SJSU linebacker Keith Smith wins WAC defensive honors

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SJSU linebacker Keith Smith wins WAC defensive honors

Spartan junior linebacker Keith Smith was given the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors Monday for his prime-time performance helping the SJSU defense stop BYU in Saturday nights 20-14 win.
RELATED: SJSU's Fales breaks three school records in win over BYU
Smith tied a career high with 19 total tackles two for a loss and none more significant, impressive or timely than his final tackle, a nine-yard sack and forced fumble of Cougars quarterback Riley Nelson with 1:16 left in the game.The fumble was recovered by fellow linebacker Vince Buhagiar and stopped a forceful fourth-quarter BYU drive, which reached the Spartan 21-yard line before the turnover. It prevented the Cougars from creating some late-game heroics and led to a set of kneels from quarterback David Fales to secure the 20-14 win. In order to get to Nelson, Smith hurdled Cougar running back Jamaal Williams, who was blocking out of the backfield.Our whole motto all week was play harder for longer than they do, and we did, head coach Mike MacIntyre said Monday. When it looked like everything was falling apart, they rose to the occasion. His play, in that circumstance that late in the game, playing linebacker, playing every snap, 19 tackles, rushing the passer, running all around ... I cant explain what a Herculean effort that was.Most people would just run into the guy because theyre tired he hurdled the guy, pogo-stick jumped about four yards in the air, hits him hard, knocks the ball loose and we win the game.Smith, a native of Covina, Calif., is the fifth different Spartan defensive player to receive this award, joining Buhagiar, defensive end Travis Johnson (twice), safety Cullen Newsome and defensive back Bene Benwikere.Smith also received National Linebacker Performer of the Week honors by College Football Performance Awards for his stellar game on Saturday. SJSUs regular season will conclude this Saturday at Spartan Stadium when it faces Louisiana Tech. The game will be aired on ESPN2 with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. NATIONAL RECOGNITION SJSU received votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today coaches polls in the same week for the first time this season.The Spartans were given eight votes in the AP poll, slotting them 33rd in the nation. They are ranked 32nd nationally according to the USA Today poll, which yielded seven votes for SJSU.Its a great acknowledgment for our coaching staff and our kids, they deserve that, MacIntyre said. If we keep winning, at the end of the day, it would be fun to stay there permanently.In addition to the team appearing in both polls, coach MacIntyre was named one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Football Club Collegiate Coach of the Year, announced by Ron Jaworski, the clubs president.Im humbled by it, but the credit really goes to all of our players and coaching staff for their tireless efforts and work and the young men making the plays out there, MacIntyre said in reaction to his recognition. This is representation of the David Fales; the Ryan Ottens; the Noel Grigsbys; the Travis Johnsons; the Keith Smiths; the Vince Buhagiars its them doing it. Its a great honor to be able to honor them with it.The Spartans' nine wins this season exceeds the win total from the 2009 (2), 2010 (1) and 2011 (5) seasons combined.

Moore's team-high 15 leads Cal past Princeton in Hawaii

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AP

Moore's team-high 15 leads Cal past Princeton in Hawaii

BOX SCORE

HONOLULU -- Charlie Moore scored 15 points to lead four players in double figures and California pulled away from Princeton 62-51 in the Pearl Harbor Invitational Tuesday.

Jabari Bird scored 11 of his 13 points after halftime and Sam Singer and Grant Mullins added 11 points apiece for the Golden Bears (7-1).

Moore, a freshman point guard, shot 6 of 9 from the field and scored 10 points after halftime.

Princeton took a 46-44 lead following Henry Caruso's 3-pointer from the left corner with 7:45 left to play, but California answered with an 11-1 run that was capped by a backdoor reverse layup by Bird off an assist from Moore.

Devin Cannady scored 16 points and Spencer Weisz added 10 for the Tigers (2-4).

Princeton closed out the first half on a 4-0 run to take a 20-18 lead into halftime.

There were 12 ties and 15 lead changes in the game.

California dominated Princeton in both points in the paint (34-12) and bench scoring (24-7).

BIG PICTURE

California: The Golden Bears were a woeful 10 of 23 from the free-throw line. They made just 1 of 3 from the charity stripe in the first half and only 9 of 20 in the second. They entered the game averaging 67.5 percent for the season.

Princeton: The Tigers came into the contest averaging 9.6 3-pointers made per game, but made just 1 of 11 attempts from behind the arc in the first half and finished 6 of 26 for the game.

UP NEXT

California will look to extend its win streak to six games when it takes on Seton Hall Wednesday.

Princeton will play Wednesday against Hawaii, the first time the two schools have met.

Former Heisman winner Rashaan Salaam dies at 42 years old

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AP

Former Heisman winner Rashaan Salaam dies at 42 years old

BOULDER, Colo. — Authorities say 1994 Heisman winner Rashaan Salaam has been found dead in a Colorado park.

The Boulder County coroner's office said Tuesday that it was still investigating the cause of the death of the 42-year-old Salaam.

The body of the one-time running back was found Monday at Eben G. Fine Park in Boulder.

Salaam led Colorado to one of its best seasons in 1994, when the Buffaloes went 11-1.

He had a terrific rookie season with the Chicago Bears in 1995, rushing for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns.

But he only scored three times in the next two years and he played his last game in 1999 with the Cleveland Browns.