NCAA

Johnson named WAC Defensive Player of Year

901997.jpg

Johnson named WAC Defensive Player of Year

Sixteen players from the SJSU football team were named to all-conference teams and defensive end Travis Johnson was given the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year award on Monday.

Nine Spartans appearing on the all-WAC first-team is tied with Louisiana Tech for the most in the conference. SJSUs seven players on the second-team is the most from any team in the WAC.Johnson, a senior from San Jose, Calif. also named to the first team, leads the conference in tackles for a loss with 19 for 106 yards.

His 12 total sacks ranks him first in the WAC and seventh in the nation. He helped guide an SJSU defense that leads the WAC in sacks and is second in the conference in scoring defense and total defense. Johnsons second-quarter sack of Louisiana Techs Colby Cameron in SJSUs 52-43 win on Nov. 24 gave him 31 sacks in his career, the most in WAC history. His 46.5 career tackles for a loss is fourth all-time in conference history.

He is the first player in school history to win the award since Jarron Gilbert took the honors in 2008. Appearing on first-team all-WAC alongside Johnson are: Wide receiver Noel Grigsby, tight end Ryan Otten, offensive linemen Nicholas Kaspar and David Quessenberry, defensive tackle Travis Raciti, linebackers Keith Smith and Vince Buhagiar and defensive back Bene Benwikere. Second-team all-WAC Spartans include: Wide receiver Chandler Jones, quarterback David Fales, running back DeLeon Eskridge, defensive tackle Anthony Larceval, defensive end David Tuitupou, kicker Austin Lopez and kick returner Tyler Ervin. Fales, named the teams MVP by players and coaches Sunday, was beat out for the first-team quarterback spot by Louisiana Techs Cameron, who was named the WACs Offensive Player of the Year.

Fales set single-season school records for passing yards, touchdowns, completions and total offense. 2012 MILITARY BOWL SJSU will face Bowling Green, who has won seven of its past eight games, in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 in Washington D.C. at RFK Stadium, the former home of the Washington Redskins. The Falcons will try to stop SJSUs high-powered offense with their stout defense that ranks ninth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 15.8 points per game.

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

pitino-sad-ap.jpg
AP

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.

Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. The coach’s attorney, Steve Spence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.

Pitino’s exit comes after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that the men’s program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits. The 65-year-old coach was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.

It is the latest black eye for the Cardinals program. Pitino and Louisville are in the middle of appealing NCAA sanctions following an embarrassing sex scandal.

Jurich has supported Pitino through his transgressions during the athletic director’s nearly 20-year tenure at the university.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

cal-usc-ap.jpg
AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.