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.

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

On for the long haul: Saint Mary's awards Bennett with new 10-year contract

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AP

On for the long haul: Saint Mary's awards Bennett with new 10-year contract

MORAGA, Calif. – Coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history, Saint Mary’s College men’s basketball head coach Randy Bennett has been rewarded with a new 10-year contract, President James Donahue and Director of Athletics Michael Matoso announced today.
 
Bennett enters his 17th season at Saint Mary’s, which begins Saturday at McKeon Pavilion. He is the school’s all-time leader in wins and ranks second in all-time wins for any coach in the West Coast Conference. His contract will run through the 2026-27 season at Saint Mary’s.
 
Last year the Gaels finished the season with a school record 29 wins for the second straight year, earned a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and reached the round of 32.
 
“I’m appreciative and thankful to President Donahue, Mike Matoso and the Saint Mary’s administration for their support. It’s an honor to have this opportunity to work at such a great institution,” Bennett said. “We’ve had great student-athletes and assistant coaches who have put a lot of hard work and effort into building the program to this level. My family and I truly enjoy being in such a supportive community and raising our family around this environment. We are excited to continue what we have started here 17 years ago.”
 
Over the past 10 years, Bennett has led the Gaels to an impressive 263-76 overall record for a .776 winning percentage. The winning percentage is the best in California and ranks fifth nationally during that stretch.
 
“Randy represents what Saint Mary’s College is all about. He exemplifies the College’s ongoing commitment to the development of our student-athletes,” Donahue said. “He is not only a remarkable coach, but he is a valued and respected leader on our campus. We are excited to have him committed to this long-term agreement and look forward to him leading Saint Mary’s basketball for the next decade.”
 
Bennett has led his teams to the post season 11 times, with six NCAA Tournament appearances (2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2017) and the school's first NIT appearances (2009, 2011, 2014, 2015 & 2016). No other SMC coach has guided his squad to more than one post-season appearance.
 
“It is an exciting day for Saint Mary’s College to announce a 10-year extension for Coach Bennett. Randy embodies the core values of the college and we are very fortunate to have him,” Matoso said. “He has built this program from the ground up and we envision great things for the program in the future under his leadership. His teams have performed extremely well on the court and have matched that success both in the classroom and in the community.”
 
In addition to team accomplishments, Bennett has had 20 different players earn All-WCC recognition, with a total of 29 first team and eight honorable mention selections. He also coached former Gaels Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova, who currently play for the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks, as well as many others professionally around the world.
 
In 2017, senior Jock Landale was named the first Gael to be in the top-5 for the Kareem Abdul Jabaar award under Bennett’s tutelage. The center was an AP Honorable Mention and member of the WCC First Team after averaging 16.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
 
Also under Bennett’s tenure, in 2012, Dellavedova gave the Gaels the first back-to-back WCC players of the year since 1962. He also became the school's first-ever male first-team Academic All-America selection and was among five finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's best point guard. He earned all-WCC honors three times and twice was a honorable mention All-America selection.

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