San Jose State Defeats Louisiana Tech 52-43
I don't get to write about sports much. But when it comes to my alma mater going 10-2 for the year, I can't but help pump my fist in the air.
It was a huge night at San Jose Spartan Stadium and everyone in it knew what was on the line - a bowl invitation, and potential top 25 national ranking.
Earlier in the week, I posted in my Facebook account that I knew it was going to be a freak show.
And what a high scoring show it was!
Coming into the game, Louisiana Tech was ranked #1 in the nation in total offense with an ungodly 581 total yards per game. But we were no slouch either. SJSU's QB David Fales is ranked #4 in the nation and #1 passing accuracy.
Never mind that Louisiana Tech was ranked #20 in the nation two weeks ago. It was all about SJSU tonight and their fate. Earlier in the week SJSU, was ranked #32 in the nation finally getting some respect from the college football gods. Having crushed BYU 20-14 the week before and holding a 9-2 record, it was about time. Having lost to #11 ranked Stanford earlier in the year by a mere 3 points said that the voting sports writers started to take notice.
In this final regular game of the season, all the marbles were on the table and everyone knew it. A loss would likely mean no bowl invitation and perhaps no national ranking.
Understand that it is very rare for SJSU, a Division 1A school, to get noticed nationally. We don't have big football support like USC or the Notre Dames of the world. In 2004, SJSU was considering removing itself from NCAA football until legendary coach Dick Tomey came over to revive it.
A lot of football history is built here including former head coaches Darryl Rogers, Jack Elway, and John Ralston. Even former San Francisco 49ers coach BIll Walsh, Mike Perez, Jeff Garcia, Billy Wilson, and Steve Deberg played here.
I was very pleased to see the turnout. Students, faculty, and alumni showing up on a Thanksgiving Weekend (when most are out of town) to root for the home team was amazing. The tail gate parties were full, will call and general ticket lines were 12 deep, the stands that hold 30,000, 70%-80% full. And to add icing on the cake, the game was being nationally televised on ESPN.
SJSU pre-game huddle
SJSU busted out strong in the first quarter and the entire stadium was rocking. But by the end of the second half, it got quiet. Real quiet. For Louisiana Tech came from behind to take over the lead. All throughout the second half, the game remained real tight which kept things interesting. Crazy acrobatic catches, fake punts, long rushing plays, 50 yard bombs for TDs, big kickback returns, and many lead changes. It was one of the most entertaining football games I've seen in years.
But in the end, after an interception deep in our zone with less than two minutes remaining, SJSU prevailed.
It was a crazy night. How crazy? The Spartans would generate a whopping 610 yards of total offense. SJSU QB David Fales would throw for three touchdowns and go 25 for 37 for 367 yards. Running back DeLeon Eskridge would rush for 217 yards. Bene Benwikere would have three interceptions for SJSU.
Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech's quarterback would throw for 468 yards. LT would amass 541 yards on the night.
Yes, it was that freaky! It was so freaky that I joked with the people sitting next to me that I thought I was watching a basketball game.
SJSU winning touchdown
At the end of the game, people climbed out of the stands and stormed the field. Players and coaches pumped their fist and alumni joined in the celebration. It was an awesome sight to see sitting in the stands. The celebration went from one side of the field to the other with players and coaches thanking everyone for their support.
SJSU students storm field
On the way home near the stadium, everybody was lit up blasting their car horns and people shouting "SJSU! SJSU! SJSU!" out of their windows and for a very darn good reason.
You see, the football team has had many years of recent frustrations. In 2009, SJSU finished with a dismal 2-10 record. In 2010, it got really worse at 1-11. If you ever have followed sports, let alone been a fan of your school and knew that your football program was possibly at stake, only to do a complete turnaround with a 10-2 season, you can only remember moments like these.
Faculty, students, alumni, players and coaches of SJSU, you've had one hell of a year to be proud of. Perhaps now, we'll get invited to a much deserved bowl invitation. National rankings come out tomorrow and we'll see if we are in the elite top 25. If the Spartans do go to a bowl game and win, it will be the first time in 60+ years that they had this much success with a 11-2 record.
But most importantly of all, the San Jose community should be proud of their local boys and for what they did this year to put us on the map. For many years, the fan base of SJSU has been less than ideal. Local news coverage in newspaper and tv media is rarely mentioned. They rather report the big schools near here- Stanford and Cal Berkeley. Maybe now they will with better coverage (everyone likes a winner).
If you are a former or current student, you need to go out and support your school.
Yes, SJSU football is alive. Let's make it well again.
Update: 11/25/12: 5:45PM:
The new BCS rankings are in. San Jose State University is ranked #25 in the nation!
About Kerry Kobashi
Kerry is the founder of KerryOnWorld. He lives in Silicon Valley.