|Spartans Win Big At UTSA, 52-24|
San Antonio, Texas-----In the Alamodome, it was San Jose State University's turn to put on a first-half scoring barrage in a 52 - 24 win over UTSA in a Western Athletic Conference game.
After opening conference action a week earlier giving up 28 points in the first two quarters in a 49-27 loss to Utah State, the Spartans (5-2, 1-1 WAC) scored 38 points on the first five times they touched the ball. Needing just nine offensive plays, San Jose State put the ball in the end zone four different ways including two on determined special teams play.
Quarterback David Fales threw three touchdown passes for the second week in a row including a pair of 36-yard touchdown passes in a 28-point first quarter. Wide receiver Noel Grigsby hauled in the first one for the game's opening score and halfback Tyler Ervin's catch made it 21-0.
Ervin was all over the field for the Spartans accounting for 214 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.
Both teams found it difficult to hold on to the ball. San Jose State fumbled three times. UTSA (5-2, 1-1 WAC) doubled the number of giveaways, five of them on fumbles, had six turnovers total and several center snaps that either were ground balls or over its intended target.
After Austin Lopez booted a 25-yard field goal at the start of the second-quarter for 31-0 lead, UTSA (5-2, 1-1 WAC) got on the scoreboard with a 69-yard screen pass play from back-up quarterback Ryan Polite to halfback Evans Okcotcha.
Ervin retaliated immediately for San Jose State with a 92-yard kickoff return giving the Spartans a 38-7 advantage. The Spartan sophomore appeared to be stopped in a scrum, but broke through the mass of players and raced down the right side for his second kickoff return for a score this season and third in his career.
Fales was 17-of-26 for 279 yards, but was 11-of-16 during the fast San Jose State start. He and tight end Ryan Otten hooked up on a 6-yard pass with 50 seconds left in the third quarter to close out the Spartans' scoring. Just over three minutes earlier De'Leon Eskridge added a 1-yard touchdown for San Jose State's other second-half touchdown.
The San Jose State defense did it share helping build the insurmountable lead. UTSA gained just two yards and had two first downs on 19 plays in the first quarter. The Roadrunners did not have starting quarter Eric Soza available due to an injury the previous week against Rice. Ryan Polite took over for Soza and finished with 302 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Polite and the rest of the UTSA offense had to deal with an inspired Spartan defense that played without starting cornerback Damon Ogburn Jr., who was injured in the Utah State game and did not make the trip.
His roommate, Bene Benwikere, made his second start of the season, and shared team-high tackle honors with linebacker Keith Smith. Besides 11 tackles, Benwikere intercepted a pass, was credited wit two tackles for loss, forced a fumble that led to Eskridge's touchdown run and recovered a fumble that initiated the final San Jose State touchdown drive.The Spartans head home and continue conference action October 27 hosting Texas State in a 1:00 p.m. game in Spartan Stadium.