SAN JOSE -- San Jose State's Bené Benwikere earned several accollades for his performance in the Spartans' 52-43 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday night.
The junior cornerback, whose three interceptions tied a school single-game record, was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week. He also had eight tackles, including one for a loss, and a pass breakup.
Benwikere started the season as the third cornerback and a backup safety, playing in nickel defense situations. An injury to Damon Ogburn Jr. moved him to the starting lineup and he's responded by being the secondary's most dominant player.
Benwikere leads the team with seven interceptions and has two defensive touchdowns. He sealed the win over Louisiana Tech by intercepting passes to end the Bulldogs' last two drives.
An injury that kept Benwikere out of spring camp might have led to him beginning the season outside the starting lineup, but he credits the other cornerbacks for pushing him to get better and earn his role.
"Having other corners like Ronnie Yell, Damon Ogburn, Jimmy Pruitt, Forrest (Hightower). During training camp, we all really went hard," Benwikere said. "By them pushing me, it gave me the determination to be as good as I was and have the game of my life."
Benwikere was also recognized by College Football Performance Awards as the co-National Defensive Performer of the Week and co-National Defensive Back of the Week.
Two other Spartans were also honored by CFPA. Running back De'Leon Eskridge, who rushed for a career-high 217 yards and three touchdowns, was an honorable mention performer of the week at his positiion.
Ryan Otten, who caught six passes for 87 yards and a touchdown, was an honorable mention tight end of the week.
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