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Tale of the tape

Tale Of The Tape: San Jose At #21 Stanford

San Jose State v UCLA Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Stanford v Oklahoma State

San Jose State

#21 Stanford

Mike MacIntyre enters his third year as head coach. Before that he was the defensive coordinator at Duke. The Spartans won two games the year before MacIntyre arrived and went 5-7 last year. Coaching David Shaw moved from offensive coordinator to head coach following Jim Harbaugh’s departure for the NFL. All he did to ease the transition was lead Stanford to an 11-win season and a Fiesta Bowl appearance.
The Spartans offense showed promise last year and should take a step forward in 2012. Former Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier transferred to San Jose State but left before ever playing, and junior David Fales won the job. Offense In case you haven’t heard, Andrew Luck is no longer the Cardinal’s quarterback. He is replaced by someone who is certainly not Andrew Luck (Josh Nunes, a junior). Running back Stepfan Taylor is an All-American candidate and will be relied on heavily.
San Jose State ranked 93rd in total defense last year (among 120 teams). Improvement is a must if the Spartans want to reach a bowl game. Defense Stanford has a top-30 defense, which will certainly be enough on Saturday but not necessarily against the Pac-12’s elite offenses.
The Spartans have a good punter in Harrison Waid but their kicker is a question mark. Special Teams If you watched last year’s Fiesta Bowl, you probably felt bad for kicker Jordan Williamson (unless you were an Oklahoma State fan, and even then you may have felt bad for the kid). He returns, hoping to kick like he did in the regular season.

The winner is

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Stanford v Oklahoma State
#21 Stanford
3 out of 4

Stanford will be tested, but not for a couple of weeks. These two teams opened against each other last season and the result was a 57-3 Stanford victory. The victor will undoubtedly be the same this season, but the margin should be about half.

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