'Dogs Hold First Scrimmage of Spring Football

March 11, 2013

By Jason Clay

Post-Practice Interviews
Head Coach Tim DeRuyter
Defensive Coordinator Nick Toth
Offensive Coordinator Dave Schramm

FRESNO, Calif. - The Bulldog defense recorded 15 tackles for a loss and eight sacks in Fresno State's first scrimmage of spring football that was held Monday morning in Bulldog Stadium.

In what is a continual back-and-forth seesaw battle between the units looking to build depth, the defense held the upper hand in Monday's scrimmage that came on the ninth practice of spring ball.

"One side of the ball was a big-time ouch. The other side of the ball [defense] did some descent things, but we gave up too many plays and got to tackle better," head coach Tim DeRuyter said. "I thought our defensive line dominated our offensive line.

"I just though mentality-wise our defense came to play, especially up front and our offense didn't by-in-large, but that's not everybody."

The Bulldog defense forced three turnovers in the 79-play scrimmage. Ejiro Ederaine forced Marcus McDade to fumble on a sack and Nikko Motta recovered for the defense. Then Brock Carmen, who has switched from safety to linebacker this spring, picked off one pass and Jonathan Norton had the other interception. Norton also broke up one pass on the day.

"I did like our guy's effort today, I thought our physicality was descent," defensive coordinator Nick Toth said. "We missed a couple of tackles that cost us points again though and that's one of the things we've been emphasizing all spring. It wasn't as good as we wanted it to be today, so there's stuff we can get better at."

Asides from Ederaine's sack, the other Bulldogs on defense to record sacks were Tyeler Davison , Brandon Hughes, Jeremiah Toma, Rodney Mathews, Ben Letcher, Todd Hunt and Ronald Ussery.

The Bulldog offense scored three touchdowns in the scrimmage, two off missed tackles that Toth was talking about.

Darryl Cash picked up a botched snap, found a gap up the middle and into the second level, then broke a tackle that allowed him to race in for the 60-yard touchdown run. That was on the 15th play of the scrimmage and was the first first-down for the Bulldogs. Cash produced the best of the running backs on the day, rushing the ball 10 times for 92 yards and that one score.

The second missed tackle that led to points for the offense came on a short hitch pass from Brian Burrell to Davante Adams. Adams made L.J. Jones miss on the sideline and ran in untouched after that for a 35-yard touchdown.

Burrell had the lone touchdown pass from the three quarterbacks that played on Monday. Starter Derek Carr did not participate in the scrimmage.

Offensive coordinator Dave Schramm wants to stress his quarterbacks this spring and thought the pressure the defense applied to them Monday will only make them better.

"We're going to stress our quarterbacks and it's going to happen, it's good," Schramm said. "This is the best thing we can do right now to find out who is going to be that back-up [quarterback]. Who can take care of the ball. Who's got any poise at all and who can run the team when stuff gets hard."

The majority of the scrimmage on offense was to see how a lot of the backups performed. A number of the returning starters - Davante Adams, Isaiah Burse and Austin Wentworth - did not play a lot of snaps.

"We got to find out what the other guys can do," Schramm said. "Either they show what they can or show what they can't. It's kind of how it is."

Running back T.J. Thomas, who rushed seven times for 52 yards, had the third Bulldog touchdown in the scrimmage. He started off the seven-play drive with a 42-yard run to the 28-yard line and then three completions by McDade set up Thomas' four-yard touchdown run off the right edge of the line.

Of the 79-plays that were run Monday, 64 of them came on team drives with no game clock.

The Bulldogs ended the scrimmage working on being backed up against their own goal-line and were able to obtain one first down in their three tries. They then finished with two more drives in the one-minute drill, the final one ending with Carmen's interception.

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