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Mustangs hope to even WAC record against Spartans(Game Preview)

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Mustangs hope to even WAC record against Spartans(Game Preview)

Postby Guest » Fri Oct 06, 2000 12:27 pm

Ok, this is the last week we will be doing these previews in the message board. Next week will be back to normal as I get my computer back on Monday (thank goodness).


For the first time in ages, it appears the SMU football team might be
catching an opponent at an opportune moment.

The Mustangs (1-4 overall, 0-1 against Western Athletic Conference
opposition) welcome the Spartans of San Jose State (3-2, 1-0) to Ford
Stadium at 6 p.m. Saturday, and the Spartans will be without their star
running back, preseason All-America and Doak Walker Award candidate Deonce
Whitaker. The top weapon in the San Jose Satte aresenal suffered a
stinger in his team’s Sept. 23 loss to USC, sat out Saturday’s 29-16 win
over Rice and is expected to miss SJSU’s game in Dallas this weekend, as
well.

Of course, Whitaker’s medical questions pale in comparison to the
confusion surrounding last year’s matchup between San Jose State and
SMU, a game that had to be cancelled when an electic transformer blew up
shortly before game time.

Without Whitaker, the Spartans are without their top rusher, a valuable
receiver out of the backfield and a game-breaking kick returner.

But while their senior team leader was absent from the lineup, the
Spartans unleashed his backup, junior tailback Jarmar Julien, who at
5-11, 203 pounds has five inches and 18 pounds on Whitaker. He also has
shown flashes of talent, rushing for 95 yards and scoring three times in
the Spartans’ win over the Owls.

The Spartans also had to call on a substitute in the passing game, as
starting wide receiver Casey LeBlanc sat out with a sprained left knee
(his status for Saturday is undetermined.) In his place, SJSU head coach
Dave Baldwin turned to Waking (pronounced “WAH-king”) Bailey, who had
five receptions for 78 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown pass. Then
again, it’s not like Bailey was a surprise to his coach, since Bailey
and LeBlanc tied for the team lead with 35 receptions apiece last year,
when San Jose State finished the season with a 3-7 mark. Even without
LeBlanc, the Spartans can throw the ball, having put up more than 370
yards through the air against Rice.

Starting at the other wide receiver spots are lanky Edell Shepherd (6-1,
159), who is third on the team with 13 receptions for 194 yards, and
Rashied Davis (5-9, 177), who has a team-leading 23 receptions for 493
yards (21.4 yards per catch) and three scores.

The SMU defense also will have to contend with tight end Sean Brewer, a
6-4, 255-pound bruiser who has caught the eyes of NFL scouts. In
addition to the punishing blocks he delivers, Brewer is second on the
team with 16 catches for 191 yards.

The Spartan offensive line has veteran experience with five juniors and
a senior, and three starters who eclipse the 300-pound mark. Junior
center George Campos (6-4, 266 is the smallest of the group. He is
flanked by a huge pair of guards in Jeremy Dominguez (6-4, 311) and Joel
Tautuaa (6-4, 355) and tackles Chris Fe’esago (6-3, 324) and Tim Provost
(6-6, 281).

Directing the Spartan offense is sophomore quarterback Marcus Arroyo
(6-1, 190), a powerful passer who has completed 81-of-148 passes (54.7
percent) for 1,100 yards. He also has thrown eight touchdowns and five
interceptions.

With Whitaker out, Julien is the team’s leading rusher, with 41 carries
for 148 yards (3.6 yards per carry). He has three rushing touchdowns
this year.

Defensively, the Spartans play a 4-3 base, but return just five starters
from last year’s defensive cast.

The San Jose State defensive line is much like the Mustangs’ front four
-- a bit undersized, at least by the standards of major college
football, but a resilient group that relies heavily on quickness from
its down linemen. The starting front four likely will consist of left
defensive end Chris Tandy (6-3, 255), left defensive tackle Bryan Yeager
(6-2, 275), right defensive tackle John Hammer -- the biggest of the
Spartans’ front four at 6-5, 292 -- and right defensive end Brandon
Miles (6-0, 245). The anchor of the line is Yeager, who is fourth on the
team through five games with 25 tackles.

The strength of the SJSU defense is in its linebackers, where Baldwin’s
starting group consists of Marshall Blount (6-1, 213) on the strong
side, Josh Parry (6-2, 243) in the middle and Ron Ockimey (6-1, 211) on
the weak side. Parry has been the Spartans’ defensive catalyst this
season, piling up a team-high 46 tackles in five games; Ockimey is third
on the team with 33.

The SMU passing attack will face a small secondary -- none of the
starting SJSU defensive backs reach the six-foot mark, nor do any top
200 pounds. The group includes two junior college transfers in
cornerback Alex Wallace (5-10, 169) and free safety Willie Adams (5-10,
169.) The other starting defensive backs are sophomore cornerback Carlos
Koustas (5-9, 193) and senior strong safety Travis Seaton (5-10, 191).
Adams leads the bunch with 21 tackles this year, a total that ranks him
sixth on the team.Wallace is eighth with 17.

[This message has been edited by PonyPride (edited 10-06-2000).]

[This message has been edited by PonyPride (edited 10-06-2000).]
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Re: Mustangs hope to even WAC record against Spartans(Game Preview)

Postby PK » Fri Oct 06, 2000 12:56 pm

OK you probably had a long night last night, but PLEASE don't mess up Doak's name. Thank you. Also thanks for the pregame analysis.
SMU's first president, Robert S. Hyer, selected Harvard Crimson and Yale Blue as SMU's colors to symbolize SMU's high academic standards. We are one of the few Universities to have school colors with real meaning...and we just blow them off.
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