Slew of Spartans receive national, conference recognition

Slew of Spartans receive national, conference recognition
November 26, 2012, 11:41 pm
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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.