Spartans rout Colorado State 40-20


Spartans rout Colorado State 40-20

SJSU accomplished its goal of both starting fast and finishing strong Saturday night with a 40-20 win over Colorado State. What happened between the beginning and end, however, may still an area of concern for the Spartans.The Spartans scored on their first two possessions of the game and then outscored Colorado State 27-7 in the second half but fizzled in the second quarter and early in the fourth quarter to allow the Rams to get back into the game despite the early 14-point Spartan lead.We started off fast then let them come back, head coach Mike MacIntyre said following the game. They schemed a couple things but we got it fixed and it did not hurt us again. That is the great thing about having a great staff and a lot of veterans.A flurry of late fourth-quarter scores, however, gave SJSU the win and its first 2-1 record since the 2008 season. With the score at 27-20 early in the fourth quarter after allowing a touchdown following a break for Rams after a ball punted by SJSU touched one of its own players on the punt team, the Spartans started pouring it on.The first fourth-quarter score came on a trick play pass from junior wide receiver Kyle Nunn to junior Chandler Jones. Nunn received the handoff from junior quarterback David Fales and started on an end around then pulled up and fired to a wide open Jones, who found the end zone thanks to a much-needed downfield lock from Noel Grigsby. The touchdown made the score 33-20 with 9:39 left in the game.That play reassured everyone that we had momentum, Jones said. We had to keep fighting tonight and we had to dominate. That play was reassuring to our offense.After a three-and-out by Colorado State, SJSU found the end zone for the final time in the game with a 51-yard touchdown pass from Fales to Jones at the 7:56 mark in the fourth.(Coach MacIntyre) always emphasizes that we need to have killer instinct, that we have to be consistent with our offenses attack, Fales said about the 51-yard touchdown to seal the victory. That is how we got that touchdown.On their first possession of the game after receiving the opening kickoff, the Spartans came out nearly as aggressive as they possibly could have. SJSU methodically moved the ball down the field using both the pass and run while putting all of its offensive tools on display including junior backup quarterback Blake Jurich out of the wildcat. The eight-play, 83 yard drive was capped by a 25-yard touchdown pass from Fales to Grigsby.After forcing a punt on Colorado States first drive of the game, SJSU came right back and continued to apply early pressure against the Rams. The first play of SJSUs second drive of the game resulted in a 51-yard pass from Fales to Grigsby, the longest pass play of the season by the Spartans. Fales completed another pass, this time to Nunn, and then the SJSU run game took over. A 10-yard run from sophomore Tyler Ervin gave SJSU a 14-0 lead with 4:31 left in the first quarter.That really got us going and gave our offense a lot of confidence, MacIntyre said about the two early first-quarter scores. Colorado State came back but we kept on going.It was a gallant effort by everyone. We battled back and have been able to go at it the first three game but there is No say die on this team.SJSU, however, then seemed to let its foot off the gas just slightly and allowed Colorado State to crawl back with two touchdowns of its own in the second quarter. After starting their drive at their own 21 yard line. Three straight completions by Grayson and then a 16 yard run by Grayson delivered the Rams another touchdown. A fourth quarter touchdown pass from Garret Grayson to Charles Lovett also showed that the Rams still had life in the game but ended up being too little too late. Grigsby, Jones and Jabari Carr all finished with more than 100 yards receiving Saturday night. Jones led all receivers with 133 yards on six catches and was tied with Carr at two touchdown receptions apiece.The man who delivered them the ball, Fales, had an incredible game himself. Fales finished with 370 yards passing on 27-of-34 passes and three touchdowns.I have not coached anyone who has had such a great start to their major college career, MacIntyre said. Our receivers catch everything that is throw to them.Junior middle linebacker Vince Buhagiar, who led all Spartans with 11 tackles said it always feels good to win but tonights win will only be shortly celebrated.It feels great but we understand that this is oneweek and tomorrow, we will make our corrections and come in and prep for San Diego State.MacIntyre had similar comments to Buhagiars regarding Saturdays win.We will enjoy the win tonight, then get back and beat San Diego State, he said. They are a fellow CSU and this game is a big deal for us. We are excited about this rivalry and we will go out and give it all we got.
Ron Gleeson will cover San Jose State football for Comcast SportsNet all season. Follow him on Twitter @rtgleeson.

Memory of the late Bob Murphy will live on the heads of those who heard him


Memory of the late Bob Murphy will live on the heads of those who heard him

Bob Murphy, who was the voice of Stanford athletics when such titles truly mattered in the Bay Area, died Tuesday after a long fight with Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 86.

Murphy was viscerally connected to the university in ways that were once in vogue across the nation but are now reserved only to the Midwest and Southeast. He was a walking ambassador for the school’s athletic history, a familiar face to the army of alums who linked to his voice and presence early and ultimately grew old with him, even when coaches and players and athletic directors came and went with unsettling frequency.

And while his time as the alternate face to Hoover Tower eventually faded, he was still Murph – to be honored and respected by all generations, even the ones who never heard him or saw him. If anyone below the age of 25 asked about him, he was spoken of with the reverence reserved for architectural structures or hundred-year-old trees. He belonged to the place, and the place belonged to him.

He mattered at Stanford, because Stanford is an insular community, watching the world outside with a palpable sense of “Thank God we’re safe in here.” He attended the school, he worked as its sports information director, and he was the radio voice who fought for Stanford when only a few people were listening. He had proven his devotion decades ago, until his devotion became part of the background noise and scenery.

And he didn’t even leave after he became ill, and then absent. Only the most successful coaches and athletes get to attain that omnipresent aura in college athletics, and in truth, Murphy reached more people in the community than any coach or player the school has ever had, simply by being at the place, and of the place, longer and more happily than anyone.

Sometime soon, we suspect, he will be remembered with a statue, either near the football stadium or near Maples Pavilion. He will be bronzed, wearing a polo shirt with the S-with-the-interlocking-tree and glasses wedged against the bridge of his nose. He will be seated, with a desk before him and microphone perched atop it, and there will be a plaque with a Wikipedia-ized list of his contributions.

But without the voice, it will be incomplete. That will have to be recreated inside the heads of those who heard it most often, and cared most what words it carried. It is there where Bob Murphy’s memory will thrive – as someone who defined Stanford in ways that no marketing campaign ever could.

David Shaw is quietly the second-best coach in the Bay Area


David Shaw is quietly the second-best coach in the Bay Area

Steve Kerr has been the standard by which all other coaches have been measured in these parts since he arrived in Oakland – rescued as it was from the nine hells of the New York Knickerbockers. He is indeed so good that he is still getting credit for the 50 wins he actually didn’t fully merit – the 39 that belong to Luke Walton and the 11 that are Mike Brown’s.

But this is not to slag Kerr’s record – which even if you eliminate the 55 games he hasn’t coached in his three years because of his back issue is still the best in NBA history – but to remind you that David Shaw still exists, he still is supervising the golden age of Stanford football, and he is just as unavailable to pro teams as he ever was.

Shaw, whose team opens its season on Saturday night in Australia against Rice, has been beneath the radar since the day he arrived, for no better reasons than (a) the Bay Area doesn’t hold much stock in college football and (b) he likes it that way. His excellence is indisputable, but he is also in the perfect place to do his job without any of the irritants that surround most college coaches – media, embittered alumni, NCAA investigators, the late night call from the cops about your outside linebacker overturning a minivan, that kind of thing.

He has worn down all attempts to question him on his next job because, while he could get one at the snap of a finger, he was not infected with the standard coach’s ambition to see and be seen. He has seen the sport’s many excesses and has decided to ward off the ones that directly touch him.

He still believes in the game’s virtues, and can probably be considered a fairly doctrinaire figure on most issues confronting the sport and its practitioners, but does not have to pretend that he is too focused on the job to be interested in mundane things like eclipses, political turmoil, social justice and all the other noxious things that happen outside the cocoon.

But be not fooled. He likes the cocoon that is Stanford, and he has the sense to understand that the chance of a better job existing is almost infinitesimal. He may someday want something more public and lucrative, but until money and fame get a long winning streak going at his house, he’ll sit quietly, the second-best coach in the Bay Area and the first-best at making you not remember that he is just that.