'We're back': San Jose State revives Thanksgiving Day football tradition against Fresno State

With the Valley Trophy and other post-season implications on the line, the 'heated' rivalry was reignited once more.

Dustin Dorsey Image
Friday, November 26, 2021
This Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021 image shows the San Jose State Spartans running onto the field for a game against the Fresno State Bulldogs in San Jose, Calif.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Turkey sandwiches, pumpkin pie and football - does it get any more Thanksgiving than that?

A Thanksgiving tradition was reborn for the first time since 1956 and thirteenth time overall, the San Jose State Spartans brought football to the Bay on Turkey Day.

It's something players and coaches are thankful for: a chance to be at home with their SJSU Family.

"I'm thankful for my family, I'm thankful for my health," SJSU Football Assistant Coach Alonzo Carter said. "I'm thankful for the fans. I'm thankful for everybody that made this possible and, most importantly, I'm thankful to be here. Today is my birthday, so hopefully my gift will be us winning today. I'm thankful for the Spartan Nation and I just want to say Spartan up!"

Standing in the way of delivering Coach Zo that birthday gift was the Fresno State Bulldogs.

The Fresno State - San Jose State rivalry is one of the best in California, and the Valley Trophy was on the line.

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"Not only is it a rivalry game and there's a trophy on the line, but you have Fresno State trying to make a championship and San Jose State trying to make a bowl game and become bowl eligible," SJSU Director of Athletics Jeff Konya said. "So, there's a lot on the line for both teams. It's a rivalry, heated, a lot of people and it's Thanksgiving. Great mix."

On top of all of that, today's game wraps up the regular season as SJSU battled with their seniors in their final game at home.

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2020 saw empty stands, but one Spartan Nation came out in force to support the hometown team. There was no better way to spend Thanksgiving for the fans, including the legendary Krazy George.

"This year was great," Krazy George said. "Last year, nobody was here because we had COVID. But not this year, we're back."

Fresno State got the victory, but everyone was thankful for great football on Thanksgiving and a full year of SJSU football.