SAN JOSE -- San Jose State players and coaches remember what it felt like when UC Davis came into Spartan Stadium two years ago and walked away with a victory.
It was one loss in a miserable 1-11 season, coach Mike MacIntyre's first with SJSU. The program has shown much improvement since, including last week's 20-17 loss to Stanford. But the Spartans are hungry to avenge the 2010 upset and get their first win this season.
"I hope they're starving," MacIntyre said of his players. "Davis came up and beat us two years ago, and they definitely can come do it again."
The Aggies have experience to lean on. Fifteen of their 22 starters on offense and defense played in the 2010 victory, including quarterback Randy Wright.
"We look at it as a rivalry," Spartans junior linebacker Keith Smith said. "It definitely stings having that loss two years ago. We're just looking forward to get back to it and get our revenge."
SJSU was impressive against the Cardinal in holding its own at the line of scrimmage against a tough, physical team.
The Spartans appear to be in shape to deliver the first comfortable win of MacIntyre's career. None of his six victories have been by more than 10 points. But SJSU won't take Davis lightly.
"Every game we play is gigantic," MacIntyre said. "Davis has beat us a bunch of times. It's a very, very tough game."
Spartans quarterback David Fales was strong in his debut, throwing for 216 yards and
"He got hit hard a few times and bounced right back up," MacIntyre said. "He never flinched or backed down. That to me was very impressive."
Backup quarterback Blake Jurich was the team's leading rusher with 32 yards and a touchdown that came on designed runs for the 6-foot-4, 230-pound sophomore whom MacIntyre referred to as the "Blake-dozer." He'll continue to see action in those packages.
"Blake's earned the right to do that," MacIntyre said. "He's big, he's strong, he's fast. We're going to keep playing him the rest of the year."
Follow Jimmy Durkin on Twitter at Twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.