Photo credit: @SJSUSpartanFB
By: Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE, Calif. — In case you missed it, the San Jose State Spartans welcomed the UC Davis Aggies to its home turf inside CEFCU Stadium on Thursday night.
As you should already know, SJSU went 2-11 (1-7) last year under first-year head coach Brent Brennan, who’s now in his second year as the Spartans’ head coach. And, of course, there are a lot of folks–mostly non-Spartan fans–who doubt that the 2018 Spartans will be an improved team, but that’s fine. It’s still too early to throw in the towel.
Here are three takeaways from SJSU’s home opener vs. UC Davis.
3. Tyler Nevens is in our thoughts and prayers
The Spartans’ 2018 season is off to a rough start. Tyler Nevens, who’s arguably the Spartans’ top wide running back, suffered a serious injury following a head-to-head collision. Nevens was on the field for nearly 20 minutes before being taken off the field on a stretcher for an evaluation at a local hospital. Nevens was released late Thursday night and has been resting since then.
Many people sent their thoughts and prayers to Nevens, who scored two touchdowns prior to his injury, and it appears to be working wonders on the Spartan star. While it’s unclear if Nevens will be cleared to play in next Saturday’s game at Washington State, Spartans’ head coach Brent Brennan said that Nevens’ replacement at running back would be DeJon Packer, Jamar Williams or Brenden Manigo.
2. Montel Aaron is more confident this year
Spartans’ quarterback Montel Aaron, who’s now a sophomore, told the local media that he felt more confident this year compared to last year.
The only issue is that Aaron hasn’t had much experience last year, so he has a lot of things to learn and a lot of strides to make, but it’s a process, so he’d say that it’s all about mental techniques, so he has to have the required confidence regardless of who’s starting the game or what they’ve done in the offseason, as you’ll have to go after what you want to achieve.
1. Where’s the Spartan defense?
If you listened to the radio broadcast and/or followed live updates on Twitter, you’d notice that the Spartan defense was pretty much non-existent during the SJSU vs. UC Davis home opener at CEFCU Stadium. The Spartan offense, however, was a force that just happened to be reckoned with.
The Aggies are far from a good college football team in the Big Sky Conference, but they were able to hold off the Spartans, who are in the Mountain West Conference, for a 44-38 win in San Jose, Calif. Ulonzo Gilliam became the ninth Aggie to score three touchdowns in a single game in UC Davis’ Big Sky history, and the second to do so against an FBS opponent.
That being said, the Spartan defense has to show up sooner than later if the Spartans want to win games this season. The Spartans’ defensive lineup of Bryson Bridges, Owen “Boogie” Roberts, Sailosi Latu, Jesse Osuna, Tysyn Parker, Ethan Aguayo, Jamal Scott, John Touissaint, Tre Webb, Jay Lenard and Dakari Monroe looks pretty darn good on paper, but in the game versus UC Davis, SJSU’s defense allowed an FCS quarterback to pass for 446 yards and three touchdowns and an FCS running back to rush for 132 yards and two touchdowns. The Spartan defense clearly got destroyed by the Aggies in 2018’s first-ever FCS over FBS upset, which was extremely disappointing.
SJSU heads to the Pacific Northwest to take on Washington State at Martin Stadium on Saturday, September 8th at 8 pm PDT on PACN.