With two arguably dominant wins in a row at home under its belt, the SJSU football team will hit the road to take on San Diego State, the first truly tough test for the Spartans since nearly beating Stanford in the seasons opening game.We look at it as a big deal any time we play a school within our system, head coach Mike MacItyre said about SDSU in regards to the California State University system. Our kids are pumped to play in this game.The most daunting task for SJSU this weekend is to put a halt to the Aztecs two-headed monster of a run game it continues to show success with week after week. Sophomore Adam Muema and senior Walter Kazee make up an SDSU running duo that has gained 494 yards this season. Putting each of their contributions in perspective, the two are only four rushes and 10 yards apart in season statistics, with Muema leading in both categories. Kazee, however, has four rushing touchdowns on the season, one more than Muema.MacIntyre said the run defenses strategy will be very similar to what they put out on the field to help stop Stanford and star running back Stepfan Taylor.We go to fill our gaps, line up correctly, MacIntyre said. We got to be physical and we do have a bunch of physical guys.(San Diego State) does a really good job like Stanford at times of getting you out of position so we have been working on lining up correctly. We have been working on alignments because that to me is really important.Last week in a 49-41 win over North Dakota State in San Diego, the two Aztec running backs combined for 229 yards rushing on 31 carries and three touchdowns. MacIntyre said containing them will be crucial in order for SJSU to capture its first road win in 2012.We have to wrap them up. We have to gang tackle, he said. We have to know how to fit their runs.In addition to Muema and Kazee, SDSU has a pretty impressive quarterback in senior Ryan Katz, a transfer from Oregon State playing in his first season with the Aztecs.The thing he can do really well is he has an incredible arm but he can also run, MacIntyre said. He really has a way to improvise, put the ball down and run. Im very impressed with their offensive ability.Last week, Katz added 80 yards on the ground to the 241 yards he gained through the air and showed how two-dimensional he can be. He also showed how efficient he can pass, completing 11-of-18 passes without throwing an interception while finding receivers in the end zone three times.The Aztecs two-man run game, along with an efficient quarterback who can also run, is proving to be a difficult matchup for SJSU, but MacIntyre said the defense has been working on turning SDSUs offense into a one-dimensional game.Once they get the run game going they kind of get you in a dilemma there so we have to try and get them one-dimensional the best way we can, he said. Hopefully well be able to stop the run enough that we wont have to commit as many to the run and play the pass a bit better.Junior wide receiver Noel Grigsby, who broke the schools all-time receptions record in the teams win over Colorado State, will play this Saturday after missing some time in practice after falling on his right shoulder in practice on Tuesday. Grigsby now has 165 career receptions at SJSU, five more that the records previous holder, Kevin Jurovich.Senior offensive lineman David Quessenberry also should play after missing the game against Colorado State with an ankle injury.MacIntyre said the teams depth, which showed by replacing Quessenberry on Saturday, is a key to the team staying competitive thus far this season.The better players you have, the more depth you have, the more experience you have; the more games you win, he said. Were getting to that point. Hopefully we stay relatively healthy and are able to play a lot of guys.MacIntyre said he wants more consistency out of his running backs. SJSU has been up and down all season long. It gained just 72 yards against Stanford; 216 on UC Davis then down to 139 against Colorado State.If we can (become more consistent) it will help us run the clock some and finish some games out, he said. I want us to keep growing in that area and I think we are.
SJSU hopes to stop tough SDSU run game
September 21, 2012, 11:36 pm