Jake Curtis, SF Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, November 18, 2002
No longer can San Jose State's accomplishments be overlooked.
The Spartans have just 61 scholarship players, possibly the fewest in Division I-A.
Eight true freshmen play prominent roles, and six of them are walk-ons.
They made $1.125 million playing road games against big-time opponents to aid the athletics budget.
They played nine road games, most in Division I-A.
To do it, the Spartans played in four time zones and traveled 23,617 miles, about the distance from New York to San Francisco -- the long way.
Picked to finish eighth in the 10-team Western Athletic Conference, the Spartans are next-to-last in the nation in average home attendance (9,101) and next-to-last in total defense.
Yet, on Saturday, the Spartans (6-6, 4-3 WAC) will play the most significant game in the Bay Area, a home game against Fresno State with the winner likely to land a berth in the Dec. 31 Silicon Valley Classic at Spartan Stadium.
It would be San Jose State's first bowl game since 1990.
The Spartans' Fitz Hill is one of Division I-A's three remaining black head coaches and has a shot at being named WAC Coach of the Year.
The Spartan Daily On-Line Story on QB Rislov:
Two in a row for Spartans, as Rislov sets passing record in SJSU win over Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
The Spartan Daily- November 18, 2002 Edition.
The San Jose State University football team moved one step closer to a bowl invitation with a 49-38 victory over the University of Tulsa on Saturday at Skelly Stadium in Tulsa, Okla.
The Golden Hurricane turned the ball over five times and the Spartan defense blocked one punt as SJSU improved to 4-3 in Western Athletic Conference play and 6-6 overall.
A victory over Fresno State University at home on Saturday will make the Spartans bowl eligible.
SJSU quarterback Scott Rislov passed for 267 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Spartans, who scored 28 points off of Tulsa turnovers.
Quarterback Tyler Gooch led Tulsa (1-10, 1-6) with 322 passing yards and two touchdowns to wide receiver Romby Bryant, who caught 10 passes for 166 yards.
Gooch also threw three interceptions, including two in the end zone.
SJSU gave up 567 yards and 33 first downs, but Spartan defenders, who entered the game second in the nation in forcing turnovers, also recovered two Tulsa fumbles. SJSU defensive end Philip Perry's blocked punt led to a touchdown.
The Spartans converted three of the turnovers into second quarter touchdowns in the final nine minutes of the half to break a 21-21 deadlock.
Defensive back Melvin Cook caused one fumble, recovered another and intercepted a Gooch pass in the end zone in the last play of the first half.
Rislov followed Tulsa fumbles with 34-yard and 32-yard scoring passes to wide receiver Kendrick Starling and running back Trestin George.
Running back Lamar Ferguson, who had three touchdowns, scored from the 9-yard line after defensive end Chip Kimmich intercepted a tipped Gooch pass at Tulsa's 19-yard line.
Rislov, who was 21-for-37 passing, broke the school's record for completions in a season. His 257 surpassed the record previously held by Mike Perez of 243 in 1987.
The Spartans scored just once in the second half -a six-yard touchdown run by Ferguson from six yards out - and Tulsa pulled to within 11 points on Uril Parrish's 7-yard touchdown run.
However, the Golden Hurricane failed to convert on a fourth down and three yards to go situation with less than three minutes remaining and the Spartans ran out the clock.
Ferguson had 74 yards on 13 carries while wide receiver Tuati Wooden caught five balls for 71 yards to pace SJSU.
A moment of silence in memory of former Tulsa All-American, coach and athletic director Glenn Hobbs, who died Tuesday, preceded the game. Tulsa players wore Dobbs' No. 45 on their helmets.
SJSU plays its final game of the season against Fresno State at Spartan Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff against the Bulldogs is scheduled for 2 p.m.