Last week, San Jose State proved not quite ready for the WAC elite, as Nevada dominated the Spartans 23-7. It was a setback after San Jose State's 4-1 start.
"We were disappointed with our performance against Nevada," San Jose State coach Dick Tomey said. "We also look at it as a great learning experience for our team. We now know we must continue to work hard and get better everyday. The loss was not the end; it's only the beginning. It is the beginning of us working to become an even better football team."
The Spartans, 1-1 in the conference, still have six games remaining, all within the WAC. That run starts this week with a home game against Louisiana Tech.
The key this week will be the offense. The Spartans, from quarterback to the line to the receivers, failed to produce against Nevada.
"The quarterback position is dependent upon some help from the offensive line and the receivers and everybody," Tomey said.
The last time San Jose State started a season 5-2 was 1992.
SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: The offense struggled the past few weeks, with the passing game unable to muster anything downfield. TB Yonus Davis is a nice change-of-pace back who can break the long run as well as any WAC back, but he's not a workhorse. The key is QB Adam Tafralis playing more like he did in the first half of this season.
SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: As it has been all season, last week the defense was solid. LB Matt Castelo has nearly 40 tackles the past two games, but the run defense still needs to improve. Tech is going to try to establish the run after going for 300-plus on the ground last week against Utah State.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We can only move forward. You cannot worry about the past. All of our focus is on defeating Louisiana Tech and getting another victory." -- San Jose State LB Damaja Jones.
THIS WEEK'S GAME: Louisiana Tech at San Jose State, Saturday - Louisiana Tech will attempt to find enough healthy players to field a defense. It will, however, provide a test of how improved San Jose State really is. The Spartans took advantage of a favorable schedule to start 4-1 but looked offensively inept last week in a lopsided loss at Nevada.
For the Spartans to make a leap in the conference this season, this is a must-win. Tech (2-5, 1-2), the Bulldogs racked up 500-plus yards last week in defeating Utah State 48-35. Tech defeated San Jose State 31-14 last season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Adam Tafralis - After a tremendous start, Tafralis has struggled the past two weeks. However, with both his backups sidelined with injuries, San Jose State coach Dick Tomey doesn't have many other options. Tafralis was 9-of-18 for 68 yards with an interception last week against Nevada.
"Adam did not play well," Tomey told the San Jose Mercury News. "He's got to make better decisions. He's been making better decisions, but that was a game that's not consistent with the rest of the year's performance."
CB Dwight Lowery - Has a nation-leading eight interceptions and 10 takeaways through six games and is among the top playmakers in the conference. He is also a threat on punt returns.
WR James Jones - The Spartans' top deep threat needs to create an open target for Tafralis in the early stages of the game.
ROSTER REPORT: San Jose State coach Dick Tomey said every starting job on the offensive line was up for grabs this week at practice. He wasn't expected to announce the starters until Friday at the earliest.
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