Former San Jose State coach Dick Tomey thought he’d done all he could with the Spartans, so he turned the reins over to former Duke assistant Mike MacIntyre, who is now charged with turning the program around. The Spartans have had just two winning seasons this decade and while the winning probably won’t come right away, MacIntyre will have a couple years to prove that he’s the right man for the job.
Here’s a look at the strongest and weakest positions for San Jose State this spring:
Strongest position: Tight end
Key returners: Sophomore Ryan Otten (10 catches, 78 yards)
Key departures: None.
The skinny: The tight end position was nonexistent before Mike MacIntyre took over the team, but this spring the position became one of the most offensively productive. During the spring game, Otten had three catches for 92 yards, including touchdown catches of 3 and 55 yards. With leading receiver Kevin Jurovich lost to graduation, Otten will play an integral role in the Spartans offense.
Weakest position: Defensive line
Key returners: Junior defensive tackle Pablo Garcia (23 tackles, five tackles for loss, four sacks)
Key departures: Defensive end/linebacker Justin Cole (57 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks), defensive tackle Adonis Davis (13 tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack), defensive end Carl Ihenacho (42 tackles, six tackles for loss, four sacks)
The skinny: The front four is the biggest concern for coach Mike MacIntyre and his staff. It returns just one starter, several players were hurt this spring, and those who were available had limited experience. Last season, the rush defense ranked 119th in the country with 259.17 yards per game allowed and opposing teams scored 35 touchdowns on the ground as opposed to 13 in the air. The Spartans allowed fewer than 200 rushing yards just three times all season. The front four will once again be the weak spot of the team if they can’t get healthy and better this offseason.