|Passing Game Key In 38-28 Loss At Louisiana Tech|
Ruston, La.-----Louisiana Tech came up with a season-high four interceptions and prevented San Jose State from reaching the .500 mark for the first time this season with a 38-28 win over the Spartans.
San Jose State (3-5, 2-2 WAC) gave away the football five times including a fourth-quarter fumble in its first Western Athletic Conference road game. In all, there were seven turnovers that resulted in 31 points.
Though the Spartans scored a pair of touchdowns on fumble recoveries by punter Harrison Waid and defensive end David Tuitupou, it wasn't enough to overcome 28 unanswered Louisiana Tech points over a 11:25 span of the second and third quarters.
Louisiana Tech (4-4, 3-1 WAC) ran off 88 offensive plays for 497 yards and found ways to convert on third down converting 10 times in 23 opportunities. Twice, the Bulldogs finished drives of 90 or more yards in the end zone.
The Bulldogs turned Matt Faulkner's two first-half interceptions into a 25-yard Matt Nelson field goal to opening the game's scoring and a 2-yard touchdown pass from Colby Cameron to wide receiver Quinton Patton that sent the Louisiana Tech into halftime with a 24-14 lead.
San Jose State had a pair of four-point leads in the first half. Long snapper Ben Zorn ripped the ball away from punt returner Andrew Guillot on a Waid punt deep in Bulldogs' territory and Waid picked up the loose ball and ran it back to the Louisiana Tech 1-yard line. A play later, Brandon Rutley pushed his way into the end zone for a 7-3 Spartan first-quarter lead.
After a 21-yard touchdown run off a reverse by Louisiana Tech's Richie Casey, the Spartans answered with a 60-yard scoring pass from Faulkner to Noel Grigsby for a 14-10 San Jose State lead with 8:29 left in the second quarter.
Patton had five receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns. His first score of the game came on a 90-yard flea flicker pass play. Quarterback Colby Cameron made his first start of the season.
The Bulldogs broke open the game at the start of the third quarter. Taking the second half kickoff, Louisiana Tech running back Lennon Creer completed a 60-yard drive with a 1-yard run. Twenty seconds later, linebacker Jay Dudley came up with the Bulldogs' third interception of the game and a 36-yard return giving Louisiana Tech a 38-14 advantage.
San Jose State made the game interesting with a pair of scores. Touchdown passes to Chandler Jones of 5 yards and Ryan for 20 yards gave the Spartans a glimmer of hope. But in between, Louisiana Tech's fourth interception and a Bene Benwikere fumble on after he caught a psss from Waid for an apparent first down out of punt formation were the exclamation points on San Jose State's own misfortunes.
Though Faulkner passed for 300-plus yards (327) for the third time in four games, he had a season high 49 attempts partly because the Spartans gained a season-low 12 yards rushing.
San Jose State can return to the win column next Saturday, November 5, when it hosts Idaho in a 1:00 p.m. game in Spartan Stadium.