Quarterbacks Kenny Potter and Sam Allen combined to throw four touchdown passes and running back Zamore Zigler added a fifth on a 36-yard run in the annual San Jose State University Spring Football Game in Spartan Stadium.
Allen, a sophomore community college transfer from Victor Valley College, threw touchdown passes of 20, 7 and 29 yards completing 12-of-22 with one interception for 217 yards. Potter, the 2015 AutoNation Cure Bowl Most Valuable Player, set the tone for the offense on the day with a scoring drive in the first sequence of the 84-play scrimmage with a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Josh Oliver. The play was reminiscent of San Jose State's clinching touchdown in the Cure Bowl win over Georgia State with Oliver using his 6-foot-5 reach to pull down the Potter pass.
On the day, the offense had six plays of 25 or more yards from six different players. Zigler's touchdown run was the second longest of the day to wide receiver Bailey Gaither's 63-yard burst that set up the Potter-to-Oliver scoring pass.
"I was encouraged by some of the things I saw. Spring football, to me, is about improving the fundamentals of your team, finding out the players you can count on in the fall, continuing to install the schemes and see how much the team can handle. A lot of questions were answered," said head coach Ron Caragher.
Redshirt sophomore Tre Hartley led all players with 10 receptions for 122 yards and a 20-yard touchdown toss from Allen. Hartley and Allen combined on a 50-yard pass play prior to the offense's second score on the day. Running back Malik Roberson and receiver Tim Crawley were on the receiving end of Allen's other two touchdown passes.
With career scoring leader Austin Lopez departed, sophomore Bryce Crawford and junior college transfer Jake Lanski handled the placekicking duties flawlessly. Crawford converted his two PATs and field goals of 26, 45 and 28 yards. Lanski was good on his 3 PATs and field goals of 38 and 33 yards.
The defense was credited with four quarterback sacks and came up with two takeaways in the final sequence of two-minute offense from the offense's 25-yard line. Defensive end Eugene Taylor who had two of the four sacks, forced a fumble and safety Jeremy Kelly came up with an interception.
"I didn't like the way we played today. We had some pieces missing today, but I thought the offense did a nice job. We did not play with the same energy we played with all spring, but I've been extremely pleased with the players and coaches," said new defensive coordinator Ron English about the defense's performance prior to the Spring Game. The defense played the Spring Game without All-Mountain West linebacker Christian Tago, the team's leading tackler in 2015. "We'll learn from today and grow."
Starters Keoni Taylor at center, wide receivers Tyler Winston and Justin Holmes, tight end Billy Freeman, running back Thomas Tucker and defensive back Andre Chachere were six more key players from the 2015 that did not play in the Spring Game. All are expected to be ready for preseason drills in August.
San Jose State will conclude its 2016 spring practice with a final practice session on Wednesday, April 20.
San Jose State University Football Spring Game Statistics
|Josh Oliver, 14-yard pass from Kenny Potter (Jake Lanski PAT)|
|Tre Hartley, 20-yard pass from Sam Allen (Bryce Crawford PAT)|
|Malik Roberson, 7-yard pass from Sam Allen (Jake Lanski PAT)|
|Bryce Crawford, 26-yard field goal|
|Jake Lanski, 38-yard field goal|
|Zamore Zigler, 36-yard run (Bryce Crawford PAT)|
|Tim Crawley, 29-yard pass from Sam Allen (Jake Lanski PAT)|
|Bryce Crawford, 45-yard field goal|
|Jake Lanski, 33-yard field goal|
|Bryce Crawford, 28-yard field goal|
Rushing (39 rushes, 200 yards, 1 TD)
Passing (23-45-1-311-4 TDs)
Receiving (23 receptions, 311 yards, 4 TDs)
Tre Hartley, 10-122, 1 TD; Rahshead Johnson, 3-16; Tim Crawley, 2-44, 1 TD; Malik Roberson, 2-32, 1 TD; Josh Oliver, 2-23, 1 TD; LeVander Moore, 1-34; Nico Lima, 1-24; Zamore Zigler, 1-7; Bailey Gaither, 1-6; Brandon Pierce, 1-5.
Forced fumbles -- Eugene Taylor, 1.
Fumble recovery -- Travis Miller, 1.
Interception -- Jeremy Kelly, 1.