Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2012 MILITARY BOWL

2012 MILITARY BOWL
vs.

Recap:
This was the end to the best season in the history of the San Jose State Spartan football program.  As little as it took to accomplish that, they finished off an 11 win season with a win over a solid Bowling Green squad.

San Jose State is the definition of the unbalanced offense. Including sacks, they ran the ball 20 times and threw it 43 times, with only 13 of those carries going to running back De'Leon Eskridge.  Their scheme should not be taken as a slight to Mr. Eskridge however, as he managed to collect over 1000 yards rushing in his senior season and catch 28 balls.  No, their scheme was to take advantage of what their Quarterback, Nick Fales, could do.  In his first season out of Juco ball, Fales complete over 72% of his passes for nearly 4200 yards.  A lot of people jump to judging that through the lens of his conference, but I would counter that by looking at his stats against Stanford, Utah State, and BYU.  Each of those teams has a very good defense, and each of those teams won a bowl game.  Fales threw for 989 yards at a 73.1% clip with 7 TD's and 2 INT's.  This offense can score against good teams, and Fales is very accurate.  I have very real concerns about his arm strength when I try to project to the next level, but he is a very good college QB.

Ball State is a young team that is built around a solid running attack and a very good defense.  Coming into this game, they had given up only 15.8 points a game.  They are a team that is without a big name on either side of the ball.  They play great team defense with good speed and no glaring weaknesses.  On offense, they have a 2 headed monster at running back with Senior John Pettigrew and Sophomore Anthon Samuel combining for over 1800 combined yards and 18 TD's.

In this game, the difference was that San Jose State was able to take better advantage of Bowling Green's weakness at quarterback.  They limited the running game and took a lead which forced Bowling Green to look to the air.  Matt Schilz was not able to meet the challenge as he completed less than half of his passes.  He looks like a good athlete, but needs work on his mechanics if he is going to be accurate enough to lead this team going forward.

Players of note:
San Jose State:

QB David Fales: Fales is a big quarterback with good athletic ability and accuracy who changed the San Jose offense dramatically.  He is set up to be a very good prospect for a late pick in next year's draft if he can show the ability to throw the deep ball.  He did well holding his accuracy up in a windy RFK stadium, but he didn't show an exceedingly strong arm.  With his size, he may have just been doing what was needed.

TE Ryan Otten: Otten is a dark horse candidate at Tight End for this year's draft.  He is one of the best deep threats at TE, and the NFL likes that he standardly starts each play in a 3 point stance and has the height and speed to threaten the seam.

WR Noel Grigsby: Grigsby is a small, fast receiver who caused matchup problems all year long.  He finished strong as well, capping his Junior year with 3 consecutive 100 yard performances including 134 in the Military Bowl.

Bowling Green:

RB Anthon Samuels: Samuels is the closest thing to a star that you are going to find on this Bowling Green team, and that is not a slight to a good young team.  Samuels was just shy of 1000 yards while sharing the backfield with his Senior partner at running back.

RB John Pettigrew: Pettigrew lost most of the carries to the sophomore Samuels, but still kept and average well over 4 yards a carry.  He is a solid back, but this is likely the end of his football career.
Interesting Notes:
San Jose State's coach from the regular season, Mike McIntyre, was hired away to the Pac-12 as the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.  The Interim coach, Kent Baer, did a find job in his place but was not hired either.  I wonder if he is upset to not be a head coach in the WAC rather than a DC in the Pac-12. 

2012 Bowl Season Scoreboard
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