Slew of Spartans receive national, conference recognition


Slew of Spartans receive national, conference recognition

SJSU was recognized nationally by appearing in its first ever Bowl Championship Series poll Sunday. On Monday, the spotlight continued to shine on several players part of the No. 25 BCS-ranked Spartan football team.Our kids are starting to get a lot of honors, which they should. Its exciting, head coach Mike MacIntyre said Monday in his weekly press conference.Defensive back Bene Benwikere took home the most hardware for tying a school record with three interceptions in Saturdays 52-43 win over Louisiana Tech. Most notably, he was awarded the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week, the first Spartan in school history to receive the honor.MacIntyre jokingly called Benwikere a ball hog.Wherever the ball is, Bene shows up, MacIntyre said. He just has that knack, some people do. His ball-hawking ability has been huge for us.He was also named the National Defensive Back of the Week and is one of three National Defensive Performers of the Week, as announced by the College Football Performance Awards program.Once I got one after that I felt a lot more confident, Benwikere said after Saturdays game, the game started to slow down to me a whole lot more and after that I was able to read the quarterback a lot better too. It gave me my confidence.Benwikeres final interception of LA Techs Colby Cameron came with just less than a minute remaining in the game and the Spartans ahead of the Bulldogs by 9. The pick led to a series of kneels to drain out the clock, clinching SJSU its first 10-win season since 1987.All season weve heard that (Cameron) hasnt thrown any interceptions until last week, when hes thrown two, Benwikere said, so we were just waiting for him to make mistakes. We were trying to attack him and after I finally got one everybody knew that we could get one so we were trying to stop the long passes.Running back DeLeon Eskridge took home Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors. He ran for 217 yards on 28 carries and tied a career high with 3 touchdowns on Saturday. Two of Eskridges touchdowns and 143 of his rushing yards came in the second half crucial to SJSU in keeping pace with quick scores from LA Tech.Eskridge and tight end Ryan Otten were given honorable mentions for players of the week at their respective positions by College Football Performance awards. Otten, who has already accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl on Jan. 26, hauled in 6 passes for 87 yards against LA Tech.For the second time this season, quarterback David Fales has been named one of eight Manning Awards Stars of the Week. Fales threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns on 25-of-37 passing in Saturdays win. The nations most accurate passer at 72.1 percent, Fales set single-season school records in touchdown passes (31), passing yards (3,789), total offense (3,669) and completions (294) in 2012. Its amazing, Fales said after Saturdays game about his first season with SJSU, however deflected his success towards his teammates. I have four receivers that can go up and make a play, an O-line that will hold for four seconds and a running back that will hit the hole and pick up any blitzes so I think as an offense as a whole its great for us.

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal


Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal


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.

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


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