Quarterback Joe Gray Sharp In Spring Football Scrimmage

Tight end Billy Freeman hauled in three passes for 76 yards.

March 22, 2014

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Joe Gray, one of two returning San Jose State University quarterbacks competing for the number-one job, completed 17-of-20 passes for 192 yards and directed the offense to five scoring drives in six possessions in the final team scrimmage of spring practice.

Utilizing a 60-yard field for 10 of the scrimmage's 15 possessions, the Spartans scored two touchdowns with Gray calling the signals, once each on drives of 40 and 25 yards. Kicker Austin Lopez capped Gray's first turn at quarterback with a 30-yard field. Lopez, who was 2-of-4 for the day, also booted one from 34 yards out when Blake Jurichwas at quarterback.

"Joe Gray had a good day. Joe had a really good day. He had good pocket presence. He feels the pocket well. He put the ball where receivers could make plays," said San Jose State head coach Ron Caragher. "He was in there and the results were very positive whether we had touchdown drives or field goal drives, Joe seemed to do a good job moving the chains. That was really encouraging."

Jurich did not have his best day. He completed 4-of-9 for 34 yards. The defense came up with two 3-and-out stops, another drive stalled after one first down, a 41-yard field goal try was blocked by defensive tackle Travis Raciti and linebacker Alex Manigo came up with the defense's one takeaway in the scrimmage. Manigo was credited with an intercepted fumble after safety Vincenté Miles, Jr., collided with tight end Jordan Thielafter Thiel caught a Jurich pass near the 15-yard line.

"It was not a stellar day for Blake. It was not representative of the type of spring we saw from him," Caragher said when asked about the senior quarterback.

None of the four Spartan quarterbacks threw an interception. Sophomore Thomas Tucker was the leading rusher with seven carries for 42 yards and a 4-yard touchdown run. Sophomore tight end Billy Freeman and sophomore running back Osirius Burkeeach caught three passes. Freeman was on the receiving end of the game's two longest plays - 36 and 35 yard pass plays from Gray.

"There was some sloppiness. There were some false starts and I saw too many offsides," said Caragher. The offense was called for seven false start infractions and the defense was whistled once for offsides. "There was some really good stuff scrimmage-wise. The run game looked like it ran well. I saw some good tackling. I saw some defensive guys run to the ball. ... I saw some guys running around and making some plays. I was encouraged by that. I think we got a lot of good work. A lot

Safety Simon Connette topped the defense with eight tackles. Linebacker Christian Tago, the top returning tackler from the 2013 team, was in on seven stops.

Defensive ends Sean Bacon, Adrian Blake and Eugene Tayloreach had a quarterback sack in the 87-play scrimmage.

The afternoon ended when safety Ryan Harper was taken off the field after suffering an apparent dislocated left knee in the process of tackling running back Alvin Jelks.

"He was OK. You would think somebody with a knee dislocated would be mentally out of it. He was positive. He was upbeat and I think the pain was not as much as you'd think. He's a tough guy. He's had his share of injuries here," the Spartans coach said about the senior from Phoenix. "I think he's in good spirits, all things considered."

Scrimmage Statistics
Rushing (Running Backs only)
Thomas Tucker, 7-42, 1 TD; Jarrod Lawson, 9-28, 1 TD; Osirius Burke, 9-33, 1 TD; Alvin Jelks, 4-21, Ray Lomas, IV, 6-16, 1 TD; Steven Rogers, 3-12.
Passing
Blake Jurich, 4-9-0-34 yds.; Joe Gray, 17-20-0-192 yds.; Malik Watson, 0-2-0-0; Jason Habash, 1-2-0-2.
Receiving
Billy Freeman, 3-76; Osirius Burke, 3-24; Chris Kearney, 2-38; Andrew Vollert, 2-29; Jourdan Soares, 2-18; Michael Tate, 1-16; Tim Crawley, 1-9; Chris Dadson, 1-9; Shane Smith, 1-8; Jordan Thiel, 1-6; Thomas Tucker, 1-5; K.C. Pearce, 1-2; Nico Aimonetti, 1-2; Jabari Carr, 1-2; Tyler Winston, 1-0.
Field Goals
Austin Lopez, 30, Good; 56, no good; 41, no good, blocked; 34, good
Punting
Zach Steinberg, 5, 38.8 avg.; Stefen Rock, 7, 45.7 avg.; Michael Carrizosa, 4, 46.7 avg.
Tackles
Simon Connette, 8; Christian Tago, 7; Moses Saucedo, 5; Vincente Miles, Jr., 4; Dominic Barnes, 4; Ryan Harper, 4; Forrest Hightower, 3; Jared Leaf, 3; Eugene Taylor, 3; Adrian Blake, 3; Cleveland Wallace, III, 3; Dasheon Frierson, 2; Travis Miller, 2; Alex Manigo, 2; Keenan Sykes, 2; Taye Mason-Whitmore, 2; Teddy Enfantino, 2; Lemaki Musika, 2; Garrett Guanella, 1; Akeem King, 1; Foloi Vae, 1; Esston Al-Uqdah, 1; Nate Falo, 1; Nick Oreglia, 1; Maurice McKnight, 1; Michael Okoroike, 1; Miles Milner, 1; Sean Bacon, 1.
Quarterback sacks
Sean Bacon, 1; Adrian Blake, 1; Eugene Taylor, 1.
Intercepted Fumble
Alex Manigo, 1.
Blocked field goal
Travis Raciti, 1.

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