Friday Football

Friday Football

Friday's College Football TV Capsule
Associated Press

Opening Line: Hawaii by 17.

Series Record: San Jose State leads 15-14-1.

Last Meeting: 2006, Hawaii 54-17

Last Meeting: 2006, Hawaii 54-17

Hawaii has won the last six meetings. ... Hawaii has won its last six road games dating back to last season. ... Hawaii has a 10-game winning streak in the WAC. ... Hawaii leads the nation in scoring average (53.83 points per game). ... The last time San Jose State beat Hawaii in Spartan Stadium was a 38-14 victory on November 15, 1997. ... The last time San Jose State beat a ranked opponent at home was November 4, 2000, a 27-24 victory over No. 9 TCU. ... The Spartans have won 10 out of their last 11 home games.

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Re: Friday Football

Game Preview for Hawaii vs San Jose St

GAME NOTES: The 16th-ranked Hawaii Warriors try to extend their good fortunes and their best start to a season in a quarter century, as they drop in on the San Jose State Spartans in a special Friday night edition of Western Athletic Conference football. Having scored at least 45 points in every game this season, the Warriors are now winners of six in a row thanks to a 52-37 defeat of Utah State last Saturday. The victory also pushed Hawaii to a 3-0 start in WAC play, placing it atop the league standings heading into this week. A program that in previous years had a hard time winning on the mainland, the Warriors have strung together six consecutive road wins to this point. As for the Spartans, a team that went to and captured a bowl victory last season under head coach Dick Tomey, they've rebounded from a rough 0-3 start to 2007 by stringing together three straight wins now. After being shutout by Stanford the third week of the season the Spartans turned the corner with victories over Utah State and UC Davis, adding a 28-20 decision versus Idaho this past weekend at home. Despite Hawaii being such a dominant team the last few seasons, San Jose State actually leads the all-time series with the Warriors by a count of 15-14-1. Last season, Hawaii easily took care of the Spartans in a 54-17 decision in the middle of November.

Hawaii remained undefeated and in the hunt for a BCS invite with its 15-point victory over Utah State but that doesn't seem as important as the status of Heisman hopeful Colt Brennan who left the game early in the second half with a leg/ankle injury. Brennan, who still managed to pass for 219 yards and a touchdown on 19-of-25 attempts, is listed as probable for this game, but if the visitors get out to an early lead you can be sure he will try to find a seat on the bench. Tyler Graunke stepped in for Brennan and hit 9-of-11 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns, helping to make up for the fact that the team compiled a pitiful 47 yards rushing on 19 attempts. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last year or so, you'd know that the Hawaii offense begins and ends with the exploits of Brennan who has already thrown for 1,850 yards and 16 touchdowns despite missing significant time this season. But even when Brennan is not on the field the UH offense still makes Graunke look unbeatable with seven touchdowns in just 71 pass attempts. There are four receivers averaging better than 73 yards per game for the squad, with Ryan Grice-Mullen placing first with his 582 yards, leading to five touchdowns. Davone Bess, one of the most successful wideouts in program history, has 496 yards and six TDs on 41 catches.

Utah State proved to be a tougher foe than expected last weekend, but were it not for a couple of big plays the score would not have been nearly as close. The Hawaii special teams surrendered a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by one of the nation's most dangerous return men (Kevin Robinson) who later in the contest raced 77 yards for a touchdown from Leon Jackson. Refusing to give in to Robinson and the Aggies, Solomon Elimimian put himself on the line for the Hawaii defense and came up with a career-high 20 tackles in being named the WAC Defensive Player of the Week. Hawaii has often been exposed defensively, mainly because the unit has to spend so much time on the field after the quick- strike offense does its job, and yet this season the squad is actually second in the WAC in run defense (116.8 ypg), total defense (320.8 ypg) and scoring defense (21.8 ppg) after six outings. The squad is first in the conference in both sacks (3.8) per game and tackles for loss (8.8), placing sixth and seventh, respectively, on a national scale.

James Callier came away with 93 yards and two touchdowns on the ground for the Spartans, with the team constantly running the ball even though they gained a mere 134 yards on 48 attempts. The other option for the SJSU offense was signal-caller Adam Tafralis who connected on 22-of-30 for 302 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Kevin Jurovich had one of those two scoring grabs, making 10 total receptions for a team-best 161 yards against Idaho last week. The lack of a viable rushing attack had the Spartans ranked 117th in the nation after play on Saturday with a mere 65.3 ypg on the ground. A huge part of the problem is that Patrick Perry never made it through the summer with a knee injury and Yonus Davis is still not 100 percent with a sprained ankle. Averaging a pitiful 2.1 yards per rushing attempt means that defenses can focus more on stopping Tafralis than anything else this season. However, the gunslinger is not going away quietly, completing 68 percent of his attempts for 10 touchdowns and just six picks.

The Vandals scored the first points of the game last Saturday, but from there the contest belonged to San Jose State. The defense for the home team did surrender a hefty 183 yards on the ground, but when paired with a mere 68 yards passing it didn't seem like much at all. More importantly, the Spartan defense was able to save its strength because it was on the field for just 58 plays. Demetrius Jones was credited with a team-high 10 tackles for the Spartans, while Dimitrous Chattman made half of his four stops behind the line of scrimmage, including one of the unit's three sacks in the outing. Not to be overlooked was Matt Castelo with his eight tackles and two TFLs. Even though Castelo is second on the team with 59 tackles and has a team-best 7.5 TFLs, he still hasn't managed to get in on a single quarterback through six games, which is why the team is ranked seventh in the conference and tied for 105th in the country with just one sack per game. TFLs boast a similar story, with the team ranked last in the WAC and 112th in the nation with just over four quarterback takedowns per outing.

The nation's top scoring offense may have some issues on the defensive side of the ball, but as long as Colt Brennan has his way the Spartans won't have a prayer in this meeting.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Hawaii 56, San Jose State 24

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Re: Friday Football

Warriors battle Spartans in WAC action
October 10th, 2007

San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - The 16th-ranked Hawaii Warriors try to extend their good fortunes and their best start to a season in a quarter century, as they drop in on the San Jose State Spartans in a special Friday night edition of Western Athletic Conference football.

Having scored at least 45 points in every game this season, the Warriors are now winners of six in a row thanks to a 52-37 defeat of Utah State last Saturday. The victory also pushed Hawaii to a 3-0 start in WAC play, placing it atop the league standings heading into this week. A program that in previous years had a hard time winning on the mainland, the Warriors have strung together six consecutive road wins to this point.

As for the Spartans, a team that went to and captured a bowl victory last season under head coach Dick Tomey, they've rebounded from a rough 0-3 start to 2007 by stringing together three straight wins now. After being shutout by Stanford the third week of the season the Spartans turned the corner with victories over Utah State and UC Davis, adding a 28-20 decision versus Idaho this past weekend at home.

Despite Hawaii being such a dominant team the last few seasons, San Jose State actually leads the all-time series with the Warriors by a count of 15-14-1. Last season, Hawaii easily took care of the Spartans in a 54-17 decision in the middle of November.

Hawaii remained undefeated and in the hunt for a BCS invite with its 15-point victory over Utah State but that doesn't seem as important as the status of Heisman hopeful Colt Brennan who left the game early in the second half with a leg/ankle injury. Brennan, who still managed to pass for 219 yards and a touchdown on 19-of-25 attempts, is listed as probable for this game, but if the visitors get out to an early lead you can be sure he will try to find a seat on the bench. Tyler Graunke stepped in for Brennan and hit 9-of-11 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns, helping to make up for the fact that the team compiled a pitiful 47 yards rushing on 19 attempts. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last year or so, you'd know that the Hawaii offense begins and ends with the exploits of Brennan who has already thrown for 1,850 yards and 16 touchdowns despite missing significant time this season. But even when Brennan is not on the field the UH offense still makes Graunke look unbeatable with seven touchdowns in just 71 pass attempts. There are four receivers averaging better than 73 yards per game for the squad, with Ryan Grice-Mullen placing first with his 582 yards, leading to five touchdowns. Davone Bess, one of the most successful wideouts in program history, has 496 yards and six TDs on 41 catches.

Utah State proved to be a tougher foe than expected last weekend, but were it not for a couple of big plays the score would not have been nearly as close. The Hawaii special teams surrendered a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by one of the nation's most dangerous return men (Kevin Robinson) who later in the contest raced 77 yards for a touchdown from Leon Jackson. Refusing to give in to Robinson and the Aggies, Solomon Elimimian put himself on the line for the Hawaii defense and came up with a career-high 20 tackles in being named the WAC Defensive Player of the Week. Hawaii has often been exposed defensively, mainly because the unit has to spend so much time on the field after the quick- strike offense does its job, and yet this season the squad is actually second in the WAC in run defense (116.8 ypg), total defense (320.8 ypg) and scoring defense (21.8 ppg) after six outings. The squad is first in the conference in both sacks (3.8) per game and tackles for loss (8.8), placing sixth and seventh, respectively, on a national scale.

James Callier came away with 93 yards and two touchdowns on the ground for the Spartans, with the team constantly running the ball even though they gained a mere 134 yards on 48 attempts. The other option for the SJSU offense was signal-caller Adam Tafralis who connected on 22-of-30 for 302 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Kevin Jurovich had one of those two scoring grabs, making 10 total receptions for a team-best 161 yards against Idaho last week. The lack of a viable rushing attack had the Spartans ranked 117th in the nation after play on Saturday with a mere 65.3 ypg on the ground. A huge part of the problem is that Patrick Perry never made it through the summer with a knee injury and Yonus Davis is still not 100 percent with a sprained ankle. Averaging a pitiful 2.1 yards per rushing attempt means that defenses can focus more on stopping Tafralis than anything else this season. However, the gunslinger is not going away quietly, completing 68 percent of his attempts for 10 touchdowns and just six picks.

The Vandals scored the first points of the game last Saturday, but from there the contest belonged to San Jose State. The defense for the home team did surrender a hefty 183 yards on the ground, but when paired with a mere 68 yards passing it didn't seem like much at all. More importantly, the Spartan defense was able to save its strength because it was on the field for just 58 plays. Demetrius Jones was credited with a team-high 10 tackles for the Spartans, while Dimitrous Chattman made half of his four stops behind the line of scrimmage, including one of the unit's three sacks in the outing. Not to be overlooked was Matt Castelo with his eight tackles and two TFLs. Even though Castelo is second on the team with 59 tackles and has a team-best 7.5 TFLs, he still hasn't managed to get in on a single quarterback through six games, which is why the team is ranked seventh in the conference and tied for 105th in the country with just one sack per game. TFLs boast a similar story, with the team ranked last in the WAC and 112th in the nation with just over four quarterback takedowns per outing.

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Re: Friday Football

(16) Hawaii at San Jose State

Hawaii takes a seven-game winning streak back to the mainland for a nationally televised Western Athletic Conference showdown against San Jose State, though the Warriors might be without injured QB Colt Brennan.

The Warriors cruised to a 52-37 victory over Utah State on Saturday, but failed to cover as a 40½-point home chalk. After sitting out a week with a bum ankle, Brennan returned to action and completed 19 of 25 throws for 219 yards and one TD, but he reinjured the ankle late in the fist half, and backup Tyler Graunke came on and went 9-for-11 for 246 yards and three TDs with no picks. Brennan will be a game-time decision tonight.

Hawaii is has won 16 of its last 17 games and is 11-3-1 ATS in its last 15 lined contests. Also, the Warriors have won a school-record 10 conference games in a row.

San Jose State opened the season with three ugly non-conference road losses at Arizona State (45-3), Kansas State (34-14) and Stanford (37-0). Since then, though, the Spartans have bounced back with three straight wins, outscoring those foes by an average of six points per game (28-22), including Saturday’s 28-20 home win over Idaho as a 7½-point home favorite.

Hawaii is 3-0 in WAC play, but 1-2 ATS, while the Spartans are 2-0 SU and ATS in conference.

The Warriors own a six-game winning streak against San Jose State (3-3 ATS), including last year’s 54-17 victory as a 25-point home favorite. In that contest, Hawaii had a 568-192 edge in total offense.

Hawaii has been solid on the mainland recently, going 9-4 ATS in its last 13 road contests, including 6-2 ATS as a road favorite.

Brennan is completing 73.4 percent of his passes for 1,850 yards with 16 TDs and six INTs. He paces an offense that averages 528.2 yards and an NCAA-best 53.8 points per game. During their seven-game winning streak, the Warriors have scored at least 41 points in each contest.

Defensively, Hawaii is surrendering just 21.8 points and 320.8 yards per game.

Spartans QB Adam Tafralis has been solid this year, connecting on 68 percent of his passes for 1,361 yards with 10 TDs and six INTs. San Jose State is putting up just 17 points and 312.7 yards per game overall, including a woeful 65.3 rushing ypg. At home, though, the Spartans are outscoring their opponents by 14 ppg (31-17) and outgaining them by 122 ypg (391-269).

The over is 3-0 in the last three series meetings. Also, for Hawaii, the over is on runs of 22-5-1 in WAC play, 7-2 on grass and 17-5-1 in October. On the flip side, the under is 7-1 in San Jose State’s last eight overall 17-5-1 in its last 23 conference games

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Re: Friday Football

Hawaii at San Jose St.
By Brian Edwards
VegasInsider.com

For the first time this season, a national-television audience will get a look at unbeaten Hawaii tonight. Are the Warriors the 2007 version of Boise State? Is Colt Brennan a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate?

We’ll have a better idea about the answers to those questions after San Jose State hosts June Jones and Co. Most sports books are listing Hawaii as a 17 1/2-point favorite with a total of 70.

Bettors can back the Spartans to win outright for a plus 700 (risk $100 to win $700) payout.
   
Hawaii (6-0 straight up, 2-2 against the spread) has won seven straight games and 16 of its last 17. However, the Warriors have played absolutely nobody to date, as their opponents have a 7-28 combined record (20% winning percentage by our math) this year.

Granted, it’s really not the Warriors’ fault. As we pointed out back in July, Michigan St. paid Hawaii $250,000 to get out of a trip to the islands. And Jones then offered that quarter-million to any BCS school that wanted to play, but there were no takers.

We knew Hawaii would be heavily favored in its first eight games (New Mexico St. is on deck Oct. 27 following an open date), but is this a danger spot for the Warriors, who are playing their fourth game on the main land in five weeks? (To clarify, this is the fourth game but just the third trip east, as Hawaii spent 12 days in Louisiana, Texas and Nevada for road games against La. Tech and UNLV.)

San Jose State (3-3 SU, 3-2 ATS) sure hopes so. The Spartans have won three consecutive games, including last week’s 28-20 win over Idaho as 7 ½-point favorites.

Adam Tafralis threw a pair of scoring strikes and James T. Callier rushed for two touchdowns to spark SJS into the win column.

As for the Warriors, they came nowhere close to covering the number in last week’s 52-37 win over winless Utah St. as 41-point ‘chalk.’ Brennan, who has already missed on game this year with a sprained ankle, left the game in the first half after taking a hard hit.

He returned for just one series in the third quarter, but he’s listed as “probable” this week. Brennan completed 19-of-25 throws last week for 219 yards and one touchdown.

For the season, Brennan has connected on 73.4 percent of his pass attempts for 1,850 yards, with a 16/6 touchdown-interception ratio. Davone Bess is Brennan’s favorite target, hauling in 41 receptions for 496 yards and six TDs.

Tafralis is completing 68 percent of his throws with a 10/6 TD-INT ratio.

The ‘under’ is a perfect 3-0 for San Jose St. Moreover, none of its games have seen more than 48 combined points scored.

ESPN will provide televison coverage at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Here’s an extra factoid from Stanford’s shocking win over USC last week: Mark Bradford’s game-winning TD catch on fourth down came just four days after he buried his father, Mark Bradford Sr., who died on Oct. 2.

--I defended Dave Wannstedt earlier this season, claiming that his Pitt program had been burned by injuries and that he was racking up outstanding recruiting classes. Both remain true and freshman RB LeSean McCoy was proof-positive evidence Wednesday of the type of talent Wannstedt has recruited for the Panthers. However, I won’t defend Wannstedt anymore, not after that abysmal offensive play-calling in the double-overtime loss to Navy. The Midshipmen had not stopped Pitt’s running game all night, yet when faced with third-and-goal at the two trailing by three in the second OT, the Panthers threw the ball twice rather than giving the ball to McCoy. Unbelievable! Wannstedt is 13-16 in three years at Pitt, and now it becomes very debatable whether or not he gets a fourth season. We shall see…

--Seriously, did any of you out there think FSU was on its way back? Please! That’s at least a four-L squad, probably five or even six.

--Wake Forest cashed money-line tickets in the plus 175 range. The Demon Deacons, who took the cash as five-point ‘dog at most books, are 11-5-1 ATS as home ‘dogs under Jim Grobe.

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Re: Friday Football

What bettors need to know: Hawaii at San Jose State
Covers.com

QB question mark

The Hawaii Warriors will start sophomore Tyler Graunke on Friday with starting quarterback Colton Brennan listed as doubtful against the San Jose State Spartans. Brennan injured his right ankle in a 52-17 win over Utah State last Saturday. He has over 1,800 passing yards with 16 TDs and six interceptions this season.

“It's been frustrating the last couple of weeks – feeling not right,” Brennan told reporters. “[But] we're 6-0 and we're rolling and I'm fine with that.”

Graunke has been pulling his weight in Brennan’s absence. The sophomore QB threw for 285 yards, three TDs and two interceptions in his only other start, a 66-10 win over Charleston Southern. He also threw for over 200 yards in relief of Brennan against Utah State.

“I’ve always known that he could play,” Hawaii coach June Jones told reporters. “I'm proud of him.”

Deteriorating with a capital ‘D’

The Warriors defense has struggled over its last two outings against Idaho and Utah State, allowing the opposition to score a combined 57 points.

“Teams like [Utah State] are hard to beat,” Hawaii linebacker Solomon Elimimian told reporters. “They have nothing to lose coming into this game. I think we may have underestimated how much they wanted it.”

Hawaii ranks 33rd in the country in yards allowed (320.8) and 48th in points allowed (21.8) this season, but they still conceded 370 total yards and 37 points to the winless Aggies.

The Spartans rank 53rd in the country in passing yards (247.3) and senior QB Adam Tafralis has thrown for at least 300 yards in three consecutive outings.

That’s WAC

This is not just another game for the 3-3 Spartans. After starting the season 0-3, they can claim first place in the WAC with a win over the heavily favored Warriors.

San Jose State has lost six straight games to Hawaii, including a 54-17 manhandling last November at Aloha Stadium. The last time the Spartans topped the Warriors was their 57-48 win at Aloha Stadium in October 2000.

“There is a lot left over for us from last year's game,” San Jose State quarterback Tafralis told reporters, “Not for them, because they did what they wanted to do against us. It has built up for us.”

The last time San Jose State beat a nationally ranked team was in 2000. The Spartans last defeated Hawaii at Spartan Stadium in 1997.

This is Sparta

The Spartans pride themselves on their strong pass defense. They rank 34th in the country, allowing under 190 passing yards per game.

San Jose State limited three consecutive opponents to fewer than 300 yards of total offense and are tied for fifth nationally with 11 interceptions. Senior cornerback Dwight Lowery has been instrumental in the Spartans’ success.

“You can't help but completely respect a guy like Lowery," Boise State tailback Ian Johnson told reporters. "He creates opportunities for you and when you can do that you can put points on the board and win games.”

Lowery is tied for ninth in Spartans history with 11 career interceptions, including two picks this season to go along with 19 tackles and three pass breakups. Lowery will face a strong Hawaii offense lacking its star QB.

Junior defensive end Jonathan Harris leads San Jose State with three interceptions.

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