September 7, 2007

Five Keys to Victory: SJSU at K-State

Kansas State played an impressive game at Auburn, but left with a 0-1 record. San Jose State played a far from impressive game at Arizona State, but left with a 0-1 record. The teams not only have their record in common, but they also share a desire to pick up their first victories of the season.

That may be where the comparisons end. San Jose lost 45-3 at Arizona State, losing the battles for first downs (33-7), yardage (520-115) and time of possession (37:10-22:50). In other words, the Spartans were owned by a team under a new coach, Dennis Erickson.

When: Saturday, Sept. 8
Kickoff: 6:05 p.m. (CDT)
Location: Manhattan
Venue: Snyder Family Stadium (50,000)
TV: None

The Wildcats, meanwhile, fought valiantly at Auburn in a 23-13 defeat.

K-State left Alabama healthy and confident, despite losing, while SJSU left Arizona battered both mentally and physically. Star running back Yonus Davis, who ran for more than 1,000 yards last season, will miss the K-State game with left-ankle sprain. Furthermore, starting quarterback Adam Tafralis saw the Spartans' nine-win, pass-happy, stats-laden 2006 season dissolve into a nightmare. He finished the ASU game completing just 5 of 13 passes for 39 yards and two interceptions.

Still, San Jose coach Dick Tomey is optimistic.

"We're just frightfully young. We're kind of at a crossroads here with our program because we just have a lot of sophomores and true freshmen playing and very few seniors," Tomey said. "Our upperclassmen didn't compete like upperclassmen, and our young people in some cases played better. We needed that to happen to us because we have to understand we're at a different level of competition.

"Most of what we've found out about ourselves so far we don't like and I'm sure we'll find out the same this week. We just have to find a way that if we can make enough things happen we have a chance to win. I think we'll be better this week, but last week was a rude awakening."

K-State coach Ron Prince expects the Spartans will be better.

"I'm very concerned about the San Jose (State) team. This is a team that won a significant amount of games last year, went to a bowl game," Prince said. "I think that San Jose just ran into a buzz saw with Arizona State.

"I'm concerned about the size San Jose State has on their offensive line and the hard-hitting playmakers they have in their secondary. I don't think the score of the game Saturday is any indication of how they've played in the past and how they're going to come in here and play. We've been very focused on that."

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