San Jose State is a cellar dweller in the Mountain West
San Jose State has room for improvement
Brent Brennan talks about what’s next for San Jose State
SAN JOSE — Spartans head coach Brent Brennan held his weekly press conference at Simpkins Stadium Center Monday afternoon and answered questions with relief, not enthusiasm.
There wasn’t a whole lot to talk about, but the local media had questions for the first-time head coach even though San Jose State lost its sixth straight game against to Hawaii 37-26 at Aloha Stadium on October 14.
Here are the five questions that I asked Brennan.
1. San Jose State had a bye week. Do you think the additional rest will help your team prepare better?
I hope so. I really hope so. I think we played some really good football teams in the first couple months of the season and we had some long travels and some tough road games so I think we definitely needed the rest…The guys got a chance to get off their legs a little bit and come back to be a little more fresh this week so I’m hoping it was exactly what we needed to play better football this week.
2. With a young team that has 48 freshmen, what do you think about their work rate so far in terms of learning what it takes to be successful at this level?
I think we’ve seen some really good things from our freshmen, and at other times, we’ve seen some quite ugly things. So it’s a part of the process when you’re playing so many young players. There are moments where you look out there and you don’t recognize what’s happening so you’re scrambling to fix those things and there are moments where you’re like ‘wow, this kid is really getting it. He’s starting to be productive and settle into his role with our football team.'”
3. You’ve stressed the importance of protecting the football many times, but why hasn’t the team absorbed that notion yet?
I think our issue with ball security has been more along the interception line than the fumble line, but either way, we haven’t done a nearly good enough job of doing that. I think a lot of that stems from the amount of young people we have playing in the games…Sometimes, it’s the wrong route and there’s too many mistakes that led to turnovers, which is the absolute kiss of death in this game. So that’s something that we’ve been working a lot on these last 10 days: ball security, making good decisions and our team discipline…We’re trying to get the young players to accelerate their learning curve and understand the responsibility they have to themselves and to the team—so they’ll know what to do when they’re out there.
4. When it comes to the Spartan defense, was there anything specific the team worked on during the bye week to improve and get better for BYU?
We have to get ready for a physical, kind of West Coast style offense where they’re big and physical and up front on both sides of the ball…and then they’re going to run a pretty big running back at you so you have to got to be able to deal with it, a 250-lb Polynesian running back who’s quick and powerful and athletic…We made our work really physical during the bye week and now we still got a couple more days to practice and try to settle in to make sure we’re solid with where our eyes are at and all that.
5. It seems like BYU has some very big players on offense. How come BYU hasn’t scored a lot of points?
I think, like us, they turn the ball over a little bit. Any time you’re not as good in the turnover battle, you’re going to have a hard time winning.
The Spartans (1-7) head to Provo, Utah, to take on the BYU Cougars (1-7) at 1 p.m. MST on Saturday, October 28. You can catch the live action on BYUtv and ESPN3.