Defense Dominates San Diego State Spring Scrimmage

March 17, 2012

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SAN DIEGO - On a day dominated by stellar defensive play and a driving rain storm, sophomore quarterback Adam Dingwell connected with junior Tim Vizzie on a 36-yard touchdown strike to account for the only points of the day and lift the Black squad to a 6-0 victory at the annual Red & Black Spring Game on the San Diego State campus.

The Black team, comprised of the first team defense and the second team offense scored a first quarter touchdown, and got a fourth-quarter defensive stand after committing a turnover in its own red zone, to claim the victory.

"It was all right, the weather was kind of shaky and they had to play in adverse conditions," head coach Rocky Long said of the team's major spring scrimmage. "That's good practice. The effort was good and the energy was good. Obviously everybody wants to see points scored but it was kind of a defensive game and a defensive day."

The game, which was comprised of four 15-minutes quarters with running clocks in three of the four periods, was played in rainy and windy conditions. The rain started just before the beginning of the game and lasted throughout.

The defensive units controlled the scrimmage, forcing four turnovers and limiting the offenses to a total of 196 yards. Senior linebacker Scott Graves recovered a pair of fumbles on the day and redshirt freshman Darius Guillory had a pair of interceptions, including a spectacular diving grab off of a tipped pass.

Sophomore defensive back Mahbu Keels recorded a game-high seven tackles, while Graves added six tackles and junior linebacker Nick Tenhaeff added five stops.

The game opens the final week of spring practice for the Aztecs. San Diego State is coming off an 8-5 season which saw the Aztecs advance to their second consecutive bowl game.

Individual Offensive Totals

RUSHING TOTALS (carries - yards - touchdowns)
Brandon Wright 9-34-0; Adam Muema 6-28-0; De'Saan Hardwick 8-23-0; Chase Price 4-12-0; Chad Young 3-4-0; Matt Morin 1-4-0; Chris Gordert 1-1-0; Chad Jeffries 3-(minus 3)-0; Team 2-(minus 11)-0; Ryan Katz 6-(minus 12)-0; Adam Dingwell 6-(minus 34)-0. TOTALS 49-46-0

PASSING TOTALS (completions - attempts - interceptions yards touchdowns)
Ryan Katz 5-23-2, 81, 0; Adam Dingwell 2-8-0, 41, 1; Chad Jeffries 2-2-0, 28, 0; Jake Bernards 0-1-0, 0, 0; Matt Morin 0-1-0, 0, 0. TOTALS 9-35-2, 150, 1.

RECEIVING TOTALS (number - yards - touchdowns)
Tim Vizzi 3-64-1; Dylan Denso 1-45-0; Osmond Nicholas 2-23-0; Ezell Ruffin 1-8-0; Adam Roberts 1-5-0; Brandon Wright 1-5-0. TOTALS 9-150-1.

FUMBLES (number - lost)
Adam Dingwell 2-2; Da'Saan Hardwick 1-1; Chad Jeffries 1-0. TOTALS 4-3.

Individual Defensive Leaders

TACKLES
Mahbu Keels - 7 (4 UT, 3 AT); Scott Graves - 6 (1 UT, 5 AT); Nick Tenhaeff - 5 (1 UT, 4 AT); Darius Guillory - 4 (2 UT, 2 AT); Eric Pinkins - 4 (1 UT, 3 AT); Gabe Lemon - 3 (3 AT)

SACKS
Rob Andrews - 1; Jake Fely - 1; Josh Gavert - 1; Darius Guillory - 1; Christian Parra - 1; Stan Sedberry - 1; Nick Tenhaeff - 1

INTERCEPTIONS
Darius Guillory -2

PASS BREAKUPS
Mahbu Keels - 2; Tony Bell - 1; Scott Graves - 1; Eric Pinkins - 1

FUMBLE RECOVERIES
Scott Graves - 2; Tony Bell - 1

San Diego State Football head coach Rocky Long

On the Red & Black game:
"It was all right, the weather was kind of shaky and they had to play in adverse conditions. That's good practice. The effort was good and the energy was good. Obviously everybody wants to see points scored but it was kind of a defensive game and a defensive day."

On whether the game was productive:
"It was really productive. It's all what your frame of mind is. Most people watch a scrimmage and if they don't score a lot of points, they don't think it's productive. Well, I think different. I thought it was pretty productive, the defense really played well."

On whether anyone in particular stood out:
"I don't think so, but the defense ought to play well when the weather is as bad as it was for three quarters. In the fourth quarter, I thought the offense would move the ball because the weather wasn't bad, but they didn't."

Sophomore quarterback Adam Dingwell

On today's game:
"It was fun. It was nice to get out here, just play, scrimmage and go against the guys. We have to get better as a team and myself, individually. Just all around, we have to get better. We're young, we made too many mistakes but overall it was fun to get out here and play. I had a good time in the rain. Some people say that's an excuse but (our play) wasn't good enough all the way around."

On the difficulties of syncing with the offense in today's weather:
"At times it was pretty rough and you could see all of us out there struggling a little bit. The defense kind of keyed in on the run and it was tough for us to throw the ball, but that's not an excuse. As a quarterback, myself and the rest of the guys, we have to make plays. We have to lead the offense down the field so the rain isn't really a factor. We're going to have to play in weather like this, or even worse during the year, so we just have to adapt and overcome it."

On who stood out to him:
"I thought we all played pretty well. We all have to get better up front but I think the offensive line did a decent job for what was going on. Colin Lockett had a good day running routes. (Tim) Vizzi, one of our receivers, had a good day and made a nice touchdown catch. Overall, I think we all played well and the defense did a great job today too keeping the offense out of the end zone."

Sophomore linebacker Jake Fely

On how the younger players did today:
"It's a complicated defense. You have to be book smart but I think that our freshmen who are coming in are handling it pretty well. They're starting to get comfortable with it just like we are. We are all a part of the team and we're just trying to get that goal of winning a championship."

On playing in today's weather:
"It's crazy. It's always difficult playing in rain but it cools you down when it's hot outside."

On why the defense did well:
"During practices coach is always trying to stress on defense stepping up because during the year, we're going to be the ones who need to step up. Today we just came out full ahead and we wanted to show that we're working out here every day in order to get the championship."