SAN JOSE -- After San Jose State coach Mike MacIntyre finished his post-game media session, he asked a question of his own.
"How many of ya'll thought we'd win 10?," MacIntyre asked the group of reporters.
That answer was easy to figure out.
Capping a regular season that few saw coming, the Spartans won a 52-43 thriller over Louisiana Tech on Saturday night to reach 10 wins for the first time since 1987.
With a win in a bowl game, SJSU could reach 11 victories for the first time in 63 seasons as a major college football program.
"It's crazy," quarterback David Fales said. "You think of just all the teams and all the players that have come through here. We have the possibility to be one of the greatest teams, record-wise. It's amazing."
The Spartans didn't win the Western Athletic Conference title this season. That went to Utah State after its 45-9 victory over Idaho on Saturday afternoon.
But SJSU (10-2, 5-1) will take a six-game winning streak into its first bowl since 2006. The Spartans will be an at-large bowl participant and won't likely learn their destination until the matchups are announced Dec. 2.
The Spartans don't care where they end up.
"I just want to be in one and I want our kids to be in one and enjoy the moment," MacIntyre said. "I don't know where we'll be but wherever we are, we're going to be happy to be there."
SJSU is one of 70 bowl eligible teams. Three more still can become
But after completing a 10-win regular season and earning back-to-back wins on national television, there's no doubt the Spartans will go bowling.
"We're a great team," Fales said. "We've got some good seniors and good leadership that know just to stay focused and consistent. We're a really good team. I'm excited for wherever we go."
Fales topped 300 yards for the sixth time, completed 25 of 37 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns. He broke Scott Rislov's 2002 record for completions in a season and now has 294.
Running back De'Leon Eskridge helped deliver the type of balance SJSU has yearned for all season. He rushed for a career-high 217 yards on 28 carries and matched a season-best with three touchdowns. He's now eight yards shy of 1,000 yards this season.
"That's honestly not a goal of mine," Eskridge said of 1,000 yards. "I definitely, being this close, want it. But if I came out and got seven yards in the bowl game and we still won, I'd be happy."
Junior cornerback Bené Benwikere continued to shine as the defense's biggest playmaker. He picked off Louisiana Tech quarterback Colby Cameron three times. Entering the game, Cameron had thrown only two interceptions in 463 attempts.
"All season we've heard that he hasn't thrown any interceptions until last week when he threw two," Benwikere said. "We were just waiting on him to make his mistakes. We were trying to go attack him."
The game materialized into the shootout that was expected.
SJSU scored the first 10 points on an Austin Lopez field goal and 42-yard touchdown pass to Hansel Wilson, a freshman walk-on wide receiver who was lined up in the backfield and ran a wheel route.
The Spartans had leads of 17-6 and 24-13, but Louisiana Tech closed the first half strong. Cameron hooked up with Quinton Patton for a 52-yard touchdown pass with 1:57 left in the second quarter.
SJSU's Forrest Hightower fumbled after a long kickoff return and the Bulldogs capitalized. A five-play, 66-yard drive led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Cameron with 26 seconds left in the half to give Louisiana Tech a 27-24 lead.
The Bulldogs held a 30-24 advantage after a field goal to open the third quarter.
Then came the back and forth that was expected. SJSU took a 31-30 lead on Ina Liaina's first rushing touchdown of the season.
Louisiana Tech answered with a 33-yard strike from Cameron to Myles White.
Eskridge regained the lead for the Spartans with a 32-yard touchdown run that made it 38-37 midway through the third period.
The defenses started to show up a bit, with both teams forcing three-and-outs. Then Benwikere brought the momentum to SJSU with his first interception, this one coming off a pass deflected by a Louisiana Tech receiver.
That led to Eskridge's third touchdown, a 1-yard run to cap a 10-play drive. It gave the Spartans a 45-37 lead with 4:07 left.
The Bulldogs charged back, as expected. Patton caught a 10-yard pass from Cameron, who threw for 468 yards. But Cameron overthrew Patton on the two-point conversion and SJSU held a 45-43 lead.
The Spartans followed with a much-needed long drive. The eight-play, 63-yard possession chewed up 4:44 off the clock and Jabari Carr caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Fales to make it 52-43.
Louisiana Tech has been known for its comebacks, but that wasn't the case in this one. The Bulldogs final two drives ended with the ball in the hands of Benwikere and SJSU ran out the clock.
Follow Jimmy Durkin on Twitter at Twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.