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2011 UH FOOTBALL PREVIEW


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San Jose St.


POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 02, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 10:28 p.m. HST, Sep 02, 2011

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SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS

OCT. 14 AT SPARTAN STADIUM, SAN JOSE, CALIF.

Stadium capacity: 30,456. Surface: FieldTurf

>> Head coach: Mike MacIntyre (second year)
>> 2010 record: 1-12 (0-8 WAC)
>> Series: Hawaii, 17-16-1
>> Last meeting: Hawaii 41, San Jose State 7 (Nov. 20, 2010, Honolulu)
>> Offense: Multiple
>> Defense: 4-3

OFFENSE

Returning starters: Six 

Primary objective: Rediscover a path to the end zone after scoring 24 touchdowns in 13 games last season.

At the controls: In question with Matt Faulkner, who threw 39 passes last season, returning as the only quarterback with significant playing time. Also competing were sophomore Dasmen Stewart and freshman Blake Jurich.

Leading the charge: Noel Grigsby is the Spartans’ top returning receiver after averaging 14.7 yards per catch and snagging four touchdowns.

Key to success: Giving the leg of second-team All-WAC punter Harrison Waid a break. The Spartans converted a league-low 26.6 percent on third down last season forcing Waid to punt 84 times.

DEFENSE

Returning starters: 12

Primary objective: Stay healthy. Injuries racked the Spartans last year; now every starter is back after being pressed into duty.

At the controls: Kent Baer has served as defensive coordinator at seven schools, including Notre Dame and four Pac-10 programs.

Leading the charge: LB Keith Smith, the WAC Freshman of the Year, had 14 tackles for loss among his 116 total stops.

Key to success: The return of several experienced players who were sidelined by injury last season, including two-time All-WAC safety Duke Ihenacho.

NOTABLE

>> Schedule opens with games at Stanford and UCLA.
>> San Jose State has lost 15 of its past 16 WAC games, including its past nine in a row.





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