Tale Of The Tape: San Jose At #21 Stanford
- CoachingMike 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.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.
- OffenseThe 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.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.
- DefenseSan 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.Stanford has a top-30 defense, which will certainly be enough on Saturday but not necessarily against the Pac-12’s elite offenses.
- Special TeamsThe Spartans have a good punter in Harrison Waid but their kicker is a question mark.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.
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.