San Jose State (0-0) at (21) Stanford (0-0)
August 31, 2012Eastern Indiana Sports
Friday, August 31st, 10:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Phil Neuffer, Associate College Football Editor
GAME NOTES: For the first time since 2009 someone other than Andrew Luck will start under center for Stanford, as the 21st-ranked Cardinal open the season on Friday night against San Jose State.
San Jose State had a much better 2011 campaign as compared to head coach Mike MacIntyre's first season. However that does not look as impressive considering the Spartans went 1-12 in 2010. Still the 5-7 mark the team posted last year was the its best since 2008. This will be the fourth straight season in which San Jose State opens against a nationally-ranked team.
Stanford is coming off back-to-back seasons that ended with BCS berths. Last year the Cardinal shook off the loss of head coach Jim Harbaugh to go 11-2 and reach the Fiesta Bowl. The Cardinal lost in the contest in a shootout (41-38) with Oklahoma State that needed overtime to decide. However this season the team may have taken a even bigger hit with star quarterback Andrew Luck gone to the NFL. Luck was a two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up and was 31-8 as a three-year starter.
Stanford has to be pleased with how well first-year head coach David Shaw did with last season's team and there is still enough talent on the roster for the Cardinal to compete in the Pac-12.
The 2011 season started in the same place, as the Spartans traveled to Stanford Stadium on opening weekend last year as well. San Jose State will obviously want to improve on that performance when it was outclassed 57-3. Just like that game, Stanford has dominated against the Spartans in the all- time series. The Cardinal are 50-14-1 against its in-state foe. San Jose State has not won at Stanford Stadium in the last eight tries.
San Jose State's offense will be adjusting to a new quarterback this season after former starter Tate Forcier quit school after transferring from Michigan. That's not exactly good news for an offense that ranked second-to- last in the WAC in rushing (101.8 ypg), total offense (378.7 ypg) and scoring offense (24.5 ppg) last season.
Taking over for Forcier will be former Nevada reserve David Fales, who won the starting job over Dasmen Stewart and Blake Jurich. Fales spent last season at Monterey Peninsula College where he was efficient completing 62 percent of his pass attempts for 4,365 yards and 37 touchdowns.
I think David is definitely ready to handle it and he has good weapons around him," McIntyre said, "He's not going to do everything by himself."