Clemson dominates Alabama to claim national championship

Photo credit: @ClemsonFB

By: Eric He

The first drive ended in a pick-six, the first half ended with a stalled offense and the game ended in devastation.

For Alabama, it was a result that not even their harshest critics could’ve imagined. For Clemson, it was pure ecstasy: a 44-16 rout over the Crimson Tide at Levi’s Stadium on Monday to claim the national championship.

Clemson led 31-16 at halftime and never looked back, outscoring Alabama 13-0 in the second half to clinch the title. The Tigers end the season a perfect 15-0, the first team in the AP poll era to do so. It is the program’s second championship.

“We’re gonna enjoy this one. We’ve got a nice spot to put it in our facility, right next to that other one,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “We’ve got twins!”

In the process, they became the first team to defeat Alabama by more than 14 points since Nick Saban took over as coach in 2007. And in many ways, it was stunning. Trevor Lawrence carved up a premier Alabama defense to the tune of 347 yards for three touchdowns on 20-of-32 passing. His favorite target was Justyn Ross, who caught six passes for 153 passes and a touchdown.

From the start, the Tiger put their imprint on the game. Alabama quarterback Tua Taovailoa, who threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns but also had two interceptions, tossed his first pick on his third pass attempt. It went all the way back for a touchdown, with A.J. Terell returning it 44 yards for Clemson.

The Tigers scored touchdowns on three of their final five drives of the first half, and then shut down the Crimson Tide in the second half. Three times, Alabama went for it on fourth down — including a fake field goal attempt on its first drive of the second half. Three times, it was denied.

“We’re 15-0, we beat the best team ever, nobody’s taking that away from us,” defensive tackle Christian Wilkins said.

With another title win over Saban’s team, Clemson is no longer the little brother to Alabama. The two teams have faced off for four straight years in the College Football Playoff, and it is apparent: Clemson is every bit as equal, every bit as dominant and revered a program as Alabama.

Herbert’s touchdown pass leads the Ducks to 7-6 victory over the Spartans

Photo credit: @oregonfootball

By Jeremy Kahn

SANTA CLARA — Justin Herbert changed the Redbox Bowl with just one toss to Dillion Mitchell and the Oregon Ducks.

Herbert threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell early in the fourth quarter, as the Ducks defeated the Michigan State Spartans 7-6 at Levi’s Stadium.

The Spartans dropped a chance to possibly win the game, as Brian Lewerke was unable to hold onto the ball on a potential game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter.

Herbert, who announced last week that he was returning to Eugene for another year, threw for 166 yards and stretched his streak to 28 games for touchdown passes.

“We felt like it was going to be that kind of game just watching them on defense,” said Ducks head Mario Cristobal. “We kept battling and battling. You take a victory whether it be one point, two points or 50 points. These guys found a way to get it done.”

The Ducks crossed midfield only three times and were not able to get on the scoreboard until Herbert found Mitchell for the only touchdown of the game.

Late in the game, the Spartans were getting ready for a potential game-winning 50-yard field goal; however, Lewerke, who is also the holder, was unable to hold to the ball, then tried to run, but then threw an incomplete pass near the Ducks sideline.

“It’s one that I have to come up with,” Lewerke said. “The ball kind of hit my hand on top of the ball. I tried to make something happen. That’s what happens.”

Following a three-and-out by the Ducks, the Spartans got the ball back, as they got the ball back at their own 42; however, Lewerke’s pass on 4th-and-12 was knocked down by Ducks cornerback Thomas Graham to secure the victory for the Ducks.

On the afternoon, Lewerke went 22-for-40 for 172 yards with an interception, as the Spartans were unable to get into the end zone for the third time in their past four games.

LJ Scott carried the ball 24 times for 84 yards, as he ended his Spartans career with a one-point defeat. Scott, who played in just five games decided against redshirting and is leaving East Lansing, as he declared for the NFL draft earlier this month.

Matt Coghlin kicked two 34-yard field goals to give the Spartans a 6-0 lead until Herbert found Mitchell for the game-winning touchdown. Coghlin missed a 50-yard field goal.

“We never got that bust-out play,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. “You’re not going to win many games scoring six points.”

Mitchell ended the day with six catches for 70 yards, as he set the single season school record with 1,184 yards, breaking the record set by Josh Huff in 2013, as he gained 1,140 yards.

NOTES: Defensive end Kenny Willekes left the game in the third quarter on a cart, as he broke his left fibula. On the season, Willekes led the Spartans in sacks with 8.5.

UP NEXT: The Spartans will open the season at Spartan Stadium on August 31 against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

San Jose State gets blown out by Saint Mary’s 75-45

Photo credit: @SJSUMBB

By: Ana Kieu

San Jose State men’s basketball had hoped to wrap up its Bay Area road trip with a win over Saint Mary’s at McKeon Pavilion Saturday evening. A win would mean the Spartans’ two-game losing skid would come to an end. While there was a sign of hope for the Spartans in the early minutes of the game, their wish wasn’t granted Saturday.

Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau went with this starting lineup: Brae Ivey, Noah Baumann, Craig LeCesne, Michael Steadman and Oumar Barry.

After the tip, the game went underway at McKeon Pavilion. The early score wasn’t in favor of the Spartans, but they battled back from a 9-0 deficit, thanks to Ivey’s corner trey. Then, they tied the game 14-14 at the 14:51 mark of the first period.

San Jose State, however, fell behind from there. The Spartans trailed 22-17 at the second media timeout. Baumann led the Spartans with 5 points at the time. Fast forward to the final media timeout, where the Spartans trailed 38-17 with 3:25 left on the clock. SJSU didn’t score in the last 10 minutes and 46 seconds, which was sad like the sadness LeCesne had cope with this past week. LeCesne recently lost a close friend, Emil Isovic. Isovic collapsed during a game and died at a hospital Wednesday.

SJSU had no choice but to shrug off the horrific ending as Saint Mary went on a whopping 26-0 run to end the first. The Spartans trailed the Gaels 44-14 at halftime.

Saint Mary’s continued to stay hot at home. Tanner Krebs’ shooting remained on fire as he was 5-7 in 3-point field goals with 15 points. SJSU trailed 50-23 at the 15:29 mark of the second period.

The Gaels outshot the Spartans 47 percent to 37 percent with 7:47 left in the second. Krebs’ fiery shooting remained in tact as he was well on his way to a season-high 20 points. The Gaels’ defensive effort versus the Spartans was strong to say the least.

The Spartans lost to the Gaels 75-45. SJSU fell to 3-9, while Saint Mary’s improved to 9-6.

SJSU will return to the Event Center to host rival Fresno State on Wednesday, January 2 at 7 pm PST.

Dons continue hot start with 74-65 win over Cardinal

Photo credit:

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, December 22, 2018

San Francisco continued its best start in 19 years on Saturday with a 74-65 men’s basketball win over Stanford before a sellout crowd of 3,005.

The Dons (12-1) were led by Charles Minlend with 19 points, and Frankie Ferrari with 17. Jimbo Lull, USF’s 7-foot junior, hit double figures in rebounds for the first time in his career with 15; he also scored 11 points. Matt McCarthy added 10 points for the Dons.

Daejon led the Cardinal (6-5) with 19 points, followed by Oscar da Silva with 13 points, KZ Okpala with 11 and Bryce Wills with 10.

Da Silva hit a 3-pointer to cut USF’s lead to 60-52 with 1:36 to play, and, after Stanford pulled to within 64-60 in the final minute, Minlend responded with a three-point play.

USF led by double-digits through most of the second half after taking a 30-19 halftime lead, as Stanford endured one of its worst shooting games of the season. Stanford shot 23 percent from the field in the first half while committing 11 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.

It was the Cardinal’s first game at USF in 23 years, the first game on the USF campus since 1987, and the 68th meeting between the schools. Stanford leads the series 46-22.

Next Saturday, the Cardinal host Long Beach State, while the Dons visit UC Santa Barbara.

49ers Collapse Again on Primetime, Lose 27-23 to Giants

Photo credit: @49ers

By: Joe Lami

SANTA CLARA — In life, there are only three certainties: death, taxes, and the 49ers blowing a half-time lead. On Monday Night, closing out a game continued to be a problem for San Francisco, as they dropped their third game of the season with a halftime lead. It also marks the sixth time the 49ers have conceded a fourth-quarter lead under Kyle Shanahan.

This time, they handed the New York Giants their second win of the season and Eli Manning his 36th fourth-quarter comeback of his career in the 27-23 loss at Levi’s Stadium on Monday Night Football.

Finishing has been a staple of Shanahan press conferences all season, yet the second-year head coach can’t seem to correct the problem that has been following him since his epic Super Bowl LI collapse.

The 49ers went into the half with a 13-10 lead thanks to Robbie Gould knocking down field goals from 53 and 36 yards and Matt Breida finding paydirt on a three-yard rush.

Breida later caught an 11-yard touchdown pass, becoming the first 49er to score on a rush and a catch since December 2012.

However, the defense started to collapse in the third allowing ten points in just 3:38 to bring the Giants back into the game. Big plays set up the Giants with excellent field position that they capitalized on to bring things even to start the fourth.

The 49ers had trouble getting to the quarterback all game long with an uninspiring pass rush on an offensive line that was allowing four sacks per game coming in. Defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh, continued his overly conservative play-calling leading to the only sack of the game coming in the fourth quarter on a third-down play with the game tied. It was one of just three QB hits the 49ers collected since the blitz was hardly dialed up.

On the subsequent drive, the 49ers drove downfield but had to settle with a field goal instead of putting the game away.

“I thought we had a chance to step on their throat there and we didn’t. We let them back in it fast. [We] kept them around too long and then we didn’t make the plays at the end and had every opportunity to and just as a team, players, coaching staff, we didn’t get it done” said Shanahan.

The Giants took over the game-winning drive with 2:46 remaining.

The 49ers took two defensive penalties to extend the Giants drive that ended with Manning throwing his third touchdown of the game and the first for Sterling Shepard.

Manning finished throwing 19-of-31 for 188 yards and the three scores for a 110.7 passer rating. He found his favorite receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., four times for 73 yards with two of them going for touchdowns, both on blown coverages.

Saquon Barkley was handed off to 20 times for 67 yards, averaging just 3.4 per carry.

In his second career game, Nick Mullens came down to earth throwing 27-of-39 for 250 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. A bobbled catch from Marquise Goodwin caused the second one. Overall, Mullens did everything you could’ve asked from a third-string quarterback making his second career start.

George Kittle was once again the most reliable receiver for the 49ers, catching nine of 10 targets for 83 yards.

The 49ers now head into the bye week with a 2-8 record, giving Shanahan an extra week to figure out how to finish a game.

Stanford drops heartbreaker to Washington State 41-38

Photo credit: @StanfordFball

By: Ana Kieu

The No. 24 Stanford Cardinal had hoped to build a two-game win streak when they returned to Stanford Stadium to welcome the No. 14 Washington State Cougars on Saturday. For the Cardinal, it was Homecoming Reunion weekend and a lot of folks were decked in red and white as they took in all the festivities.

Just moments after the Pac-12 action went underway, Stanford had a strong opening drive with a 1st and 10 on the WSU 22. Then, just like that, K.J. Costello threw a touchdown pass to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who scored an 18-yard touchdown for his 24th career touchdown of the season. Jet Toner kicked in the extra point for the Cardinal for a 7-0 lead at the 11:09 mark of the first quarter.

With the touchdown catch, Arcega-Whiteside moved into a tie with DeRonnie Pitts (1997-2000) for third-most in school history. He also moved past Mike Tolliver (1979-83) for 16th on Stanford’s all-time career receiving yards list (1,821). In addition, he became just the sixth Cardinal with 10 touchdown catches in a season–the most since Ty Montgomery in 2013.

It didn’t take long for the Cougars to tie the game 7-7 with 8:17 left in the first. James Williams ran for a 5-yard touchdown and Blake Mazza kicked in the extra, game-tying point for the Cougars.

The Cougars took a 14-7 lead on a Cardinal turnover just a little over three minutes later. Gardner Minshew II connected with Max Borghi for a four-year touchdown and Mazza kicked in the point for the Cougars.

The Cardinal tied the game 14-14 with just 1:22 left in the first. Cameron Scarlett ran for a 2-yard touchdown and Toner kicked in the extra, game-tying point for the Cardinal.

On the last drive, Bryce Love became the fifth Cardinal with 3,500 career rushing yards. As a result, Love surpassed Toby Gerhart for fourth on Stanford’s all-time career rushing list.

The Cardinal and Cougars were tied 14-14 at the end of the first. Stanford scored the most points (14) in the first this season. Stanford’s previous high was 7 points.

The Cardinal went ahead 21-14 with 9:25 left in the second quarter. Costello threw a touchdown pass to Kaden Smith, who scored a 10-yard touchdown. Toner kicked in the extra point for the Cardinal.

With the touchdown pass, Costello tied his career-high with his 14th touchdown pass of the season. He has 28 for his career. This was his eighth career game with multiple touchdown passes (four this season).

The Cougars, however, reduced the Cardinal’s lead 28-17 as the clock winded down. Mazza kicked a 23-yard field goal to cut the Cougars’ deficit.

The Cardinal doubled its lead 28-17 with 1:04 left in the second. Once again, Costello worked his magic, throwing a pass to Houston Heimuli, who scored a 1-yard touchdown. Toner kicked in the extra point for the Cardinal. With the touchdown reception, Heimuli notched his first career reception and touchdown.

The Cardinal brought a 28-17 halftime lead to the locker room. Stanford’s 28 points in the first half were the team’s most in the first 30 minutes since scoring 38 against Rice in Sydney, Australia on August 26, 2017. ost first half points against a conference opponent since putting up 38 at Oregon on November 12, 2016.

The Cougars struck first in the third quarter. Williams ran for a 3-yard touchdown and Mazza kicked in the extra point to pull within 4 at the 10:32 mark of the third.

The Cardinal responded quickly with a 40-yard field goal from Toner, who gave Stanford a 31-24 lead with 6:16 left in the third.

After running around and forcing 3 and outs, the Cardinal led the Cougars 31-24 at the end of the third. Don’t forget that Stanford has won 52 of its last 54 games when leading after three quarters, dating back to 2012. One of those two losses was at WSU last season.

The Cougars tied the game 31-31 at the 12:26 mark of the fourth quarter. Minshew II threw a touchdown pass to Davontavean Martin, who scored a 7-yard touchdown. Mazza kicked in the extra, game-tying point.

The Cougars snatched a 38-31 lead with 4:28 left in the fourth. Minshew II threw a touchdown pass to Renard Bell, who scored a 3-yard touchdown. Mazza kicked in the extra point.

The Cardinal tied the game 38-38 with 1:25 left in the fourth. Costello threw a touchdown pass to Arcega-Whiteside, who scored a 25-yard touchdown. Toner kicked in the extra, game-tying point.

The game would’ve gone into overtime, but the Cougars grabbed a 41-38 lead with just 19 seconds left in the fourth. Mazza kicked in a 42-yard field goal to seal the Cougars’ 41-38 win over the Cardinal.

Despite the tough loss, Costello became the first Stanford quarterback to record multiple four touchdown passing games in a season since Andrew Luck in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Senior inside linebacker Ryan Beecher was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma on December 21, 2017. His final chemotherapy session came on June 4, 2018, and he returned to action in the Cardinal’s season opener against San Diego State on August 31, 2018, a span of 253 days after his diagnosis.

Up Next
The No. 24 Stanford Cardinal head to Seattle to take on the No. 15 Washington Huskies next Saturday, November 3.

49ers Embarrassed by Undefeated Rams in 39-10 Blowout

Photo credit: @49ers

By: Joe Lami

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The expectations for the 49ers heading into Sunday’s contest against the undefeated Rams at Levi’s Stadium were low. Yet, San Francisco still failed to meet them after getting destroyed by Los Angeles 39-10 to drop their fifth straight.

Turnovers continue to be the driving force of mediocrity, as the 49ers coughed the ball up four more times. Three of which came from CJ Beathard, who fumbled once and was picked off twice. The Rams also capitalized, scoring 24 points off turnovers on Sunday.

Not everything can be put on Beathard since he was sacked eight times and hit a total of 11 times.

Aaron Donald led the way for the Rams with an insane game, as he completely dominated the line, finishing with nine tackles, four sacks, five QB hits, and six tackles for loss.

Despite the line entirely getting owned all game, Beathard did nothing to better his circumstances and looked as frozen as the Joe Montana and Dwight Clark statues erected at Levi’s to commemorate “The Catch” on Sunday.

“[The turnovers] are something I need to find out. It’s inexcusable,” said 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

However, that should’ve happened weeks ago. The 49ers now stand in dead last in the NFL in turnover differential, now -15 in just seven weeks and are now on pace to be one of the worst teams in NFL history.

The lone bright spot on offense was once again George Kittle. The tight end caught five passes for 98 yards and San Francisco’s lone touchdown just before the half.

It’s a good thing Kittle showed up too because the wide receivers were nowhere to be seen catching a total of four passes for 35 yards between Goodwin, Garcon, and Taylor.

The defense wasn’t horrible for San Francisco but also received zero help from the offense. They held the Rams offense to 331 total yards, but mostly because of the great field position handed to them.

Jarred Goff made his return to the Bay, passing for 202 yards on 18 completions and two touchdowns. He spread the ball around with Robert Woods, and Brandin Cooks each catching four balls for 65 and 63 yards respectively.

Todd Gurley rushed the ball 15 times for 63 yards and two scores. He also was featured a lot in the passing game, catching four passes for 23 yards and a score.

The 49ers learned how much further they need to go before they’re even considered a contender after being embarrassed by the best team in the league. But, hey. It could’ve been worse. At least this game was flexed out of primetime.

Rueben Foster sprained his right shoulder in the fourth quarter. It’s the same shoulder he had surgery on in the off-season. Hopefully, it’s not severe.

Adrian Colbert got carted off the field in the third quarter with an ankle sprain but was later seen on the sidelines wearing a baseball cap.

Up Next
The 49ers head to State Farm Stadium to take on the Cardinals next Sunday at 1:25 pm PT on FOX.

San Jose State gets run over by Army 52-3

Photo credit: @SJSUSpartanFB

By: Ana Kieu

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — If you’re a San Jose State football fan, chances are you’ve heard the term “revenue games.” SJSU, a FBS and Mountain West school, has relied on such games to fund its athletic departments. Saturday’s non-conference matchup was another example as the Spartans took on the Black Knights at Levi’s Stadium in a nationally televised game on ESPNU.

Sure, SJSU fans and media members were fired up for this game. After all, it was held in Levi’s Stadium–one of the best, high-end stadiums in the country–and the food has never skimped on flavor! But the Spartans were unable to achieve their goal of defeating the Black Knights.

The Spartans decided to start Montel Aaron as their starting quarterback.

The Spartans got on the board first as Bryce Crawford kicked in a 49-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 4:14 left in the opening quarter. SJSU led Army 3-0 at the end of the quarter.

The Black Knights immediately responded with a 41-yard passing touchdown from Jordan Asberry. Jordan Abercrombie kicked in the extra point for a 7-3 lead just seven seconds into the second quarter. The Black Knights struck with a late touchdown–a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Kelvin Hopkins, Jr.–and another extra point kick from Abercrombie with 12 seconds left in the quarter. Army carried a 14-3 lead to the locker room at halftime.

The Black Knights got off to a good start to open the second half. Hopkins, Jr. notched his second touchdown of the game–a 24-yard rushing touchdown–and Abercrombie kicked in the extra point for a 21-3 lead with 9:06 left in the third quarter.

Turnovers, however, affected the Spartans like in previous games. SJSU’s first turnover of the game led to an Army scoring drive. At the time, the Black Knights were unable to add a touchdown, but they settled for a 33-yard field goal from Abercrombie, who added to the scoreboard 24-3 with 7:39 left in the quarter.

But the Black Knights weren’t done yet. Darnell Woolfolk bowled into the end zone for a one-yard rushing touchdown and Abercrombie kicked in the extra point to expand Army’s lead 31-3 with 6:18 left in the quarter.

Hopkins, Jr. scored what appeared to be his third rushing touchdown of the game–a four-yard rushing touchdown–but the play underwent a review. After further review, the ruling on the touchdown stood and Abercrombie kicked in the extra point to enlarge the lead 38-3 with 1:44 left in the quarter.

Following the Army touchdown, Aaron returned to the field and replaced Michael Carrillo. Aaron completed a pass to Thai Cottrell for seven yards to the SJSU 39 for a Spartan first down and then completed another pass to Tre Walker for nine yards to the SJSU 32. The Black Knights led 38-3 at the end of the quarter.

The Spartans committed another turnover that led to a Black Knights touchdown–a 52-yard fumble touchdown from James Nachtigal–and a PAT kick from Abercrombie, who made it 45-3 just 28 seconds into the fourth quarter.

The Spartans opened the scoring, but the Black Knights took the lead and never looked back. Army defeated SJSU 52-3 and it wasn’t even close.

“I thought the personal foul at the end of the game was embarrassing and awful and wrong,” head coach Brent Brennan said. “I’ve already addressed it with the team as there’s no place for that.”

“This was a total gut punch for our program, Brennan added. “I thought we were making great progress and I was actually encouraged about our practices and what it shows is that we’re not ready to make the next move.”

Aside from Brennan, the Spartan players had other thoughts on this game.

“We’re ready to move on,” defensive lineman Bryson Bridges said. “We played to the best of our abilities.”

When asked about pursuing the next level, cornerback Dakari Monroe responded, “Yes. Definitely. Since I came here, I’ve always wanted to play at the next level. I definitely want to pursue that.”

Last but not least, running back Tyler Nevens closed out the postgame press conference. Nevens reflected on his injury, asserting the media members, “I’m feeling good. I’m feeling more comfortable. My injury took me a lot of time to heal and get back to being the football player that I am. I showed them what I got.”

The Spartans’ possible starters were JaQuan Blackwell, Jackson Snyder, Troy Kowalski, Trevor Robbins, Jake Colman, Deano Motes, Josh Oliver, Josh Love, Tyler Nevens, Thai Cottrell and Tre Hartley on offense and Bryson Bridges, Boogie Roberts, Sailosi Latu, Jesse Osuna, Kyle Harmon, Ethan Aguayo, Jamal Scott, Dakar Monroe, John Touissaint, Tre Webb and Jonathan Lenard, Jr. on defense.

Up Next 
The Spartans will travel to Qualcomm Stadium to take on the San Diego State Aztecs next Saturday at 7:30 pm PT on CBSS.

San Jose State to host Army at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday

Photo credit:

By: Ana Kieu

The San Jose State Spartans are set to host the Army Black Knights at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 pm PT on ESPNU and Watch ESPN.

In case you missed it, check out head coach Brent Brennan’s most recent press conference regarding the Spartans.

Here’s what you should know coming into Saturday’s matinee:

San Jose State’s record
0-5, 0-2 Mountain West. Most recently, the Spartans lost to Colorado State, 42-30, on October 6th.

Army West Point’s record
3-2. Most recently, the Black Knights defeated the Buffalo Bulls, 42-13, on September 29th.

What channels will the game be on?
ESPNU and WatchESPN will provide play-by-play coverage of the SJSU-Army game.  The live telecast is scheduled for 12:30 pm PT.

What stations will the game be broadcasted?
KLIV (1590 AM, San Jose) originates SJSU football broadcasts. Justin Allegri calls the play-by-play. Kevin Richardson provides commentary.

The Army broadcast begins at 12:00 pm PT with a pregame show.

SJSU’s network affiliate is KION (1460 AM/101.1 FM, Salinas).

For the first time
This will be the first meeting between the two teams. SJSU and Army are slated to play a home-and-home series through the 2021 season. The Black Knights would be the home team in 2019 and 2021.

38th school
SJSU will become the 38th school to play the three FBS service academy teams (Air Force, Army and Navy) with the completion of the Army game.

30 points
SJSU’s one of at least two teams to score 30 points in a quarter this season with its 30-point third quarter in its recent 42-30 loss to Colorado State.

North Texas scored 31 points in the second quarter of a 58-16 win over Incarnate Word on September 8th.

The last time SJSU scored 30 or more points in a quarter was a 35-point second quarter in a 69-41 win at UTEP on November 3, 2003.

Safety first
For the first time since playing in the 2012 Military Bowl, SJSU was credited with a two-point safety when Boogie Roberts tackled Colorado State running back Izzy Matthews in the Rams’ end zone on a first-down rushing attempt that started at the two-yard line.

National leader
Dakari Monroe’s the FBS national leader in passes defended with his 2.4 average. Monroe was credited with a personal single-game best four pass break-ups in the Colorado State game on October 6th.

For the season, Monroe has two pass interceptions and 10 pass break-ups.

The Josh Oliver factor
For the fifth consecutive week, Josh Oliver is the leading pass receiver among FBS tight ends. Oliver is averaging 6.20 receptions a game and has 31 catches for the season.

Oliver’s the only tight end listed among the FBS’ top-50 pass receivers in games played through October 6.

22 of Oliver’s 31 receptions this season resulted in a SJSU first down.

Oliver and Stanford’s Kaden Smith share the national lead for receiving yards by a listed tight end at 382 in games played through October 6th.

#22 is #2 again
For the second consecutive week, Thai Cottrell ranks second nationally in kickoff return average at 33.9 per return.

This season, Cottrell has returns of 96 at Oregon, 72 versus Hawaii and 44 yards versus Colorado State. Cottrell’s previous long return was 28 yards during the 2017 season.

Five-game streak in 2018
For the first time since the 2013 season, SJSU has a pass interception in five consecutive games in the same season.  With a pair of interceptions in the final game of the 2017 season, the Spartans have a six-game streak going intercepting a pass.

SJSU added two interceptions to its total versus Colorado State on October 6th. The Spartans have nine for the season–three more than in 2017–to rank seventh nationally among FBS schools.

Spartan nation, keep in mind that the Spartans have the heart, grit and energy. All the Spartans need to top off their actions is to put more than two wins in the win column this season.

Safeway Open: Snedeker’s collapse opens door for Tway’s first Tour win

Photo credit: @GolfosHmo

By Jeremy Harness

NAPA, Calif. – Brandt Snedeker was nine holes away from becoming the first player in the FedEx Cup era – which started in 2007 – to win the last event of the previous season and follow it up by winning the opening tournament of the next season.

One playoff hole later, one of the bigger golf collapses in recent years was complete.

Snedeker blew a four-stroke lead and was forced to watch as Kevin Tway outlasted Ryan Moore for his first PGA Tour win at the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort & Spa’s North Course. He made birdie on each of the last five holes – including the three playoff holes – to close the deal in grand fashion.

“It was nice to get hot at the end,” said Tway, the son of multiple PGA Tour winner Bob Tway, whose 1986 PGA Championship win came two years before he was born. “I knew the last few holes were easier, so I was just trying to make pars before I got to those holes.

“I’ve always wanted to play in the Masters, and now it’s happening. It’s going to be pretty awesome.”

With the win, the 30-year-old Tway not only gets 500 FedEx Cup points, but he also is fully exempt through the 2020-21 season while earning spots in this season’s Tournament of Champions, the Players Championship, the Masters as well as the PGA Championship.

He started the day three strokes behind Snedeker, and early on, it looked as if he would slip back to the pack, as he bogeyed two of the first four holes to fall five shots back at one point. He got things back together, however, as he got those two shots back at the sixth and eighth.

He bogeyed the 11th, but he held firm and then birdied the final two holes to get into a three-way playoff with Snedeker and Ryan Moore, who came from seven shots back get into the mix.

Starting the final round at nine-under, Moore played bogey-free golf and steadily climbed his way up the leaderboard, and his birdie at the par-5 18th tied Snedeker at 14-under, while Snedeker still had three holes to play.

“On a day like today, it’s not necessarily about how you’re swinging, how you’re hitting (the ball), it’s how you can just put the ball in the hole,” Moore said. “Somehow, I managed to do that today. I was able to just put together a really scrappy round of golf.” For the first nine holes, Snedeker was in complete control of the tournament. He did bogey the fourth hole, but he quickly got that shot back with a birdie at the very next hole and then picked up another shot at the par-3 seventh. At that point, he had a five-shot lead.

The wheels started to wobble for Snedeker when he hit the back nine, bogeying holes 10 through 12 and had his lead completely disintegrate. Several guys were right on his tail, and Moore caught all the way up to him.

Snedeker birdied each of the last three holes on Saturday, and he kept that trend going with a birdie at the par-5 16th to re-take the lead.

However, he quickly lost that lead when he found himself in the trees at the 17th and dropped a shot. Needing at least a birdie to avoid a playoff, he found the fairway bunker on the right side at the 18th. He then found the deep rough with his second shot. He made it on the green with his approach shot and then two-putted for his par to force a playoff with Moore and Tway.

On the first playoff hole, Snedeker’s drive found the fairway, but his second shot trickled off the green. Moore’s second shot did the same while Tway’s was about 20 yards short. The other two were able to get it up and down, and when Snedeker’s attempt missed to the right, his tournament was done.

“Really disappointing,” Snedeker said. “I’m going to look at that one in a few years and know I gave that one away. It sucks right now, but (I’m) playing next week, so (let’s) build on it and take the positives from this week.

“I played probably 63 holes of pretty damn good golf and nine holes I wish I had back.”

Luke List, the only guy in the field who did not wear a hat this week, also made a run on the back nine, and his eagle at the 18th left him at 13-under and only one shot back.

J.B. Holmes was one of the guys to make an early charge on Sunday. The former Ryder Cupper started at seven-under and gained significant ground. In fact, he picked up (four) shots and found himself tied for fourth after birdieing three hole in a row at holes 11 through 13. He finished the tournament at 11-under and in ninth place.

Another was Danny Lee, who started the day at seven-under, but then a stretch of three birdies in five holes on the front nine had him tied for fifth at one point. However, he stalled out on the back nine and could not get any closer, finishing at 10-under and tied for 10th.

One guy who was not in the mix at the end was Phil Mickelson. He was in it for the first 36 holes of this event, but fatigue from playing in France for the Ryder Cup last weekend set in over the weekend, and he finished at eight-under.

“I’ve made a bit of a mistake that I’m going to learn from, as far as playing too many events in a row and not being able to recover and be as sharp as I want to be,” Mickelson said. “And then, I just need to be focused when I’m playing.

“I think next year, when it has a bit of a break between the FedEx Cup and the start of the season, I think the field here’s going to get really strong.”