SJSU piles on second-half points in route of UC Davis

September 9, 2012, 6:42 pm
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Dating back to the 2011 season, the last three games played by SJSU were all decided by three points. Saturdays win over UC Davis may have seemed similarly close in the first half, but by the end, it was clear this result was another story.The first 28 minutes of the game were controlled by UC Davis but every minute after belonged to the Spartans, who outscored UC Davis 45-6 from the 1:21 mark in the second quarter through the end of the game to bring a final score of 45-13, the largest win by SJSU since 2007. We got ourselves on our heels on defense, said SJSU head coach Mike MacIntyre about the first half of play.MacIntyre added that winning was the goal and that the lopsided score was not what the team was aiming for but is something he would like to continue to see from SJSU. It is important for us to win, and then it is important for us to put on more gas, he said. Put the pedal to the metal and keep going.We need to finish teams off. We didnt do that last year and I think thats the next phase. Thats what we have to be able to do.The Spartans were led offensively by senior running back DeLeon Eskridge, who ran for three touchdowns on 136 yards rushing and revived an SJSU offense that made mistakes and looked very flat in the first half. Eskridges first two appearances in the end zone happened late in the second quarter and in rapid succession. He scored two touchdowns within 28 seconds of game clock, the second coming with 1:21 left in the second quarter to give the Spartans a 14-7 halftime lead that seemed would never happen the way the majority of the first half transpired. They were phenomenal runs, I was very impressed, MacIntyre said.Eskridge said he gives all his thanks to the offensive line and echoed MacIntyres goal of finishing football games. In football, things go up and down, the team that finished is going to win.The majority of the first half belonged to a UC Davis team that moved the ball very effectively through the air. Quarterback Randy Wright, whose arm helped win the last meeting between the two teams in 2010, continued to shine against the Spartan defense two years later. On the second play of the game, Wright connected with sophomore wide receiver Alex Cannon on a 45-yard touchdown strike to take a seven-point lead after less than a minute of play. Wright finished with 194 yards on 14-of-23 passing 123 of those yards coming in the first half. We realized we needed to pick it up a lot more, said senior defensive end Travis Johnson. We got back into our rhythm and played from start to finish. Once we did that our defense started working together and we were able to stop them the rest of the game.SJSU failed to break into UC Davis territory on its first two drives until a muffed punt reception by Aggie wide receiver Anthony Soto allowed the Spartans to take over on the 33 yard line. Still, the SJSU offense could not capitalize but instead coughed up a turnover on a third-down fumble by junior quarterback Fales.The Spartans did not score until Eskridges first TD run, but once they did the scoring did not stop. SJSU scored on seven straight possessions that spanned from the end of the second quarter to the 2:02 mark when a fumble ended the streak. A 10-yard touchdown pass from junior backup quarterback Blake Jurich to Chandler Jones on the first possession of the second half brought the Spartan lead to 21-7. Another touchdown catch by Jones, this time thrown by Fales on SJSUs following possession made it 28-7. After Eskridges third rushing touchdown of the night, a 25-yard field goal by freshman Austin Lopez and a rushing touchdown by Jurich and the Spartans closed their scoring for the evening. Fales finished the win with 277 yards on 23-of-32 passing, helping the Spartan out-gain the Aggies on offense 510-252. The 510 yards is the most by SJSU since on loss to Louisiana Tech on Nov. 27, 2010. Defensively, no Spartan played better than senior defensive end Travis Johnson. Johnson tied a career-high with four sacks and collected six tackles for a loss.Hes a beast, MacIntyre said of Johnson. Thats why hes the best sacker in America, best in WAC history. He just has a motor I feel bad for those guys on the offensive line.Fales said he very much enjoyed the win and is loving the quality receivers SJSU has to offer.Those guys are good, he said. Its nice getting a win like this, being able to build your confidence and get our rhythm. We are still going week-to-week but tonight was a good win.

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