Thursday, September 2, 2010

Game 1 Preview: San Jose State University

sanjose_spartans300x180 The University of Alabama will open its season at home against the Spartans of San Jose State University. This will be the first meetings between the two programs in Football. The Spartans will come into town under their new head coach Mike MacIntyre, who was named head coach on December 17, 2009 replacing Dick Tomey. This is MacIntyre’s first game as a head coach in major college football. Interesting enough, Mike isn’t the first in his family to bring a team into Bryant Denny Stadium. His father George MacIntyre coached Vanderbilt from 1979 through 1985, going 1-6 against the Tide. His one victory against the Tide came in 1984 when his Commodore team became the last to defeat the Tide in Tuscaloosa.

San Jose State finished tied for eighth in the WAC last season with a 1-7 record in conference, and 2-10 overall record. This will be the second consecutive season the Spartans have opened the season against a ranked opponent. In 2009, they opened the season traveling to then ranked #4 USC. The Spartan’s last win over a nationally ranked team came in 2000 versus a #9 TCU and a young running back name LaDainian Tomlinson. Their last road win against a ranked opponent was in 1980 when they beat Baylor who was also ranked #9.

MacIntyre’s Spartans will come into the game with eight players who should make their first collegiate stats, four on both sides of the ball, including running back Wade O’Neill who redshirted as a freshman in 2009, and should get the nod Saturday against the Tide. They will look to starting quarterback Jordan La Secla for leadership on the offensive side of the ball. The senior had eight starts in 2009 completing 59.9% of his passes for 1,926 yards. He threw for 10 touchdowns last season. Secla may not be the only one to take snaps in the game against Alabama. Quarterback Matt Faulkner may see some time as well. He played for Mount San Antonio College in 2009, completing 63.4% of his passes for 3,301 yards and 13 touchdowns.

As for Alabama, the main question on everyone’s mind is Mark Ingram and how his injury will affect the game plan for the Tide. We know that Trent Richardson has the skills to step in, but the there are some that wonder how he will do now that he must take most of the carries instead of sharing the load with Ingram. Don’t forget there is also some talent behind him to take some carries and give Trent time to rest. Still, we know that the Tide has a potent offense and should have no problem putting the points up on the board against the Spartan defense. As for the defense, the big question this fall has been how they can keep the same dominance having to replace so many starters on the defensive side of the ball. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower has looked good and has shown that he can take charge of the defense, especially the big boys in the box. As for the secondary, we know Saban has a game plan with the pieces in place and will look for Mark Barron to take the lead back there.

While the Tide shouldn’t have a problem bringing home the W. The question still will be on how long the Tide will be without Ingram.

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