The defensive side of the SJSU football team must be doing something right. For the fourth time in six weeks of play, a Spartan has been named the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week. This time, it is junior defensive back Bene Benwikeres turn. Starting in just his second game of the season, Benwikere turned in a career-high and game-high 11 tackles, two for a loss also a game-high and added an interception, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble in SJSUs 52-24 road victory over the University of Texas-San Antonio on Saturday. For him to come in and play the entire game at corner and nickel back, he did a great job, said head coach Mike MacIntyre during his weekly Monday press conference. I am very, very proud with the way Bene played and the way hes played for us on special teams and the nickel back position. Very pleased with what Bene has done for us.Benwikeres forced fumble on the UTSA 28-yard-line led to a quick Spartan touchdown Saturday afternoon. Three plays after the turnover, senior running back DeLeon Eskridge found the end zone on a one-yard touchdown run that made the score 45-17. Benwikere, who started at cornerback in place of injured Damon Ogburn Jr., returned his fumble recovery for seven yards and took his interception back 30 yards. His performance helped the defense keep a Spartan offense that scored the most points since 2008 on the field. Sophomore Tyler Ervin was nominated for WAC Special Teams Player of the week after returning his second kickoff for a touchdown this season. Saturday, Ervin ran 92 yards to the end zone on the ensuing kickoff following UTSAs first score of the game. Ervins return made the score 38-7 with 10:47 left in the first half and was a blow to the Roadrunners confidence after finally getting on the scoreboard following an early 31-0 SJSU lead. Ervins other kickoff return touchdown, of the 97-yard variety, came against San Diego State on Sept. 22.
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.
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.
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.
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