Looking ahead: Never too early to eyeball the 2018 slate

By Andrew Talamantes (@DrewTooSavvy):

After an overwhelming 2017 season, San Jose State football will look for new hope in 2018 and beyond as they will be challenged by big opponents.

The Spartans have won just one game away from home since the start of the 2016 season, which includes an 0-9 road-record in 2017, and will once again be battle-tested come 2018.

A big character-examiner for the Spartans next season will be in Eugene against the Oregon Ducks, a team SJSU has not faced since 1998.

In fact, some freshmen on the current roster weren’t even born yet in the forgettable 58-3 route handed to the Spartans that game.

SJSU has not defeated the Ducks since 1983, a time where the great Jack Elway was head coach.

Speaking of coaches, the Ducks recently parted ways with former head coach, Willie Taggart and are in need of a new one. Regardless, make sure to mark the Sept. 15 matchup on the calendar.

The Spartans also gear up against Washington State for the first time since 1996. The Cougars are a very underrated Pac-12 program, who lost just three contests last season.

Other notable games for next season (as always) are against two top of the conference teams — San Diego State and Fresno State.

San Diego State is losing its regning Mountain West Player Of The Year and Top 5 Heisman Trophy Winner Finalist Rashaad Penny, but then again, the same hopes were held after Donnel Pumphrey departed.

Fresno State (9-4, 7-1 MW) ended last season as the No. 25 ranked team in the nation but lost to Boise State in the conference championship game.

Looking forward into the next three seasons, other big names teams the Spartans may have their hands full with are, Arkansas, UC Davis and Army West Point.

SJSU’s toughest opponent may not come until the 2020-2021 season against Georgia University, led by freshman quarterback Jake Fromm, who carried the Bulldogs to a 12-1 season and a college football playoff appearance.

But that’s three seasons from now.

Ask any player, coach or coordinator involved with San Jose State football right now what’s on the plate, and it’s recruiting — for 2018 that is.

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