Spartans outduel Louisiana Tech, await bowl invitation

Spartans outduel Louisiana Tech, await bowl invitation
November 25, 2012, 5:21 pm
Share This Post

The SJSU football team equaled its winningest season in program history Saturday night with a 52-43 win over Louisiana Tech University. The Spartans will now sit by the phone, with their heads held as high as they have been this entire season, awaiting a bowl invitation that is sure to come their way.SJSU outplayed the nation's top offense entering the game by out-gaining the Bulldogs 610-541 in total offense, obtaining the school's 10-win season since 1987.Its a dream, you dream of playing games like this its crazy, said quarterback David Fales, describing the teams second win in a row on national television. Im happy for the seniors to get them out like this. SJSU ends the regular season by handing LA Tech its first road loss of the season and grasping its first six-game winning streak since 1990, breaking records set the last time the Spartans defeated the Bulldogs en route to the accomplishment. The Spartans recorded 610 yards of total offense, the most since they defeated LA Tech 44-10 in 2006.My hats off to our team, to our captains, to our seniors, said head coach Mike MacIntyre. What a way to finish off the regular season, and thats fun to say because we have one more and we cant wait to play that one either.Our team captain said it best. David Quessenberry, he goes Guys, three years ago there were 120 Division I teams and we were probably No. 120. And today we can go out there and win 10 games on national television and show the world how far weve come, and those men have done it.Getting that tenth win was no walk in the park. The game was riddled with offense from both teams throughout, but SJSU (10-2, 5-1 WAC) was able to scrounge up enough defensive effort to stop LA Tech (9-3, 4-2 WAC) from keeping pace with its offense. Spartan defensive back Bene Benwikere intercepted three passes in the second half, the final being a game-sealing pick with just under a minute to play in the game. Coach Mac told us they were going to make plays; they were going make runs so we just had to stay focused and keep playing hard and thats what we did, Benwikere said. He told us dont get down whenever they make plays, make sure you make the play when its most important and I think the whole team definitely did that.MacIntyre said that with the explosive offense from LA Tech all he was hoping for was a turnover by his defense.I thought that if we could keep them from running, like we did, wed eventually pick them off and we did, MacIntyre said about the shootout nature of the football game. I kept thinking Dont turn the ball over and well win the football game because theyre going to turn it over and they did.Both teams offensive engines were set to full bore coming out of halftime, commencing a series of back-and-forth scores between the two teams. LA Tech scored on its first possession of the second half with a 29-yard field goal. SJSU responded about three minutes later with a 4-yard touchdown run by Ina Liaina to set the score at 31-30, SJSU lead.Just over a minute after Liaina found the end zone, LA Techs Myles White caught a 33-yard pass from quarterback Colby Cameron to the Bulldogs back ahead. Cameron finished the game with 468 yards on 38 of 59 passing, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Cameron hadnt thrown an interception all season until throwing two last week.The game saw its final lead change with a 32-yard touchdown run by SJSU running back DeLeon Eskridge, making the score 38-37. Eskridge tacked on another touchdown run of the 1-yard variety in the fourth quarter to pad the Spartan lead. Eskridge finished the evening with a single-game career-high 217 rushing yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns.I just was calm today, Eskridge said. I felt comfortable today. It was my last game, I wasn't overhyped I was just comfortable. The O-line blocks things up real well. Being loose helped be find the right reads but the holes were already there.LA Tech was able to creep back to within two points after the Eskridge 1-yard touchdown run. Cameron found Quinton Patton on a 10-yard pass with 11:37 left in the game but SJSU made sure the Bulldogs wouldnt complete the comeback. The Spartans scored on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Fales to wide receiver Jabari Carr to complete the games scoring at 52-43.Fales completed 25 of 37 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns in the game. He also broke the SJSU single-season record for completions, which was held by Scott Rislov, who completed 275 passes in 2002. Fales finished the regular season with 294 completions.Both the Bulldogs and the Spartans scored on their first possessions of the second half. LA Tech opened the second half with a 69-yard drive finished off with a 24-yard field goal by Matt Nelson. SJSU took its next drive 57 yards and scored a touchdown on a 4-yard run by Ina Liaina.LA Tech scored twice in rapid succession to end the first half. With 1:57 left in the second quarter, Cameron found Patton without a Spartan within a 5-yard radius for a 52-yard touchdown strike. That deep passing touchdown made the score 24-20 in favor of SJSU.Spartan kick returner Forrest Hightower fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting up LA Tech for a go-ahead drive with 1:46 in the first half. It did not take the Bulldogs long to capitalize, either. Cameron punched the ball into the end zone from a yard out just more than a minute later, sending the game into the half with a 27-24 Bulldog lead. The Spartans were able to make their way to the Bulldogs 28 yard line on their opening drive but were held short on third down, leading to an Austin Lopez 45-yard field goal to open the games scoring.The SJSU defense held LA Tech to just a single first down on its opening possession, returning the ball to the Spartans offense for another score. SJSU covered 88 yards on 8 plays on its second drive, capped by a 45-yard touchdown pass from Fales to Hansel Wilson, who crept out of the backfield and was found in stride.Hansel Wilson was an unsung hero of tonights ballgame, MacIntyre said.SJSUs other first-half turnover an interception by Fales early in the second quarter was turned into a scoring drive by the Bulldogs. A fake field goal shovel pass from David Gru to Malon Lee tricked the Spartan special teams and kept the Bulldogs within reach.As far as which bowl the Spartans will be invited to, the players and MacIntyre have no preference.I just want to be in one, MacIntyre said. I want our kids to in one and enjoy the moment. I dont know where well be, but I tell you what well be happy to be there and play the best we can play.

More Team Talk

2d
2d
3d