San Jose State football: A look at milestones in Spartans’ historic start

With each victory over the past three weeks in this historic start to its football season, San Jose State has reached a new milestone.

The 2-0 start was the program’s first in 33 years.

The 3-0 start was the Spartans’ first in 38 years.

The 4-0 start was their first in 65 years.

If San Jose State wins at Fresno State on Saturday to retain the Valley Cup, it’ll be 5-0 for the first time in 81 years. Yes. you’d have to dial back to the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration to find the last time San Jose State won its first five football games.

Here’s a look at the milestones the 2020 team has eclipsed and what’s at stake this weekend:


How they got to 2-0: Beat Eastern Illinois 24-3, Cal* 27-25.

What happened in Game 3: Lost at Oregon State 36-34.

How’d they finish: The two-point loss in Corvallis was the difference between an 11-0 and a 10-1 regular season. After losing to the Beavers, San Jose State won at Stanford 24-17 a week later and then went 7-0 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Association before losing to Eastern Michigan 30-27 in the California Bowl at Fresno State’s Bulldog Stadium. SJSU finished 10-2.

Spartans standouts: QB Mike Perez, FB James Saxon, DB Greg Cox

Of note: The win over Stanford came at the expense of Jack Elway, who coached San Jose State for five seasons before taking over the Cardinal program in 1984.


How they got to 3-0: Beat Oregon* 18-13, Stanford* 35-31, Oregon State* 17-13

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What happened in Game 4: Lost at Cal 26-7

How’d they finish: The Spartans did not sustain their promising start, finishing 8-3 overall and 4-2 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Association. After losing to Cal, San Jose State beat Cal State Fullerton and then lost to Long Beach State and Fresno State. The Spartans finished third in the conference.

Spartans standouts: DB Gill Byrd, WR Mervyn Fernandez, RB Ken Thomas, DB Brian Hawkins

Of note: The fourth and final Elway vs. Elway game was won by Dad. John Elway threw for 382 yards and two touchdowns in the 1982 matchup against San Jose State, but the Spartans, coached by Elway’s father, Jack, prevailed. In four meetings between father and son, each won twice. ‘It’s tough to reflect on my performance,” John Elway said after the 1982 defeat. “But I’m glad I’ll never have to play against my father again.”

Jack and John Elway at a Nov. 2, 2000 press conference at San Jose Arena as the two were inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame. Jack Elway coached San Jose State and Stanford University football teams. FILE PHOTO BY TOM VAN DYKE 1955

How they get to 4-0: Beat Utah State* 13-0, Hawaii 34-0, Arizona State 27-20, New Mexico* 14-0.

What happened in Game 5: Lost at Pacific 14-7.

How’d they finish: After the hot start, the Spartans won only one of their final five games to finish 5-3-1.

Spartans standouts: Tackle Jack Adams, end Clarence …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

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