SJSU spending bye week preparing for Utah State

October 5, 2012, 1:52 am
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Five games into its best season since 2006, the SJSU football team will enjoy a much-needed bye week this weekend and will focus on two things, one slightly higher in priority than the other for now, at least. The Spartans No. 1 goal for this weekends bye: Rest up, while keeping their foot on the pedal and preparing for Utah State, their second goal. Seeing how the team is practicing, I dont think the team has let up, said senior running back DeLeon Eskridge. The most important thing is getting people healthy. A lot of people are banged up that were going to need going into league play. It gives us a chance to fix the nicks and bruises and also gives us an extra week to go in and start the WAC off right and beating Utah State.A 20-17 loss to then-No. 21 Stanford in the opening week is the only blemish on this seasons record for SJSU. The Oct. 13 Homecoming game against Utah State will open Western Athletic Conference play and is arguably the most important game for the Spartans this season. But before they focus solely on Utah State, the team need to focus on recovering a couple of lingering injuries, most notably with junior linebacker Keith Smith and sophomore wide receiver Jabari Carr.We need to get some rest, said junior quarterback David Fales. We got some injured guys so theyll have an extra week to get ready and get healthy.Both Smith (ankle) and Carr (toe) missed Saturdays 12-0 win over Navy. Prior to the Navy game, Smith was third on the team in total tackles. Carr currently is second on the team with 244 receiving yards and 22 catches and has two touchdowns on the season. Junior wide receiver Noel Grigsby (shoulder) and senior offensive lineman David Quessenberry (ankle) will also use the off week to further recover from their injuries, even though they did play against Navy. SJSU will need both Smith and Carr back near full health to give boosts to both sides of the football in order to keep up with a Utah State team that was chosen to finish second to Louisiana Tech in the 2012 WAC preseason poll.Were going into conference play and we got to go to another level, said head coach Mike MacIntyre. Were going to start getting teams that are saying Wait, San Jose State is somebody that we need to prepare better for. Lets face it. Now theyre thinking about us more so you have to understand theyre a little more focused.
NATIONAL RECOGNITION: Junior tight end Ryan Otten was named the John Mackey Tight End of the Week on Tuesday for his eight-reception, 94-yard game against Navy last Saturday. Both numbers were season highs for Otten. Otten won the same award last season in a Week 5 38-31 win over Colorado State. In that game, Otten recorded six catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. The John Mackey Award, or The Mackey as many people call it, will be awarded to the nations top tight end on Dec. 6. Senior defensive end Travis Johnson, who was awarded the WAC defensive player of the week on Monday, was placed on the Lott IMPACT Trophy List. Johnson leads the nation in both sacks with 7.5 and tackles for a loss with 12.5. Named after former San Francisco 49er Ronnie Lott, the IMPACT Trophy recognizes a student-athlete who has stood out both on and off the field. The winner of this award will be announced on Dec. 9.