Alabama Football: 10 Things You Need to Know about San Jose State
Alabama will begin its 2010 season this Saturday against the San Jose State Spartans of the Western Athletics Association (WAC).
For all those Crimson Tide fans who aren't familiar with this team from California, here are 10 things you need to know about the San Jose State Football program before kickoff.
First Time Head Coach Mike MacIntyre
First time head coach, Mike MacIntyre, replaces Dick Tomey as head football coach at San Jose State.
MacIntyre takes over a football team that went 2-10 last season and hasn't been to a bowl game since 2006.
The 44-year-old MacIntyre spent the past two seasons at Duke. He has also worked as a secondary coach in the NFL with Dallas and the New York Jets and spent five seasons as an assistant at Ole' Miss.
Best Player Is S/LB Duke Ihenacho
Returning 2009 team MVP and senior Duke Ihenacho has earned All-WAC first-team honors twice.
Ihenacho nabbed five interceptions as a sophomore in 2008 but, just one as a junior last season. The Spartans will lean on him to make the big plays on defense.
SJSU will need Ihenacho to have his best season yet if they want to have a chance at making it to a bowl game this year.
Jordan La Secla Named Starting QB
Returning senior QB Jordan La Secla has been fighting tranfer QB Matt Faulkner for the starting QB position all summer. Faulkner transferred to SJSU from Mt. San Antonio College. He also played for Fresno State for two seasons.
La Secla finally got the news last Wednesday that he would be starting on Saturday when the Spartans take on the defending national champions. But look for Faulker to see some playing time against Alabama. Coach Mike MacIntyre says the two QBs are more like 1a and 1b rather than 1 and 2.
Spartan's New Offense Looks to Use Tight End
Coach MacIntyre is moving from a spread offense to a one back system.
San Jose State will put more emphasis on the power running game, will use the tight end more, and look to throw the ball deep off of play action fakes.
Look for SJSU to throw the ball to Tight End Ryan Otten against Alabama. The 6'5'', 230-pound sophomore had 3 receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns in the Spartan's spring game. Otten looks to build off of the great spring performance and become a fixture in SJSU's new offense this season.
Spartans Will Play Both Ways
Some college programs have one or two players that play both ways.
San Jose State has a total of five players that play on offense and on defense. Among the five players expected to play both ways are two of the most important offensive players, tailback/nickel back Brandon Rutley and tight end/defensive end Ryan Otten.
Alabama can expect the Spartans to be in fantastic shape come Saturday, especially the players that play both ways.
San Jose State has nine returning starters on offense, and seven returning starters on defense.
With 16 starters back from last year, the Spartans aren’t exactly starting from scratch. They have their returning quarterback, top rusher and four of their five best receivers, giving the new staff plenty to work with in its debut season.
Alabama Set to Unveil Expansion
Alabama will unveil their new stadium expansion against San Jose State this Saturday.
SJSU will become the second consecutive team from the WAC to open up in an expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The Crimson Tide unveiled their 2006 stadium expansion against WAC member Hawaii.
Flight 300: Are We There Yet?
The San Jose State Spartans will be travelling 2,284 miles to Tuscaloosa to take on the Crimson Tide this Saturday.
The SJSU football team will be flying. For all the Spartan fans who want to car pool here is the rundown:
From the SJSU campus it would take drivers 34 hours and 2 minutes to reach Bryant-Denny Stadium and an estimated $711.50 in gas (tour bus).
Dick Vermeil graduated from SJSU and was the backup QB during his time there. He went on to become a great NFL coach, winning Super Bowl XXXIV with the St. Louis Rams.
Bill Walsh graduated from SJSU and played tight end and defensive end during his Spartan years. He popularized the "West Coast Offense" as an NFL head coach for the San Fransisco 49ers. Walsh won three Super Bowls with the 49ers (XVI, XIX, XXIII).
San Jose State, Dayton, and Arkansas are the only schools with two alumni who coached Super Bowl winning teams.
"Krazy" George and the Wave
"Krazy" George Henderson is a professional cheerleader and claimed inventor of "the Wave."
Krazy George began cheerleading while a student at San Jose State in 1968. After graduating, he continued cheerleading for free at local sporting events, where he became known for leading sectional cheers, accompanied by his hand drum.
So, watch for the Wave to start in the Spartan fan section this Saturday at Bryant-Denny.