Want to play right away? You might want to consider San Jose State.
San Jose St. to play 02Warriors on the move
with truly spartan roster
Warrior Notebook NINTH OF 13 PARTS
PREVIEW OF HAWAII OPPONENTS
By Dave Reardon
The Spartans have only seven returning starters and plenty of scholarships to hand out (as of last month, only 63 players had them). Even if you're half-baked, you might get some action.
"We don't have the opportunity to put them in the oven," coach Fitz Hill said. "We put them in the microwave for 45 seconds and let 'em roll."
Want to play in Division I-A in future years? You might want to pick another school.
It appears San Jose State might have a difficult time meeting new NCAA requirements to remain at college football's top level come the 2004 season, including average (paid) attendance requirements of 15,000. The Spartans are fortunate when they draw at least half that many.
They're hardly at home, anyway, with four games at Spartan Stadium and nine on the road.
San Jose State has a Fresno State-type nonconference schedule (Arkansas State, Illinois, Ohio State, Washington, Stanford), with one important difference. The Spartans don't have the talent and depth to compete at that level.
SJSU opens its WAC season at Hawaii (which beat San Jose State 34-10 last year) on Nov. 2, after visits to Little Rock, Ark., Champaign, Ill., and Columbus, Ohio.
"Yes, that is tough," Hill said. "But we're not running from the challenge. Our goal is to compete and win the WAC championship. I refuse to focus on the negative."
If the Spartans (3-9, 3-5 WAC) are to do that, it will be with a defense with no returning starters. They did well in a scrimmage Saturday, but that, of course, was against the San Jose State offense.
"I like the way the defense ran around and hit people. They had good licks out there today," Hill said.
The Spartans' most experienced defensive players are senior outside linebackers Brian Foreman (6-foot-1, 215 pounds) and Luke La Herran (6-1, 233).
San Jose State's best player is offensive tackle Tim Provost (6-6, 287), an Outland Trophy candidate. The most intriguing is fullback Brandon "Moose" Miles (6-0, 240), a converted defensive lineman.
"I saw a guy that ran 4.6," Hill said. "I told him to go on offense and be a proper weapon for us. He can catch, he can run. He brings us a dimension we didn't have last year. He moves from a lower-tier player on defense to the upper-tier at running back."
Senior Marcus Arroyo (6-1, 195) is the starter at quarterback, but JC transfer Scott Rislov (6-1, 227) was accurate in the scrimmage, completing 7 of 10 passes for 54 yards.
If San Jose State is eventually forced into I-AA, it could become the proverbial big fish.
"We just got a $4 million weightroom and a $6 million donation for an academic center," second-year coach Hill said. "That's another feather in our cap for recruiting. I'm excited about our future."
All-time record: 410-379-38
San Jose State
Against Hawaii: 15-9
Now you know: The Spartans had a freshman connection to thank for their only touchdown in their Saturday scrimmage, as Adam Tafralis connected with Chester Coleman on a 40-yard scoring pass. ... Hill was glad his team came out of the scrimmage without injuries.
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