NCAA

SJSU linebacker Keith Smith wins WAC defensive honors

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SJSU linebacker Keith Smith wins WAC defensive honors

Spartan junior linebacker Keith Smith was given the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors Monday for his prime-time performance helping the SJSU defense stop BYU in Saturday nights 20-14 win.
RELATED: SJSU's Fales breaks three school records in win over BYU
Smith tied a career high with 19 total tackles two for a loss and none more significant, impressive or timely than his final tackle, a nine-yard sack and forced fumble of Cougars quarterback Riley Nelson with 1:16 left in the game.The fumble was recovered by fellow linebacker Vince Buhagiar and stopped a forceful fourth-quarter BYU drive, which reached the Spartan 21-yard line before the turnover. It prevented the Cougars from creating some late-game heroics and led to a set of kneels from quarterback David Fales to secure the 20-14 win. In order to get to Nelson, Smith hurdled Cougar running back Jamaal Williams, who was blocking out of the backfield.Our whole motto all week was play harder for longer than they do, and we did, head coach Mike MacIntyre said Monday. When it looked like everything was falling apart, they rose to the occasion. His play, in that circumstance that late in the game, playing linebacker, playing every snap, 19 tackles, rushing the passer, running all around ... I cant explain what a Herculean effort that was.Most people would just run into the guy because theyre tired he hurdled the guy, pogo-stick jumped about four yards in the air, hits him hard, knocks the ball loose and we win the game.Smith, a native of Covina, Calif., is the fifth different Spartan defensive player to receive this award, joining Buhagiar, defensive end Travis Johnson (twice), safety Cullen Newsome and defensive back Bene Benwikere.Smith also received National Linebacker Performer of the Week honors by College Football Performance Awards for his stellar game on Saturday. SJSUs regular season will conclude this Saturday at Spartan Stadium when it faces Louisiana Tech. The game will be aired on ESPN2 with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. NATIONAL RECOGNITION SJSU received votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today coaches polls in the same week for the first time this season.The Spartans were given eight votes in the AP poll, slotting them 33rd in the nation. They are ranked 32nd nationally according to the USA Today poll, which yielded seven votes for SJSU.Its a great acknowledgment for our coaching staff and our kids, they deserve that, MacIntyre said. If we keep winning, at the end of the day, it would be fun to stay there permanently.In addition to the team appearing in both polls, coach MacIntyre was named one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Football Club Collegiate Coach of the Year, announced by Ron Jaworski, the clubs president.Im humbled by it, but the credit really goes to all of our players and coaching staff for their tireless efforts and work and the young men making the plays out there, MacIntyre said in reaction to his recognition. This is representation of the David Fales; the Ryan Ottens; the Noel Grigsbys; the Travis Johnsons; the Keith Smiths; the Vince Buhagiars its them doing it. Its a great honor to be able to honor them with it.The Spartans' nine wins this season exceeds the win total from the 2009 (2), 2010 (1) and 2011 (5) seasons combined.

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

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AP

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

BOX SCORE

PALO ALTO — Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.

K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.

Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.

The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.

The nation's leading rusher going into the game, Love was held in check most of the game by Cal's defense and sat out the final 11:43 after re-injuring his ankle that has bothered him for the past month. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.

Scarlett, Love's primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal's last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett's 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.

Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox's first season.

THE TAKEAWAY

California: The Bears made the Cardinal sweat and kept the game a lot closer than many thought possible. Wilcox's defense did a good job bottling up Love most of the game but couldn't stop Scarlett on the final drive which was huge. Still, there are plenty of positives for Cal to take out of this one.

Stanford: It wasn't the best game for David Shaw's team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.

UP NEXT

California: Ends the regular season at UCLA on Saturday.

Stanford: The Cardinal stay home and will host No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

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AP

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The New Orleans Saints say running back Daniel Lasco has feelings in his extremities after suffering a spinal injury making a tackle on a kickoff return during today's game at Buffalo.

Lasco was loaded into an ambulance on the field and taken to a hospital.

He was hurt six minutes into the second quarter when he appeared to lower his head while tackling Bills returner Brandon Tate. 

Lasco played four seasons at the University of California, Berkeley. He gained 1,471 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns his junior year. In 2015 as a senior, Lasco was limited to nine games and only totaled 355 yards. 

The Saints selected Lasco in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report