FACTS AND FIGURES
Where: San Jose, Calif.
Colors: Blue, gold and gray
Record: 5-6 overall, 4-3 Mountain West (3-9 last season; 0-11 all-time vs. Boise State)
Last game: Defeated Hawaii 42-23 in Honolulu on Saturday
Ron Caragher, 48, is 14-21 in his third season as head coach. He previously was the head coach at FCS San Diego (44-22 in six seasons). He played quarterback at UCLA from 1986-89, where he was an assistant for nine years. He also spent four years coaching running backs Kentucky.
The offense, coordinated by former Boise State OC Al Borges (1993-94), is built around the speedy and versatile Tyler Ervin. The 5-foot-10, 177-pound senior has rushed 253 times for 1,417 yards and 13 touchdowns. He needs 161 yards to break the single-season school record.
Junior Kenny Potter and senior Joe Gray each started three of the first six games at quarterback. Potter has started the past six and has completed 144-of-210 passes for 1,559 yards and 11 TDs to four interceptions. He also has rushed for 300 yards and six TDs.
TE Billy Freeman is a Mackey Award semifinalist, tied with Ervin for the team lead with 40 receptions (472 yards). Five players have at least 28 catches and 366 yards. The line has allowed 31 sacks, second-most in the Mountain West. A 49.6 percent conversion rate on third downs is No. 8 nationally.
A 4-3 system overseen by former Denver Broncos and Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator Greg Robinson has been strong in some facets but weak in others, standing eighth in the MW in scoring (27.1 ppg) and fifth in total defense (357.5 ypg).
The Spartans are No. 1 in the nation against the pass (149.6 ypg), but 109th against the run (207.9 ypg). Junior LB Christian Tago leads the team with 108 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss. Only five FBS teams have fewer sacks than the Spartans’ 12. Senior CB Jimmy Pruitt and junior CB Cleveland Wallace have three interceptions apiece, both with TD returns.
Sophomore P Michael Carrizosa leads the nation with a 47.9-yard average on 40 punts. Senior K Austin Lopez is 7-of-13 on field goals (2-of-6 from 40 yards and beyond). The Spartans have blocked three kicks (two field goals, one PAT) while allowing three of their own to be blocked (one field goal, two PATs).
DID YOU KNOW?
John Carlos and Tommie Smith, known for the raised fist salute on the medal podium at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, were teammates on the San Jose State track team. A statue commemorating the event stands on campus.