Davis could give Spartans a needed running game
This is the fourth in a series highlighting the teams the University of Hawaii football team will face this season. Next up - San Jose State.
The turning point of San Jose State's 2007 season came on a mistake the Spartans rarely made last year: a lost fumble.
SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS
Coach: Dick Tomey (175-129-7, 17-19 at San Jose State)
2007 record: 5-7, 4-4 in WAC, tied for fourth
The Spartans were 2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference and seemingly on their way to an upset victory over Hawaii, running out the clock up by a touchdown. But Mike Lafaele and Blaze Soares forced J.T. Callier to fumble.
The Warriors went on to win after Adam Leonard recovered; the Spartans never recovered. San Jose State had expected to contend for the WAC title. Instead, it finished in the middle of the pack.
One reason the Spartans underachieved was lack of a productive running game (just 83.9 yards per game). That could be different this fall with the return of Yonus Davis.
Davis rushed for 1,007 yards as a junior in 2006. He missed most of last season because of an ankle injury.
Coach Dick Tomey arrived at the WAC media preview last month full of optimism, partly due to the NCAA's recent decision to give Davis a sixth year of eligibility.
Davis is competing to see who will take the lead role in a tailback rotation, and has played sparingly in the Spartans' two scrimmages. But that's not necessarily because of rustiness, he said.
"I've never played in any of these in all the time I've been here," Davis said in a San Jose Mercury News article.
Tomey claims this is the best San Jose State team in his four years with the Spartans.
Two Pac-10 transfers, defensive end Jeff Schweiger (USC) and cornerback Coye Francies (Oregon State), can help make up for the departure of three big-time players, Tomey said.
Linebacker Matt Castelo and cornerback Dwight Lowery completed outstanding college careers last fall. Miles Eden has secured the starting quarterback job, replacing three-year starter Adam Tafralis.
Tomorrow: Fresno State