SJSU's Fales breaks three school records in win over BYU

943867.jpg

SJSU's Fales breaks three school records in win over BYU

SJSU may have lost out on hopes for a Western Athletic Conference title before Saturday nights matchup against Brigham-Young University began, but it didnt show on the field. Utah State defeated Louisiana Tech earlier Saturday to almost assuredly wrap up the WAC championship unless it loses to Idaho next week but the Spartans looked like they could care less by adding a convincing 20-14 win at home on national television over BYU to their bowl resume. One of our coaches always talks about euphoria I think I know the definition of euphoria now, said linebacker David Tuitupolou about the win. The Spartans (9-2, 4-1 WAC) did not score in the second half and allowed BYU (6-5) to crawl within a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Cougars quarterback Riley Nelson narrowly escaped a sack and found wide receiver David Foote to reduce SJSUs lead to 20-14.BYU successfully converted an onside kick attempt following the touchdown and began a would-be game-winning drive with 2:36 left in the game. The Cougars were able to get to the SJSU 21 yard line before Spartan linebacker Keith Smith broke through the BYU offensive line to force a fumble, which was recovered by linebacker Vince Buhagiar to seal the victory. It was a blur, said Smith, who tied a career high with 19 tackles, about his forced fumble. I was in my zone and coach called a blitz and it ran to perfection. It just so happened to come my way ... It was like a dream especially how it just came my way.Head coach Mike MacIntyre said the team did not tire despite the defense having to return to the field following the BYU onside kick.The energy our kids got in that last part there, because you could think they could have gone dead-legged you could see the momentum turn but they just rose, he said.SJSU played one of the most complete first halves it has played all season and against its most demanding opponent. At one point, SJSU converted each of its first eight third down plays. The Spartans, however, were 0-8 on from then on. Quarterback David Fales threw a touchdown pass on each of the Spartans first three drives of the evening, two of which rewrote SJSU football record books. It didnt take Fales long either he broke the records in the span of his first ten passes. Fales third pass yielded the games first score, a 51-yard touchdown to Noel Grigsby. The deep strike was Fales 26th touchdown pass of the season, breaking Steve Clarksons record set in 1981. Fales tenth pass of the game, an 8-yard touchdown to Chandler Jones, broke the school single-season record for passing yards, set by Mike Perez in 1987. Fales now has 3,431 passing yards after Saturdays game, also an SJSU single-season record for total offense. Im speechless, Fales said of his newly acquired records at SJSU, but its our entire offense not just me. We were recognizing and seeing what they were doing and we were making good reads. Receivers ran good routes and got open. We just executed what we had in our game plan.Fales finished the game with 305 yards on 25-34 passing and the 3 touchdowns.The BYU defense, which surpassed season averages by allowing 20 points and 294 yards to SJSU by halftime, buckled down during halftime and came out much stronger to begin the second half. The Cougars sacked Fales twice on the Spartans second-half opening possession. SJSU hadnt allowed a sack since its Oct. 13 loss to Utah State, who brought down Fales 13 times in the game. BYU went on to allow just 63 total yards to SJSU in the third quarter alone. After converting their first eight third-down attempts, the Spartans were unable to convert on five straight third down plays stretching from the end of the second quarter into the fourth. The Cougars responded by scoring on their first possession of the game as well. They put together a 9-play, 79-yard drive capped by a Jamaal Williams 16-yard touchdown run, setting the score at 7-6 in favor of BYU. Fales collected his third touchdown of the game on a 18-yard completion to Noel Grigsby with 13:23 left in the second half to make the score 20-17. The Spartan defense buckled down in the first half after allowing the Cougars to score on their first possession. BYU gained just 61 yards from scrimmage from their second possession through halftime. I think if you told anybody in American wed be 9-2 at this point not many would agree with you except for the guys in our locker room, MacIntyre said. As far as next weeks game, youd like to play for the WAC but instead were playing for 10 wins.The SJSU football program has never seen a 10-win team during the regular season. Should the Spartans defeat Louisiana Tech next week then win a bowl game if they are invited, it will be the first SJSU team in school history to win 11 games. Congrats to Utah State, but no question about it next week it still a big game for us, said Grigsby, who caught 8 passes for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns Saturday night. We want a 10-win season 10-3 sounds a lot better than 9-3.

Washington gets final CFP spot, will face Alabama in semifinal

bama-clemson-osu-uw-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Washington gets final CFP spot, will face Alabama in semifinal

Alabama will play Washington and Ohio State is set to face Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinals.

The selection committee stayed with the same top four as it had going into championship weekend, leaving out Penn State even though the Nittany Lions won the Big Ten title game and beat Ohio State earlier in the season.

The Buckeyes are the first team to reach the playoff in its three-year history without winning its conference.

The unbeaten Crimson Tide is in the playoff for the third straight season and is the top seed for the second time. They will play the fourth-ranked Huskies in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 31.

No. 2 Ohio State is making its second playoff appearance and No. 3 Clemson is in for the second consecutive season. The Buckeyes and Tigers will meet at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, on Dec. 31.

The one difference from last week's top four and the final one was Clemson and Ohio State switched spots. So the Tigers will wear the home jerseys in University of Phoenix stadium instead of the Buckeyes.

Selection committee chairman Kirby Hocutt said the decision came down not to Penn State and Ohio State but the Nittany Lions and Pac-12 champion Washington.

Penn State finished the season on a nine-game winning streak to make a strong closing statement.

"Had Washington had a stronger strength of schedule I do not think that conversation would have been as difficult," said Hocutt, who is also the Texas tech athletic director.

The selection protocol does not require the committee to pick conference champions or the winner of head-to-head matchups.

Alabama has played Washington four times previously, twice in bowls and not since 1986.

Ohio State and Clemson have played twice before, both in bowl games. The last time was 2014.

Rabb leads Cal with career-high 26 points in dominant win

Rabb leads Cal with career-high 26 points in dominant win

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Ivan Rabb scored 18 of his career-high 26 points in the first half and California beat Alcorn State 83-59 on Saturday for its 25th consecutive home win.

Roger Moute a Bidias added 12 points and Kingsley Okoroh had seven points with nine rebounds to help the Golden Bears (6-1) to their fourth consecutive win.

Three days after setting his previous career best for scoring, Rabb shot 10 of 12 and had seven rebounds to lead a dominant effort down low by California. Rabb scored on a pair of putbacks in the first half, added a one-handed dunk off a lob pass from Charlie Moore then scored six points as part of an 11-2 run in the second half.

Moore, the Bears' leading scorer going into the game, had an off-game while filling in for point guard Grant Mullins. Moore missed his first six shots and finished with seven points and four assists.

Alcorn State (2-5) couldn't keep up and lost its third straight.

Reginal Johnson scored a season-high 17 points and had seven rebounds while Marquis Vance added 11 points for the Braves.

Cal went on runs of 9-0 and 7-0 during an eight-minute span to build a 44-25 halftime lead.

BIG PICTURE

Alcorn State: Three consecutive lopsided losses have second-year coach Montez Robinson's squad reeling. The problems are happening on both ends of the floor, though Johnson provided a lift offensively. The biggest issues are consistency and 3-point shooting. The Braves went 5 of 21 beyond the arc and are shooting under 30 percent for the season.

California: The Bears got on top early and never let the Braves get back into the game, a definite step up after California had troubles closing out games earlier this season. Getting Moute a Bidias going is another good sign as the team tries to find some complementary scoring to support Rabb. Moore started at point guard in place of Mullins, who flew to Canada following a death in his family. Mullins will rejoin the team in Hawaii.

UP NEXT

Alcorn State: The Braves continue their six-game road trip at Louisiana Tech on Monday night.

California: The Bears left immediately after the win to fly to Hawaii for a pair of games in the Pearl Harbor Invitational. California opens against Princeton on Tuesday night.