Offense Battles Back in Second Scrimmage
Aug. 16, 2013
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
FRESNO, Calif. - Fall camp is all about a little give and take between the offense and defense, and during the Fresno State football team's second scrimmage on Friday night in Bulldog Stadium, the coaching staff saw just that in the 70-play evening working on various game situations.
The first scrimmage last Saturday was one controlled mainly by the defense. On Friday night in what counted as the 18th practice of fall camp, the offense rebounded and made some plays to impress the crowd in attendance for the open scrimmage.
Of those notable big plays was a 62-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr to Davante Adams on a third-and-10. Carr also connected with Josh Harper on a 25-yard touchdown pass when the team was working on red zone situations.
"We know we can stretch the field vertically and it's great to have both [Harper] and [Adams] out there because you can't double both sides," head coach Tim DeRuyter said. "To have both of those guys to go up and be able to make plays on the ball, we're going to be able to put some pressure on teams."
The first-team offense saw a little more work on Friday than they did in the first scrimmage last Saturday when Carr only got six snaps. On Friday, Carr was 5-of-9 passing for 95 yards and the two touchdowns.
There were a number of other players that stepped up as well as the depth chart still has room for movement.
"I thought both sides of the ball made some plays and that's what you would expect in a scrimmage," DeRuyter said. "I thought early on our defense did a good job stopping the run, getting our offense into second-and-long and it's tough to convert when it is third-and-long and we are bringing some pressure.
"When we went in the red zone I thought the offense made some plays. We had some backs make some guys miss and run through tackles. We got to get that cleaned up defensively."
Redshirt freshman running back T.J. Thomas had seven carries for 23 yards with one touchdown and also caught a pair of TD passes from Brian Burrell. Although Thomas' yardage wasn't all that high, he looked impressive running the ball with power and making something out of nothing.
"You see a guy like T.J. Thomas come in here and tear it up," Carr said of watching some of the younger guys perform when given their shot. "When the lights come on, he's ready to play so I look forward to watching him play this fall."
Other notables from the scrimmage was freshman quarterback Zack Greenlee leading the third-team offense on a nine-play, 69-yard drive that Thomas capped off with a 10-yard touchdown run. Fellow running back Jordan Brown, who finished the scrimmage with seven carries for 48 yards, ran for 27 yards on that drive. Greenlee also hooked up with Delvon Hardaway for a 25-yard completion to get the ball into scoring territory.
"I think having our guys out here where they have to make tackles and make plays, it was good to see on both sides guys making those plays," DeRuyter said of the work from the twos and threes.
Defensively, Karl Mickelsen and Robert Stanley both had sacks on the night and Kyrie Wilson put in one of the bigger hits, stopping Thomas behind the line of scrimmage for a two-yard loss. Another big hit laid out in the live scrimmage was Dalen Jones breaking up a high pass intended for Dillon Root.
Burrell, who has separated himself in the race to be the No. 2 quarterback behind Carr, was 8-of-11 passing for 78 yards and the two TD passes to Thomas.
DeRuyter thought the biggest difference from this scrimmage to the first six days ago was more plays were made on both sides of the ball.
"I think we are executing our offense and our defense with our twos and threes at a much better clip and you would expect that, we've been practicing a bunch," DeRuyter said. "If we continue on this pace, I'll not be so concerned with our depth."
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