Offense Prevails in First Scrimmage

Offense Prevails in First Scrimmage

Tom Brandstater passed for 158 yards on 13-20 passing with one touchdown, unofficially, Saturday afternoon. But Clifton Smith scored two touchdowns, including the winner on the last play of the scrimmage. He finished with 56 total yards, unofficially, in the 48-43 win.

Fresno State scrimmaged for the first time this season in what was the Bulldog's ninth practice session of spring 2007. The scrimmage had the offense (Red) square of against the defense (White). Points were awarded on offense for as follows: first down (one point), 20+ yard play (two points), field goal (three points), touchdown (six points) and PAT (one point). The defense could score with a tackle for loss (two points), forcing a punt/FG (three points), a missed FG (four points) and by turnover (seven points).

The offense started slow but picked up the pace in the second half scoring four touchdowns in the "compete zone".

The first half of the scrimmage consisted of the offense starting near mid-field and driving the ball down the field. The second half was "compete zone" offense, where the ball was place on the 25 yard line.

The first series of the scrimmage had the first team offense face the first team defense. Subsequently, the second and third teams went head-to-head. After the first three series, the second and third team had a few of the first string players taking reps.

The entire first half of the scrimmage had 10 series. Tom Brandstater conducted three of the 10 series, Ryan Colburn five and Matt Christian the other two.

Brandstater moved the Red team down the field with ease on his first drive, he completed his first four passes four 30 yards. But near the goal line, his fifth pass went over the middle and was picked off by CB A.J. Jefferson.

In Brandstater's second drive he was equally impressive. Early in the drive, Brandstater went deep and hit Marlon Moore in the numbers at about the two-yard line. It appeared Moore had caught the ball before tumbling into the end zone but the officials ruled it incomplete.

Brandstater would get a second chance per se, facing a third and 18; he would hit Moore perfectly, inside the 20, for 19 yard gain and the first down. It was easily Brandstater's best completion of the afternoon. After leading the Red team to the two yard line, the running game stalled and Brandstater faced a third and goal from the four.

Brandstater tried to hit Chastin West in the end zone but Jefferson was in great position and knocked the ball away. The Red team was forced to settle for a 21 yard field goal by Clint Stitser. It was his only make of the afternoon. He finished 1-4 on the day.

Brandstater finished 9-13 for 83 yards and one interception after his first two drives. In his final drive, he still failed to get the ball into the end zone but got his team into a position to score once again.

On his first throw, he hit Jason Crawley on a quick out and Crawley did the rest racing 26 yards. But the Red team had to settle on a 38 yard FG attempt by Stitser. Brandstater finished 11-19 for 119 yards after the first half of the scrimmage.

Ryan Colburn started hot, completing four of his first six passes for 37 yards but quickly cooled down. He finished just 5-11 for 49 yards through five series in the first half of the scrimmage.

The entire second team offense sputtered in the first half, including Clifton Smith. Smith had just over 10 yards rushing and had a fumble.

In the second half both the first and second team offense heated up. Brandstater led the Red team to its first touchdown, completed a key 14 yard pass to Crawley. Lonyae Miller capped the drive with a five yard touchdown run. He finished with 48 yards rushing on the day.

Colburn's best pass on the day was a short pass behind the line of scrimmage to Clifton Smith, who raced 25 yards to the end zone. Smith juked past a number of defenders at the line of scrimmage, cut across the defense at about the 15 and sprinted for the touchdown.

Smith got a bit too excited and removed his helmet and was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty.

Brandstater's last pass of the game, to Chastin West, was almost as impressive. West came up with the big play after catching a 10-yard crossing route from Brandstater. He caught the ball, turned the corner and raced untouched just inside the front pylon for the touchdown. West finished with 62 yards receiving.

Trailing 43-41, the Red team faced a fourth and goal at the three yard line. Electing to go for it, Colburn handed the ball off to Smith who followed his blockers for the winning score. Stitser's PAT gave the Red the 48-43 win.

Defensively, Tyler Clutts, Charles Tolbert, Marvin Haynes and Marcus Riley had a tackle for loss. Mark Roberts and Chris Lewis got to the quarterback for "sacks", which were not recorded during the scrimmage.

DE Michael Stuart went down with a knee injury and had to be helped off the field. His status is questionable and he will be evaluated further on Monday.

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