Monday, August 30, 2010

Cross Country Paycheck: San Jose State/Alabama

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 05:  Running back Brandon Rutley #15 of the San Jose State Spartans  carries the ball against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.   USC won 56-3.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The 2010 college football season has finally arrived! Saturday evening the No. 1 team in the country, the Alabama Crimson Tide, will play host to the Spartans of San Jose State.

San Jose State (Western Athletic Conference) will enter the 2010 campaign with one expectation…improve!

The Spartans concluded the 2009 season with a record of 2-10 (1-7 in the WAC) due to a futile defense, but more conspicuously…an inept offense.

On four occasions during the 2009 season, San Jose State failed to score in double figures.

The SJSU offense only averaged 13 points per game in 2009. The atrocious average placed the Spartans third-to-last in all of major college football in points per game average. SJSU was also 117th in the nation in the rushing department and 119th in run defense.

After the dismal 2009 campaign, Mike MacIntyre was named the new head coach replacing Dick Tomey. MacIntyre comes to SJSU following a stint with Duke as an assistant coach.

On the offensive side of the ball the Alabama defense will be facing senior quarterback Jordan La Secla.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 05:  Quarterback Jordan La Secla #12 of the San Jose State Spartans throws a pass against the USC Trojans  on September 5, 2009 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
La Secla was the principal starter at the quarterback position in 2009 completing roughly 60 percent of his pass attempts.

Even though La Secla threw a total of 10 touchdowns, the Spartans signal caller was intercepted 11 times.

Receivers Jalal Beauchman and Josh Harrison will be the primary targets of Jordan La Secla in the SJSU passing attack.

At the running back position, the Spartans will be led by Lamon Muldrow and Brandon Rutley.

Muldrow led SJSU in rushing in 2009 with 592 yards and three touchdowns.

Brandon Rutley will not only see time at the running back position…but at defensive back. The Spartans, obviously short on talent, will use Rutley in more ways than one in 2010.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 24:  Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 24, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
On the defensive side of the ball, the San Jose State Spartans only allowed an average of 183 yards through the air in 2009.

However, the majority of opponents ran the ball against SJSU…and ran it well.

The inability of the Spartans to contain the run will obviously work in favor of the Alabama ground attack.

The Tide offense is poised to be an explosive juggernaut in 2010 and the weak SJSU run defense will be put to the test early and often.

Look for Alabama to run the ball at will against the Spartans which will allow the Tide to go to the air with ease.

The contest with San Jose State will grant Alabama the ability to put a young secondary to the test, while allowing other vital (yet unproven) players to see live game action in critical situations.

The Alabama Crimson Tide will answer several personnel questions on Saturday night while the San Jose State Spartans will leave Bryant-Denny with a loss...and a check.

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