Offense Overshadows Defense in 1st Scrimmage

QB Matt Faulkner and RB Ryan Mathews.

QB Tom Brandstater racked up 189 yards passing on 12 of 16 passes including one touchdown. He led an offensive charge that totaled 581 yards on 73 plays. The offense scored five touchdowns, but on a down note, the defense lost starting MLB Ahijah Lane to an injury on the second play during Saturday nights' scrimmage.

#7 Jr. QB Tom Brandstater (6-5, 220) had his best performance of his young career. It is only a scrimmage, but he showed poise and complacency, that was not the case last season. He completed 75% of his passes and finished with passing efficiency rating of 194.85. Moreover, the crowd was cheering him on. "Imagine that," Brandstater said.

Brandstater had help Saturday night as well. Of his 16 pass attempts only one was dropped. He started the scoring by hitting #6 So. WR Chastin West (6-1, 215) for a 20-yard touchdown.

"It felt good, get the jitters out of the way," Brandstater said about his touchdown toss. "Chastin ran a good route."

West finished with 35 yards receiving on two catches. #13 So. Jason Crawley (6-2, 185) led all receivers with five receptions for 86 yards, including a wide receiver screen he took 40 yards down field. Fellow sophomore receivers #19 Seyi Ajirotutu (6-3, 207) caught two passes for 30 yards and #5 Marlon Moore (6-1, 180) caught one for 15 yards.

#23/21 Fr. RB Ryan Mathews (5-11.5, 205) led all rushers with 84 yards on 12 carries and had a two-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring for the night. Mathews gained over half his yards during his first offensive series. Fellow freshman, #20 Kyle Duffy (5-9, 185) – on his only carry – made a defender miss with a quick juke and raced 30 yards untouched for a touchdown. #1 So. RB Lonyae Miller also scored on a four-yard run and finished with 36 yards on seven carries.

#10 Fr. WR/QB Tim Lang (6-0, 190) displayed his arm strength on his two pass attempts despite both falling incomplete. However, the last was dropped in the end zone by #80 Jr. TE Drew Lubinsky (6-6, 260). "I feel great throwing the ball," Lang said.

Nevertheless, Lang showed why he is in a battle for a spot at wide receiver and not at quarterback. He beat #30 Fr. LB Nick Bates (6-2, 220) on a wheel route for a 29-yard touchdown reception from #16 Fr. QB Matt Faulkner (6-3, 190).

Faulkner had a stellar evening complete nine of 12 passes for an even 100 yards and the one touchdown. One of his incomplete throws was dropped and he finished with a passing efficiency rating of 172.50.

#15 So. QB Ryan Colburn (6-3, 220) had a tough day. He completed just 50% of his passes hitting seven of 14 for 113 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. His passing efficiency rating was a paltry 103.51. Nevertheless, he did make some amazing throws, including the longest play from scrimmage, a 48-yard pass to #18 Fr. WR Devon Wylie (5-9, 180).

Defensively, the loss of #43 Sr. MLB Ahijah Lane (6-2, 240) was a huge blow. Lane was attempting a tackle when apparently another teammate rolled over both his legs. The initial diagnosis is Lane ruptured both patella tendons. A misfortunate event cuts his senior year short.

The defense was finally able to shake off the shock of losing one of its senior leaders and win the compete zone portion of the scrimmage. #58 Jr. LB Ryan McKinley (6-1, 230) led the way with an interception on the final play of the compete zone and had a "sack."*

#11 Sr. DE Tyler Clutts (6-2, 245) also recorded a sack. However, he says the overall effort could have been better.

"Defensively, we got a lot of work," Clutts said. "Usually this time of year the defense is ahead of the offense. They [offense] showed up tonight and had a great scrimmage."

#95 Fr. DE Mark Roberts (6-2, 290) had a solid evening recording two sacks. The hit of the scrimmage came from LB Nick Bates. He came off the corner and nailed Mathews five yards behind the scrimmage.

Numbers Game

If following football is not hard enough, Fresno State made it more difficult. It was bad enough the handout roster was incorrect. However, a handful of players changed numbers from Friday's practice to Saturday's scrimmage, leaving some knowledgeable fans guessing the number changes.

#55 C Leslie Cooper wore #66 Saturday night. #57 LS Greg Titiriga wore #59. #41 Vince Pascoe wore #28 and No. 46 Cameron Harris wore #41.

Missing in Action

The following players did not dress out for the scrimmage:

#47 So. WLB Ryan Machado (6-0, 220)
#56 Fr. LB Robert Schenck (6-2, 250)
#51 Fr. LB Austin Raphael (6-2, 230)
#45 Fr. TE Isaac Kinter (6-2, 240)
#74 Fr. C Joe Bernardi (6-2, 290)
#22 So. RB Anthony Harding (6-0, 215)
#98 Fr. DT Porter Hill (6-4, 296)
#94 Jr. DT Jon Monga (6-2, 280)

Rushing: #23 Ryan Mathews 12-84; #1 Lonyae Miller 7-36; #20 Kyle Duffy 1-30, #34 Jamaal Rashad 7-21; #2 Clifton Smith 4-8
Passing: #7 Tom Brandstater 12-16-0 189; #15 Ryan Colburn 7-14-1 113; #16 Matt Faulkner 9-12-0 100
Receiving: #13 Jason Crawley 5-86; #86 Darren Newborne 4-48; #17 Jamel Hamler 4-36; #2 Clifton Smith 3-32; #6 Chastin West 2-35; #19 Seyi Ajirotutu 2-30; #87 Cardell Turner 2-15; #18 Devon Wylie 1-45; #10 Tim Lang 1-29; #80 Drew Lubinsky 1-17; #5 Marlon Moore 1-15; #88 Jesus Tapia 1-9, #27 Michael Stuart 1-5
Defense:* #58 Ryan McKinley (1 sack, 1 int); #90 Taylor Smith (1 fum rec);#95 Mark Roberts (2 sacks); #33 Zak Hill (sack); #49 Todd Chisom (1 sack); #96 Wilson Ramos (1 sack); #11 Tyler Clutts (1 sack)

*The quarterbacks were off limits per se. The whistle blew when a defender reached the quarterback, technically the defender would have recorded a sack.

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