San Jose State caps off season with two wins, what are they going to do next?
Dive into San Jose State’s plans in the offseason
San Jose State must get things done next season
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Spartans had fans on the edge of their seats at CEFCU Stadium as they barely defeated the Cowboys, 20-17, on Saturday night. San Jose State picked up their second win of the season to improve to 2-11, 1-7 Mountain West, while Wyoming dropped to 7-5, 5-3 Mountain West. At least we can say neither team resembles the Browns of the NFL.
Anyways, Spartans head coach Brent Brennan spoke to the media in his weekly press conference at Simpkins Stadium Center Monday afternoon. Just like his team, Brennan had a 2-11, 1-7 Mountain West record, but he’s a first-time head coach, so cut him some slack.
Here are the five questions I asked Brennan.
1. The defense chants from the fans were in full effect. The Spartan defense was a major factor in the team’s win over Wyoming. San Jose State gave up just one touchdown in the second quarter before Wyoming scored its last touchdown late in the game. Why was the defense so effective in this game especially compared to earlier games in the season?
I felt like we had really, really great play from our d-line and I think that was a little bit more healthier version than we’ve had in previous weeks. That allowed us to put some pressure on the quarterback and I thought our secondary played their best game of the year. I thought Jermaine Kelly was outstanding, Andre Chachere had one of his best games of the year—while he was with us—and Maurice McKnight continued to be solid and then Dakari (Monroe) who had two interceptions in the game, that’s like hitting four home runs in a game, that’s a big deal. There was a lot of really good individual plays and I think just being a little bit healthier…and feeling some momentum and energy to get going in the right way…it will help us continue to play at a high level.
2. Obviously, there’s room for improvement. What are a couple of things the team needs to focus on in the off-season?
I would say one of the biggest things is that we need to get stronger because we’re playing a lot of young bodies this year. Sometimes, those bodies aren’t strong and the game of football is so physical so there are more injuries to the youth. The big focus this offseason is getting stronger and faster with our strength staff and part of that would be getting more comfortable with the scheme. Any time you have a staff transition or when a scheme is new, you’re just trying to find ways to get players to play as fast as they can and play with confidence. I think we can make strides this offseason that way.
3. Jermaine Kelly was remarkable in his final game as a Spartan. His performance resembled his shutdown performance of Colorado State wide receiver Michael Gallup. What is Kelly’s next step moving forward?
Well, I think the next step for him, is to play in the NFL. That’s his dream and that’s his goal and he’s worked extremely hard for it. I thought that was a great situation for him on Saturday—to just play the best football in his last game in his senior year at CEFCU Stadium. I’m just really excited for Jermaine. He’s been a good leader for us all year. He’s worked really hard and had a good attitude. I’m just excited to see what the next step is for him and how that opportunity unfolds in the next level.
4. Dakari Monroe had two interceptions. What does he need to do to keep up that level of play next year?
Well, no one keeps up two interceptions a game for a year. I think Dakari is a really smart player and that helps him be in the right position…I think as he continues to improve, as he plays more and matures and continues to make the strides he’s making…The more he plays, the more he’s going to see it and when you combine his athleticism with his smarts, I think you’re going to see him continue to play at a high level.
5. Looking back as a first-time head coach, was it rough during the year making adjustments to being a head coach? Do you have any goals already established to be successful next season?
Yeah, there was lots going through the year that was different being a head coach. I think the greatest challenge for me and our football team is continuing to work, continuing to practice and move forward even though we weren’t having the success we wanted on the football field. So that was the biggest challenge for me, was just kind of making sure that our heads were in the right place and we were getting everything we could out of the meeting environment and the practice environment…I thought the kids did a really good job of taking that to heart and continuing with the thought process of “we need to keep moving forward” and “we need to keep working” and “we need to keep improving” and I was really proud of them for that.
In terms of goals for next year, those are things that we’ll talk about as a staff. Most of the staff hit the road recruiting today, so we have a really small window right now on recruiting…Basically, there’s a three-and-a-half week window now before December 20 and then there’s a three-week window before the end of January. Because the window’s so short, we got to go now and get those things ironed out. We’ll talk about the big picture stuff when we get done with December 20.
That’s a wrap for this season! See you all next fall, Spartan nation!