When San José State University football head coach Ron Caragher looks at the video from the team's first preseason scrimmage, there should a lot to his liking.
With quarterback Kenny Potter managing the number-one offensive unit, the Spartans had three touchdown drives.
With takeaways as a point of emphasis for this year's defense, San José State recovered a pair of fumbles and linebacker Jesse Osuna had the night's one interception.
"I saw a lot of guys run around with lots of energy and enthusiasm. We made our share of mistakes, as expected for our first scrimmage. I look forward to going back to the drawing board, coach our guys up and make that next step of improvement," said Caragher without any hint of disappointment.
The 78-play scrimmage was divided into four segments of field position situations - two 80-yard drive opportunities, one 40-yard drive sequence, and `red zone' play from 20-yards away from pay dirt. San José State also worked on its punt and kickoff returns with five kick return combinations and a pair of punt return prospects.
Potter accounted for 140 yards of total offense and a pair of touchdowns. Always a threat to improvise with the run, the Spartan signal caller raced 24 yards to cap a 40-yard scoring drive. Later, Potter connected with a streaking Bailey Gaither on a 31-yard touchdown pass.
"The first offense effectively moved the ball down the field, but the defense did step up after that and created some turnovers and some stops. We put the defense in some field positions starting out at the plus-40 (yard line). It's such a short field. All in all, they found a way to hold the offense to field goals and I was encouraged by that," the Spartans head coach stated.
Though the offense gained 449 yards, the defense stopped five of 16 drives without a score. After Jake Lanski's 36-yard field goal when the offense was faced with driving 80 yards for a touchdown, the defense came up with its first takeaway of the night when wide receiver JaQuan Blackwell fumbled while attempting to gain additional yardage after a catch. Then, the defense came up with a pair of 3-and-outs to end the first segment of the scrimmage.
Deontae Cooper was the busiest ball carrier with 12 rushes for 56 yards and touchdown runs of 20 and 1 yard. The University of Washington graduate transfer showed his breakaway abilities on the 20-yard rush to the end zone and his willingness to run behind San José State's experienced offensive line on the 1-yard scoring play.
"The offensive line created some openings and he (Deontae Cooper) did a good job running through those openings. Kenny had some nice runs as well. We're trying to be a diverse offense. It was a well-executed evening from the offensive standpoint. I expect that. We have a veteran group coming back," Caragher said about the offense that had 13 players with at least one reception. Running back Zamore Zigler was tops with three and the offense had eight plays of 20 or more yards.
Lanski, a junior college transfer, had the scrimmage's longest field goal, a 44-yard try he made with little fanfare. Crawford, now a sophomore, came through with field goals of 34 and 38 yards.
"During the Spring Game, we were 10-for-10 and that has continued. We've had a good fall camp kicking the ball. It was a good productive night and we need to come off the field with points once we get down in the `red zone,'" assessed the San José State head coach now in his fourth season.
The San José State team will have its first day off from preseason practice on Sunday, August 14. The Spartans open the second half of preparation Monday, August 15 with their first of two double-day practice sessions prior to the start of the fall semester on August 23.
San José State's final preseason scrimmage will be Saturday, August 20, during the team's annual FanFest. The scrimmage begins at 4:00 p.m. in CEFCU Stadium -- home of the Spartans, located at 7th Street between Humboldt and Alma. There is no admission charge to watch the scrimmage. Players and coaches will be available for pictures and autographs after the scrimmage.
Tickets for all San José State football games are available at sjsuspartans.com.
|Deontae Cooper, 20-yard run (Bryce Crawford PAT)|
|Jake Lanski, 36-yard field goal|
|Kenny Potter, 24-yard run (Bryce Crawford PAT)|
|Jake Lanski, 44-yard field goal|
|Bryce Crawford, 34-yard field goal|
|Deontae Cooper, 1-yard run (Bryce Crawford PAT)|
|Tre Hartley, 20-yard pass from Sam Allen (Jake Lanski PAT)|
|Bryce Crawford, 38-yard field goal|
|Bailey Gaither, 31-yard pass from Kenny Potter (Jake Lanski PAT)|
|Rahshead Johnson, 28-yard pass from Josh Love|
|Rushing (41-163 yards, 3 TDs)|
|Deontae Cooper, 12-56-2 TDs; Kenny Potter, 3-35-1 TD; Malik Roberson 7-34; Jamar Williams, 6-18; Zamore Zigler, 6-12; Sam Allen, 4-7; Rahshead Johnson, 1-4, Bailey Gaither, 1-4; Josh Love, 1-(-7).|
|Passing (19-37-1-286 yards, 3 TDs)|
|Kenny Potter, 5-9-0-115, 1 TD; Sam Allen, 5-7-0-46, 1 TD; Josh Love, 8-13-0-105, 1 TD; Michael Carrillo, 1-4-0-20; Montel Aaron, 0-4-1-0.|
|Receiving (19-286 yards, 3 TDs)|
|Zamore Zigler, 3-23; Tim Crawley, 2-73; Bailey Gaither, 2-36, 1 TD; Tre Hartley, 2-34, 1 TD; Rahshead Johnson, 2-31, 1 TD; JaQuan Blackwell, 1-20; LeVander Brown, 1-19; Thai Cottrell, 1-16; Josh Oliver, 1-15; Ray Surry, 1-10; Billy Humphreys, 1-9; Brandon Monroe, 1-4; Deontae Cooper, 1-(-4).|
|Jesse Osuna, 1.|
|Quarterback Sacks (2)|
|Mikal Berry, 1; Brett Foley, 1.|
|Kick Scoring (5-for-5 PATs; 4-for-5 FGs)|
|Bryce Crawford, 3-for-3 PATs, 34-yd. FG (good), 38-yd. FG (good).|
|Jake Lanski, 2-for-2 PATs, 36-yd. FG (good), 44-yd FG (good), 40-yd FG (no good).|