Aug. 11, 2013
The original plan at the start of the San Jose State University football's first two-a-day practice was a 40-45 play scrimmage in Spartan Stadium to give the team its first feel for game situations under the lights.
After all, the Spartans open the 2013 season hosting Sacramento State on Thursday, August 29, in a 7:00 p.m. game.
Head coach Ron Caragher was so wrapped up in the team's execution on offense, defense and special teams that the Spartans ran off 68 plays in the first of two Saturday scrimmages during the preseason.
The San Jose State head coach changed his approach to the first of two scrimmages in the preseason with the number-one offense taking snaps against the number-two defense and the number-one defense facing off against the number-two offense. Typically, those in the first group are going against each other.
The scrimmage consisted of short-yardage plays and concluded with the offense and defense starting possessions from the offense's 20-yard line.
"It was great to be out under the lights and have a full tackle situations scrimmage. It's hard to duplicate situations when you are substituting from the sidelines, when you are playing the true down and distance and scrimmaging - things we can't always simulate in regular practice. It's nice to have that game-type feel and see how guys react," Caragher said at the scrimmage's conclusion. "It was a good evening for that.
"There were our share of mistakes on both sides of the football, but a great opportunity to learn, grow and develop. We mixed in a lot of young players tonight.
"I changed it up - the 1's vs. the 2's, just going against a different group. It was like a game. You were going against a team you didn't practice against for obvious reasons.
Quarterback David Fales was on target completing 10-of-15 without an interception for 216 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Chandler Jones, who had three receptions for 72 yards, was on the receiving end of a Fales 38-yard touchdown pass.
"For the most part, we're doing really well. We're still ironing out little kinks here and there. We're communicating well. The thing I like most is when we slip up, we recognize it and know how to adjust when we need to," said Fales who has a returning receiving corps with 558 career receptions spread among six players.
"I had a real good off-season in terms of my strength on the ball. Now, I'm starting to take a little off. Last year, most of the time I was trying to get it out there to them, but we had a lot of open receivers today.
"(Athletic Performance) Coach (Gary) Uribe and his staff had some different training techniques for me to do that (improve his arm strength). I can tell it's starting to pay off."
The defense recovered one fumble and was in on two sacks during the first 48 plays of the scrimmage. Cornerback Dasheon Frierson blocked an Austin Lopez 53-yard field goal try that Dominic Barnes picked up and ran for a special teams touchdown.
Twelve different players caught at least one pass. Senior Jason Simpson, with seven carries, and freshman Ray Lomas IV, with 10, were the busiest running backs during the scrimmage.
"I like to have a power run game and it was nice to get some practicing in those situations right off the bat," the San Jose State head coach said about the first 10 plays of the scrimmage.
San Jose State has two remaining two-a-day practices on August 12 and August 14. The Spartans' annual Fan Fest and final preseason scrimmage is Saturday, August 17.
Single-game and season tickets for San Jose State's six home games remain available and can be purchased online at www.sjsuspartans.com and www.ticketmaster.com or by phone calling 408-924-SJTX.