NCAA

Spartan football hungry for a win against UC Davis

540394.jpg

Spartan football hungry for a win against UC Davis

Following SJSUs near upset of Stanford last Friday night at Stanford Stadium, head coach Mike MacIntyre said in no way shape or form was the 20-17 loss a moral victory for the team.Saturday, the Spartans will look to dip into the win column in their home opener against UC Davis, a Division I FCS team playing its first season in the Big Sky Conference. UC Davis, however, defeated SJSU 14-13 in the last meeting between the schools in 2010.MacIntyre said the key to Saturdays game for the Spartans is to stop an Aggies passing game led by junior quarterback Randy Wright that heavily aided in toppling SJSU in 2010.We need to rush the passer, we have been working a lot with the defensive line, he said. Last week we worked on stopping the run more. This week is kind of reverse.Wright, a freshman in 2010, engineered a UC Davis comeback in that game by throwing for 145 yards and a touchdown, one of two second-half touchdowns that led to the Aggies victory in Spartan Stadium.MacIntyre wants to make sure Wright doesnt hurt the Spartans again.We cant give him too much time too often, he said. Theyre going to move the ball a little bit. Their quarterback does a good job. Were going to have to get into the end zone more often.He added that between the close loss to Stanford and the upset by UC Davis two years ago, the team is itching for a win.I hope theyre starving. I am, he said. I feel like the players are definitely starving to do it. Davis came up here and beat us two years ago, they can definitely 100-percent beat us again.Week one against Stanford did not produce quality numbers from the Spartan running game. SJSU gained just 72 yards on the ground compared to Stanfords 155. MacIntyre said it is always beneficial to get a good running game going, but said he is confident enough that his passing game can carry a large bulk of the load, hopefully leading to open lanes for his running backs.We are (going to try and run) but also our receivers, our tight ends are good and if you can complete some passes, it backs people off and you are able to run the ball better, he said.The Spartan passing game is led by junior quarterback David Fales, who finished an impressive performance at Stanford with 216 yards on 24-of-35 passing and a touchdown. Fales, however, is not the only quarterback SJSU plans to use on Saturday.Sophomore back-up quarterback Blake Jurich led the Spartans in rushing with 35 yards on six carries against Stanford. Jurich, used primarily in the wildcat formation, will be a part of the offensive game plan MacIntyre said he will continue to call.Blake is going to continue to play; he is a mainstay in our offense, MacIntyre said.The rest of the Spartans' ground game personnel will be called by platoon, MacIntyre said. Senior DeLeon Eskridges name was called most against Stanford, carrying the ball 11 times. Senior Ina Liaina and sophomore Tyler Ervin each had two carries in the game as well.MacIntyre said he has not made up who will receive the most carries against UC Davis.Well see who has the hot hand, see whos doing well, he said.MacIntyre wants to see his team come out more aggressive than in the Stanford game. The Spartans scored just a field goal in the first half then scored on each of their first two second-half possessions to tie the game late in the third quarter.We didnt start fast last week, we have to do that coming out of the first quarter, MacIntyre said.
Ron Gleeson will cover San Jose State football for Comcast SportsNet all season. Follow him on Twitter @rtgleeson.

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

pitino-sad-ap.jpg
AP

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.

Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. The coach’s attorney, Steve Spence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.

Pitino’s exit comes after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that the men’s program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits. The 65-year-old coach was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.

It is the latest black eye for the Cardinals program. Pitino and Louisville are in the middle of appealing NCAA sanctions following an embarrassing sex scandal.

Jurich has supported Pitino through his transgressions during the athletic director’s nearly 20-year tenure at the university.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

cal-usc-ap.jpg
AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.