
UTEP QB, Jordan Palmer, threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, as Texas El Paso secured its second winning season in 16 years.
This particular 38-20 victory brings the SJSU football program to it's knees, and the only positive ray of light left would be a win over Boise at home, or a win over Fresno state at the season finale in San Jose.
UTEP QB, Palmer, completed his first eight passes in leading the Miners (6-2, 4-1 WAC) to a pair of first-quarter touchdowns.
With this win, UTEP won its fifth straight and completed an undefeated October for the first time since 2000, and the second since 1967.
The Spartans continued to stink up the place, and have sunk to an all time low in the 100 plus year history of the program.
The Spartans (2-5, 1-3 Western Athletic) lost two second-quarter fumbles deep in UTEP territory, and should have tied the game at 14. But, SJSU committed five turnovers for the second time this season, and lost in front of a SpartanThunder.com estimation of 9,000 homecoming students and alumni.
Fitz hill was quoted in the mercury news in regards to the turn overs, and had this to say:
``That was clearly the difference in the game,'' Spartans Coach Fitz Hill said. ``We should have commanded the lead at halftime. There's no excuse for turnovers.''
UTEP's coach, Mike Price, had this to say about the turn-overs:
``We've been doing that a lot,'' UTEP Coach Mike Price said. ``That was our goal, five turnovers.''
SJSU's Tyson Thompson ran for 84 yards and scored a touchdown for San Jose State (2-5, 1-3) in the Spartans' third straight loss.
Thompson (T and T) had this to say about the turn overs:
``It's always tough to have a turnover. It's all about momentum,'' said Thompson, who rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown in 25 carries. ``We try to minimize those.''
The Miners drove 83 yards in six plays on their opening drive to take a 7-0 lead. Palmer's 38-yard pass to Chris Francies set up Josh Chamois' 1-yard scoring run. In four carries this year, Chamois has scored three touchdowns.
Thompson's 9-yard run late in the first quarter brought the Spartans to 14-7.
Then the second half melt-down, which is typical of Fitz Hill's coaching began.
UTEP contained Thompson, who was coming off a career-best 203-yard effort against Hawaii last week. After he topped 100 yards in the third quarter, Thompson lost 19 yards in his final three carries. ``All in all, UTEP played great defense in the second half,'' Thompson said.
UTEP's Higgins caught a 9-yard pass from Palmer to begin the third quarter and the Miners extended their lead to 31-7 before San Jose State scored twice in the fourth quarter.
But, it was too little and too late for a spartan comeback like those witnessed in the early 80's and 90's.
Fumble-itis was evident for SJSU, as UTEP's Thomas Howard recovered a fumble in the end zone and Reagan Schneider kicked a 24-yard field goal for the Miners late in the 3rd quarter. UTEP snapped a three-game losing streak to the Spartans, but did not rub it into SJSU's face.
After last years ass kicking in the Sun Bowl when SJSU QB Scott Rislov broke a sun bowl record with over 500 yards passing, let's give UTEP kudos for not making us pay with a demoralizing defeat.
UTEP forced five turnovers - two interceptions and three fumbles. That pretty much sums up the entire game.
Spartans quarterback Dale Rogers was 13-of-27 for 146 yards and ran for a touchdown. Backup quarterback Adam Tafralis also scored on a 1-yard run.
Dale Rogers looked terrible as he lofted "air biscuits" high into the sky, and dropped balls right into the hands of the Miners.
Rogers in un-disciplined in regards to throwing the ball away instead of taking the sack, and throwing the ball into 3 on one coverage for picks.
He is however, one tough cookie as we watched him get slammed to the turf many times saturday, and this from a luxury box high above the fifty yard line.
It is time for the "Boo-Birds" to let Fitz Hill know that his time has come.
Don't be afraid to let him hear how you feel after Boise State has scored 50 (Yes fifty) un-answered points against SJSU on November 13th in San Jose.
Had enough of the losing seasons yet?