Spartans week nine: return to football and life

Location: CEFCU Stadium – San Jose, CA

Appointment time: Saturday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. PDT

Transmission: MWN/NBC Sports Bay Area | KTRB 860AM

Head to Head Story: Nevada (2-6, 0-4 MW) leads the 123-year series history 23-2-10 ahead of San Jose State (4-2, 2-1 MW). Spartan head coach Brent Brennan’s teams are 1-3 against the Wolf Pack.

After this Tragedy that took the life of Spartan newcomer Camdan McWright Emotions ran high at SJS’ weekly football presser last Friday morning.

McWright’s parents, Tina and Cleve McWright, spoke to the media and answered questions ahead of Brennan’s regular panel appearance.

Both parents reflected on the focus, deep commitment to family, and faith in God that the late McWright had since childhood. When McWright’s parents accepted that God had other plans for his son, their faith and strength were unshakable.

Young McWright embodied the ideal student athlete, with a 4.3 GPA, blessed athleticism and a keen sense of humanity ready to take him far. His expected trajectory would not surprise his family and friends from his hometown of Sylmar, California.

With Pac-12 offers on the table, McWright chose San Jose State because Brennan and his staff always exuded a brotherly and family ethos.

Along with Eric Scott (WR coach) and Alonso Carter (RB coach) they knew within seconds of watching the tape that McWright clearly had talent. Immediately after meeting McWright at his high school in Sylmar, they all knew he was family.

“Camdan had this incredible light and spirit when we first met him,” shared a tearful Brennan. “And from the moment we met him, it was instant. We knew he would be a great part of our family.”

Brennan and McWright also shared a love of superhero films. Before it was revealed that McWright committed to being a Spartan, they gave each other DM Batman signals as a sign of the upcoming football and family relationship.

Carter, also staying true to form, was just beginning to bolster McWright in the game against UNLV.

Time flies in week nine against a nearly forgotten Nevada team

Life goes on unabashedly and the tough spin on football comes against the Wolf Pack on Saturday night.

After the Wolf Pack landed in mid-table in preseason polls, Nevada is a struggling last-place team. Nevada is currently on a six-game losing streak and is more than three touchdown underdogs.

After former Pack head coach Jay Norvell left for Colorado State and receivers Elijah Cooks, Justin Lockhart and Charles Ross made their way to San Jose (among other Wolf Pack players who entered the transfer portal), there is the Nevada program in an identity crisis.

After two convincing wins earlier in the season, Pack head coach Ken Wilson is struggling to find the right combination of players; considering Wilson only had six recurring starters as of 2021.

It was further amplified after Pack QB Nate Cox was benched in five games in and midway through the first half in a 23-7 loss to SDSU last week. Oklahoma State transfer Shane Illingworth filled in to record the only result for Nevada and is expected to start against SJS.

But statistically, the wolf pack in the conference is still in the middle on various performance indicators.

As Brennan would certainly agree in what has seemed a weak year for Nevada so far, the Pack are still dangerous, as any D1 team should be and shouldn’t be underestimated – especially this year at Mountain West.

What to look out for

Undoubtedly, the Spartans always play for each other. Those around the program see, feel and hear it regularly.

“Our training staff, team doctors, coaches and all of us are constantly checking ourselves,” Brennan said of safety concerns, particularly given the need to use 100% of one’s abilities.

“Everyone grieves differently and feels it on different levels, so trying to work through it together is about everyone having a collective awareness of it and of each other.”

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