SAN JOSE, Calif. — De’Leon Eskridge rushed for 217 yards and three touchdowns, and David Fales passed for three scores as San Jose State culminated its best regular season in a quarter century with a
52-43 victory against Louisiana Tech on Saturday night.
It certainly wasn’t our best effort,” Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes said. “I didn’t think we played well. I’m disappointed. I guess we didn’t have them ready to go. We made too many mistakes on offense, but we can’t put that type of pressure week in and week out on our offense. As we move forward (looking at the bowl), we have to do a better job of getting our players ready to play.”
Eskridge had 1-, 32-, and 1-yard scoring runs for the Spartans (10-2, 5-1 Western Athletic), who have won 10 games for the first time since 1987.
“They ran it better than we anticipated,” Dykes said. “They creased us on a couple of big runs. Their offensive line was a lot more physical than our defensive line and their defensive line was more physical than our O-line. I thought that was the difference.”
Colby Cameron passed for 468 yards and three touchdowns for the Bulldogs (9-3, 4-2), who two weeks ago had BCS-busting aspirations but ended the regular season with two straight losses.
Quinton Patton had 10 receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns, and Myles White caught seven passes for 126 yards and a score.
Eskridge’s 32-yard run gave San Jose State a 38-37 lead in the third quarter, and he went in from 1 yard to build the margin to 45-37 early in the fourth quarter.
Patton caught a 10-yard scoring pass from Cameron to cut the deficit to two points, but Cameron passed incomplete on the potential game-tying conversion.
The Spartans responded by driving 63 yards in eight plays to Jabari Carr’s 26-yard sideline catch for a touchdown to make it 52-43.
Both of Louisiana Tech’s last two possessions ended with Bene Benwikere intercepting Cameron.
Fales was 25-of-37 for 367 yards with an interception. Noel Grigsby caught seven passes for 127 yards.
“They whipped us up front,” Dykes said. “We came out in the second half and made a few adjustments and ran the ball a little better early, but we had trouble running consistently.
“We had to score and keep scoring, and we didn’t execute well enough. We have to get more stops on defense. I’m really disappointed we didn’t play better.”
Cameron was 38-of-59 with three interceptions.
With a first-quarter score, Kenneth Dixon set a Western Athletic Conference record for rushing touchdowns in a season with his 27th.
Brock Forsey of Boise State had 26 in 2002.
“I just didn’t feel like we played well tonight,” Dykes said. “I anticipated us coming here and playing well. Give San Jose State credit. They executed on both sides of the football.”