Mountain West spotlight: San Jose State seeks spark on both sides of ball


Coach: Ron Caragher

Record: 9-15 (third season); 53-37 career (eight seasons)

Last year: 3-9 overall, 2-6 MW

Last bowl: 2012 Military (W, 29-20 against Bowling Green)

Returning starters: 8 offense, 6 defense, 2 specialists

Story line: The Spartans have some experience back after playing with plenty of youth in Caragher's first two seasons. They will need to see a big leap from the defensive line after getting just 12 sacks and yielding 239.4 rushing yards per game. The offense needs a boost, too, after scoring only 14 points total the last three games.

Star player: Senior running back Tyler Ervin packs a lot of punch into his 5-foot-10, 177-pound frame. Last season, Ervin ran for 888 yards (5.6 yards per carry), had 306 receiving yards and had a punt return touchdown. "I like doing everything," Ervin said.

Quotable: "I'm very encouraged by our team, our players ... we're ready to reap some of the benefits from the growing pains of playing some young players, inexperienced players." — Caragher on his team building depth and playing time

NOTE: This is the third in our series profiling the Mountain West’s football teams (except Boise State). We will start with the West Division, and go in reverse order of the preseason poll, found here.

Previous Mountain West previews