SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Jose State football team is a month away from its Aug. 29 opener against Sacramento State. Training camp opens on Thursday, meaning the time to start talking on the field is near.

On Monday however, it was another chance to simply talk about the upcoming season. The three Bay Area college football teams gathered for their annual media day and the only coach in the room who hasn't coached a game involving the Spartans is SJSU's own Ron Caragher.

Stanford coach David Shaw has faced the Spartans twice as a head coach and three times as a Cardinal assistant. The first game of his head-coaching career was a 57-3 win over SJSU.

He witnessed the improvements of the Spartans that saw them give Stanford fits last year before the Cardinal pulled out a 20-17 victory.

"They've recruited well," Shaw said of the Spartans. "They've recruited tough kids and given them a structure to help them be successful."

Shaw coached a season at the University of San Diego under Jim Harbaugh. During his season on staff, new SJSU offensive coordinator Jimmie Dougherty was a fellow assistant. He also has experience coaching against new defensive coordinator Kenwick Thompson, who spent the past six years at Cal.


Advertisement

"I have all the respect in the world for the defensive coordinator," Shaw said of Thompson. "He's given us fits everywhere he's been. I believe in their offense, having some experience with Jimmie Doughery, knowing their not going to do exactly what we do. He's going to put his own spin on that offense but I know that they'll be sound."

Cal coach Sonny Dykes spent the past three years at Louisiana Tech and went 2-1 as fellow Western Athletic Conference members against SJSU. That includes a 52-41 loss to David Fales and the Spartans last season.

He spoke of the work done by former coach Mike MacIntyre.

"They built the team the right way," Dykes said. "Mike's a really good football coach. They hired a good staff and did things the right way. They recruited kids that could graduate. They had some academic issues on the front end like we do at Cal. He fixed them the right way by bringing in kids that care about academics and bringing accountability to the program."

San Jose State hasn't played against Cal since 1996. With Dykes' association having played against the Spartans in the WAC, could that change?

"I think it makes sense," Dykes said. "Schedules and all that stuff is done so far in advance. I think it makes sense to play people that are geographically close to you. I know there's a lot of people that want to play us. How does that all fall into our scheduling? It remains to be seen."