SAN JOSE -- Don't say the words "week off" around the San Jose State football team.

"It's not really a week off," junior defensive tackle Travis Raciti said. "We get the weekend off."

And really, it's just Saturday off. The team will be back at work Sunday.

The Spartans aren't necessarily licking their wounds either after Saturday's 34-13 loss to Stanford. The performance actually has SJSU feeling encouraged as it begins to prepare for its first true road trip -- next week's game at Big Ten Conference foe Minnesota.

"We saw the game as an opportunity to improve," Raciti said. "We did a lot of good things. We handled our own up front."

Play at the line of scrimmage will remain crucial in the next few weeks. Minnesota is another big, physical team and that game is followed with a home meeting with Utah State.

It was against Utah State last year that the Spartans' struggled mightily to contain the Aggies' pass rush. SJSU allowed 13 sacks -- exactly half of its season total -- in a 49-27 loss.

The Spartans' offensive line may be undergoing a bit of a shake-up. After starting the first two games at center, Nicholas Kaspar practiced Thursday at right guard, the position he started all 13 games at last season.

Junior David Peterson worked with the starters at center, with Reuben Hasani taking the second-team center reps. Keith Bendixen worked with the first team at left guard, with Ryan Jones suited up but not participating in team drills.

"We're just looking more at things and see how they operate," Caragher said of the changes on the line. "I'm encouraged. They say competition brings out the best in all of us."

That seems to be a theme of this week as well with Caragher forcing current starters to compete to retain their jobs.

"There's no entitlement in any way shape or form," he said. "No matter what you did over your career or over two games. I want guys every day to come and compete and start a clean slate every day."

  • Caragher gave some additional information on the injury of running back Tyler Ervin, saying he has a right high ankle sprain. There's still no timetable for his return, but Caragher doesn't believe it to be season-ending.

    "I don't think so by no means," Caragher said. "He's still in that boot but I think that's just to make sure it fully heals."

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