March 29, 2014
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State football team was back to live tackling in Saturday's practice, the 12th of spring football, as the Bulldogs wrapped up their third week in Bulldog Stadium.
In Saturday's practice, the team concentrated on moving the sticks, or in the case of the defense, getting stops.
Fresno State drilled a four-minute period, where the offense is put in the situation being ahead and looking to run out the clock by picking up first downs. In addition, the Bulldogs also had one scripted team period where they were just running plays with and against various formations and ended the day by working on being backed up to their own end zone.
"We had some good work today. We had some situation stuff, started practice off with one of our special categories trying to start fast," head coach Tim DeRuyter said. "Defensively, we started fast and created a take-away. Offensively, we got to fix that. We had way too many turnovers today. Had some balls that should have been caught that were tipped and the defense took advantage of and we had some strips. It's always a double-edged sword in the spring time. That's good for our defense, but we got to get it fixed on offense."
In the first live team period, the defense created three turnovers. The first came on a big play for the offense, as Brian Burrell hit Carl Coleman on a 37-yard pass, but cornerback Jamal Ellis stripped Coleman of the ball from behind and T.J. Thomas recovered for the defense.
The other two turnovers were interceptions - one on a great play from cornerback Stratton Brown to pick off Zack Greenlee as he was looking for Darrell Fuery down the sideline. The second was an interception by Kyrie Wilson, who caught a deflection off the hands of Dillon Root on a nicely thrown ball from Burrell.
After the rough start, the offense ended the day on a good note.
In the four-minute drill, the first-team offense led by Burell at quarterback was able to eat away at the clock with a pair of first downs. The first came when Burrell hit tight end Riley Barns for a 15-yard pick-up on a third-and-five play. Later, on a second-and-10, running back Malique Micenheimer bulled his way for 11 yards to move the sticks again.
"We had a four-minute scrimmage at the end and the offense came back and did some good things," DeRuyter said.
Then to end practice, the offense was put in the situation with the ball on their own one-yard line and had to pick up a first down. The first-team offense worked both series, and successfully moved the chains both times.
On the first attempt, running back Marteze Waller started it off with a four-yard run to give the offense some breathing room. On the next play, Burrell connected with Justin Johnson on a six-yard pass to pick up the first.
Attempt No. 2 did take long for the 'O' to move the sticks, as Waller blasted through for a 14-yard run on first down.
After Saturday, Fresno State now only has three more practices remaining in spring football. The Spring Showcase is being held next Saturday, April 5 at 10 a.m. in Bulldog Stadium and it is free and open to the public.
"Catch the Wave" - The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes 1600 AM.
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