San Jose Spartans 2015 Preview

Previewing BYU’s Game against the San Jose State Spartans

BYU is back in action following a much needed bye week. With several players suffering from lingering injuries, the team was able to recuperate and expect many to be ready to contribute again including RB’s Adam Hine and Riley Burt, S Matt Hadley, and QB Tanner Mangum. The Cougars come into this game on a four game streak including a 70-6 walloping of FCS foe Wagner College. Mangum finished the game 12/13 for 237 yds and 3 TDs. After leaving the game early in the 2nd Q, BYU was able to get an idea of what the future may look like by allowing young prospects to get their first playing experience. Players that impressed during their time on the field were Beau Hoge, Josh Weeks, Trey Dye, JJ Nwigwe, Jacob Jimenez, and Michael Shelton.

San Jose is also coming off of a bye week, but had a spur of bad luck during that time. They lost two key contributors on each side of the ball in WR Tyler Winston and CB Jimmy Pruitt. Heading into the bye week, the Spartans were coming off of a win vs MWC foe New Mexico bringing their record on the season back up to .500 for the third time this year. The Spartans have an opportunity to have a winning record for the first time since week 1 of this season. BYU will have to key on star RB Tyler Ervin in order to make it out of this game with a W.

San Jose State Spartans 2014 Record: 3-9

vs North Dakota 42-10 W

@ #5 Auburn 13-59 L

@ Minnesota 7-24 L

vs Nevada 10-21 L

vs UNLV 33-10 W

@ Wyoming 27-20 W (OT)

@ Navy 31-41 L

vs Colorado State 31-38 L

@ Fresno State 24-38 L

vs Hawaii 0-13 L

@ Utah State 7-41 L

@ San Diego State 7-38 L

San Jose State Spartans 2015 Record: 4-4

vs New Hampshire 43-13 W

@ Air Force 16-37 L

@ Oregon State 21-35 L

vs Fresno State 49-23 W

@ Auburn 21-35 L

@ UNLV 33-27 W (OT)

vs San Diego State 7-30 L

vs New Mexico 31-21 W

Bronco Mendenhall vs. Ron Caragher

Ron Caragher

Season: 3rd

Record: 13-19

Home: 8-8

vs Non-Conf: 3-8

Bronco Mendenhall:

Season: 11th

Record: 96-41

Home: 55-11

vs MWC: 46-14

vs non-P5: 77-20

BYU vs San Jose: 6-10

      Largest Margin of Victory: 67-8 (’67)

      Largest Margin of Loss: 40-21 (’49)

      Longest Win Streak: 3 (’65-’67)

      Longest Losing Streak: 8 (’46-’61)

      Last Game: 20-14 L (’12)

San Jose depth chart


QB: Kenny Potter/Joe Gray

RB: Tyler Ervin/Malik Roberson

FB: Shane Smith/Chris Dadson

LT: Wes Schweitzer/Kyle Wright

LG: Jeremiah Kolone/Doug Blacksill

C: Keoni Taylor/Michael Talafus

RG: Chris Gonzalez/Nick Diaz

RT: Nate Velichko/Evan Sarver

TE: Billy Freeman/Brad Kuh

WR: Tim Crawley/Chris Kearney

WR: Hansell Wilson/Jourdan Soares

WR: Justin Holmes/Chris Kearney


DE: Nick Oreglia/Nate Falo

DT: Keenan Sykes/Loni Fa

DT: Tony Popvich/Travis Miller

DE: Isaiah Irving/Eugene Taylor

LB: Dominic Barnes/Will Ossai

MLB: Christian Tago/Mark Amann

LB: Frank Ginda/Epie Sona

CB: Cleveland Wallace/Dominic Banres

S: Vincente Miles/Andre Chachere

S: Maurice McKnight/Jeremy Kelly

CB: Jimmy Pruitt/Andre Chachere/Dakari Monroe

Special Teams:

Punter: Michael Carrizosa

Kicker: Austin Lopez

Kick Off: Austin Lopez

LS: Ryan DiSalvo

PR: Tyler Ervin

KR: Tyler Ervin/Tim Crawley

Holder: Chris Kearney


San Jose State will run a pro-style offense, they’ll run out of multiple formations. Their main focus will be getting the ball into the hands of star RB Tyler Ervin. They’ll run him between the tackles, off-tackle, and even incorporate him in the passing game. The Spartans have had QB woes and will be missing their best WR in Tyler Winston who leads the team with 35 catches. They also struggle to protect the QB and have given up 21 sacks so far on the season so BYU will be able to get after the QB and make plays.

SJSU will rotate two players into the QB position in Kenny Potter and Joe Gray. Potter has 5 starts on the season, including the last 3 games where Gray has started 3 games this season at QB and 10 during his career. Potter is listed as the starter against BYU and on the season he’s attempted 130 passes, completing 88 for 914 yds, 5 TDs and 4 INTs. Gray has completed 72/104 passes for 837 yds for 6 TDs and 4 INTs. While both QB’s have seen a substantial amount of playing time, Gray hasn’t played over the last three games so BYU will expect to see Potter under center on Friday night.

SJSU’s main weapon will be RB Tyler Ervin who has 193 rushes on the season for 1159 yds and 12 TDs. He’s received more carries than the rest of the team combined, as well as more yds. The next rusher on the team is QB Kenny Potter who has 40 rushes for 110 yds followed by RB Thomas Tucker who is expected to miss this game with an ankle injury. Ervin is a very explosive back who will be able to be effective running both in and outside the tackles, he’ll also be used to catch balls out of the backfield.

The Spartan’s are hampered in the receiving core with leading receiver Tyler Winston lost for the season due to a knee injury. After him, they’ll rely on Billy Freeman, Tim Crawley, and Hansell Wilson to make plays at receiver.Those three have combined for 56 catches for 844 yds and 7 TDs. Losing Winston will definitely hurt their ability to spread out the ball which will benefit BYU’s secondary.

SJSU has been very weak on the OL this season, they’ve given up 21 sacks on the season against less-than-stellar defensive fronts. They’re anchored by their two OT’s who have 53 starts between the two (Schweitzer, 33 & Velichko, 20). They’re weak up the interior as RG Gonzalez and C Taylor have only started 8 games a piece. Travis Tuiloma should be able to eat up blocks from these two and allow other players to make big time plays in this game.

2015 Team Stats:

Points Scored Per Game: 27.6

Rushing Yardage: 1479

Receiving Yardage: 1810

Passing Yardage: 1810

Total Offense: 5099

Fumbles: 9

      Recovered: 5

      Lost: 4

Interceptions: 9

Sacks Allowed: 21 (-127 yds)

First Downs: 177

        Rushing: 83

        Passing: 84

        Penalty: 10

Third Down Conversion: 49/105 (46.7%)

Fourth Down Conversion: 4/15 (26.7%)

Penalties: 33 (-360 yds)

Red Zone Efficiency: 23/26 (88.5%)

Red Zone TDs: 20/26 (76.9%)

PAT Attempts: 26/29 (89.7%)

Individual Stats:

2015 Season

QB Kenny Potter: 88/130 for 914 yds, 5 TDs and 4 INTs, 40 carries for 110 yds and 3 TDs; QB Joe Gray: 72/104 for 837 yds, 6 TDs and 4 INTs, 15 carries for -14 yds and 1 TD; RB Tyler Ervin: 193 carries for 1159 yds and 12 TDs, 30 receptions for 232 yds and 2 TDs; RB Thomas Tucker: 24 carries for 96 yds and 2 TDs, 2 receptions for 63 yds; WR Tyler Winston: 35 receptions for 368 yds, 2 TDs; WR Billy Freeman: 29 receptions for 322 yds and 4 TDs; WR Tim Crawley: 25 receptions for 252 yds and 1 TD; WR Hansell Wilson: 22 receptions for 270 yds and 2 TDs;


San Jose runs several different looks on their defense, but their base D is run out of a 4-3. They’ve underperformed very poorly against the run this year, the teams they played so far this season are ranked 55th in the country with a combined average, the Spartans rank 113th in the nation in defending the run and give up 225.4 YPG. BYU should be able to run all over the Spartans front seven, especially with the expected return of Adam Hine.

San Jose returns two starters from last season on the DL who have started 21 games each, their other two DL have only started 16 games combined. They’ve struggled to control the LOS and establish themselves through their physicality. They’ve struggled to get to the QB and only have 3.5 sacks on the season. BYU should be able to control the LOS and give Tanner plenty of time in the pocket to find his receivers.

The Spartans have struggled with consistency at the LB position, they’ve started 5 different players at the LB position and the only mainstay is been Christian Tago who has 80 tackles with 7.5 TFL on the season. He will be all over the field making plays for this defense and BYU will need to find a way to make him a non-factor if they want to put up big numbers against this defense.

The strength of this team is in the secondary and they have lots of experience back there. They are expected to not have the services of star CB Jimmy Pruitt who has 33 career starts and 3 INTs on the season. But they also have Maurice McKnight and Cleveland Wallace who have lots of experience back there and combine for 32 starts. They will give plenty of different looks for the Cougars, bringing in nickel packages and providing different coverages. They haven’t had many teams throw against them this season with only two teams attempting more than 30 passes against them, teams are completing just 50% of their passes against the San Jose secondary and they’ve only allowed 6 passing TDs on the season. While Tanner should have plenty of time in the pocket, he’ll have to make sure to make the proper reads in order to make plays against this team.

2015 Team Stats:

Points Allowed Per Game: 27.6

Turnover Ratio: 13:8

Forced Fumbles: 11

      Fumbles Recovered: 2

Interceptions: 6

Sacks: 7 (-60 yds)

TFL: 42 (-128 yds)

QBH: 12

PBU: 22

INTs: 6 (-121 yds)

TDs allowed: 28

      Rushing: 22

      Passing: 6

First Downs Allowed: 146

      Rushing: 95

      Passing: 44

      Penalty: 7

Third Down Conversion: 38/104 (36.5%)

Fourth Down Conversion: 5/9 (55.6%)

Red Zone Efficiency: 22/27 (81.5%)

Red Zone TDs: 18/27 (66.7%)

PAT Attempts: 26/29 (89.7%)

Key Defensive Players:

2015 Season

LB Christian Tago: 80 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PBU; S Maurice McKnight: 61 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 2 QBH, 2 FF; LB Frank Ginda: 51 tackles, 4 TFL, .5 sack, 2 QBH, 1 FF; S Vincente Miles: 45 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 PBU, 1 QBH, 1 FF; CB Jimmy Pruitt: 31 tackles, 4 TFL, 3 INT, 4 PBU, 1 FF; CB Cleveland Wallace: 23 tackles, .5 TFL, 2 INT, 4 PBU, 1 QBH; DE Isaiah Irving: 22 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 QBH; LB William Ossai: 21 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 PBU 1 QBH, 1 FF; DE Nick Oreglia: 21 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FF

Special Teams:

San Jose State returns their full team of specialists from last season. Headlining the group is Tyler Ervin who is an explosive kick and punt returner who can make guys miss.

Austin Lopez will handle KO and PK duties and has scored 32 points this season and scored 63 last season and he can hit FG’s from a distance. They also have a talented punter in Michael Carrizosa who has 19 punts of 50+ yds and has pinned 12 inside the 20.


Austin Lopez: 20/22 PAT, 4/7 FG (1-29: 0/1, 30-39: 2/2, 40+: 2/4) lg 43


Bryce Crawford: 22 KO, 1263 yds, 57.4 avg, 6 TB, 1 OOB

Austin Lopez: 19 KO, 1127 yds, 59.3 avg, 9 TB, 1 OOB


Michael Carrizosa: 29 punts, 1422 yds, 49.0 avg, 73 lg, 4 TB, 5 FC, 12 i20, 19 50+

Kick Returns:

Tyler Ervin: 17 returns, 361 yds, 21.2 avg, 31 lg

Punt Returns:

Tyler Ervin: 2 returns for 4 yds, 2.0 avg, 2 lg

Tim Crawley: 1 return for 7 yds, 7.0 avg, 7 lg


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