On Sunday, Fresno State continued their work in the half pads. The players got their first action practicing in the red zone. The team continued working on covering the option, as well as working on the run game.
The newcomers continued work on setting up field goals to start practice. Greg Watson led the offense out first and after completing a nine-yard pass, the offense false started twice to push the offense back and the drive ended unsuccessfully. Kelly O’Brien completed both pass attempts, ending the drill with a touchdown pass to Josh Harper.
The offense spent time practicing the run game, working in half offensive lines to get down the basics. The receivers practiced different routes, learning new footwork and techniques to get open. The defense again ran the option drill, where they practiced defending against spread option and wildcat offenses.
The newcomers wrapped up with practicing red zone scenarios. The Bulldogs began with seven-on-seven, before going to full 11-on-11 red zone scenarios. In seven-on-seven, Watson completed two of five passes, both to receiver Isaiah Burse, ending with a touchdown. O’Brien completed three of five passes for 19 yards. Once the lines took the field, the two quarterbacks finished identical statistically, completing one of four passes for one touchdown each. Jalen Saunders made a highlight play when he caught a pass in the corner of the end zone, jumping behind the defender and grabbing the ball over him.
The veterans took the field and both units worked on special teams. Today’s focus was one-on-one punt and kick blocking, learning how to get back and keep the coverage away from the return man. They wrapped up by putting the drills into game scenario, working on kickoff returns as a team.
In the veteran’s practice, at setting up field goal, Ryan Colburn lead the first team offense connecting on two passes for 40 yards, and setting up a 24-yard field goal by Kevin Goessling.
On Derek Carr’s drive, the offense once again successfully got in field goal range, as Carr completed three of five passes for 38 yards. However, the offense made a costly error when the offense kneeled to set up the field goal, but as Carr got ready to spike the ball, the offense realized it was fourth down and were unable to take a snap before time expired.
In the option drill, the ‘Dogs suffered their first injury in practice. Junior safety Zak Hill hurt his knee on a play away from the ball. He was on the ground for over 10 minutes as the trainers checked him out. Finally, he was carted off the practice field.
Coach Pat Hill did not know the severity of the injury when asked, “Hopefully it’s not a bad one because he was coming along really well. That’s football, and we’re hoping it’s not serious.” When asked about the reaction to his son getting hurt opposed to another player, Coach Hill replied, “I feel bad when anybody gets hurt. Seeing any of the kids go down is tough. They all work so hard, to get hurt that’s hard on kids. We just hope they get back fast.”
In the red zone scenarios, Colburn completed one pass to running back Mike Harris for a touchdown, and had one interception by cornerback Jermaine Thomas. Carr completed two of five passes, including a touchdown pass to receiver A.J. Johnson. The team wrapped up practice with 11-on-11 action in the red zone.
Practice News & Notes
On Monday, the ‘Dogs will suit out in full pads for the first time. Pat Hill said, “There’ll be tackling…and some full contact.”
Freshman running back Emery Schexnayder and defensive lineman Aaron Howse did not participate in practice today. Both were dinged up during Saturday’s practice.
Andy Jennings, Cris Wilson, and Davon Dunn are still out.
Tracy Slocum took some second team reps Sunday.
Rashad Evans, A.J. Ellis, and Tracy Slocum took snaps in the wildcat.
Sophomore safety Phillip Thomas took first team reps in place of the injured Zak Hill.
The offense showed creativity in a double reverse play in the tiger formation, resulting in a touchdown.
Jamel Hamler, Slocum, and Alex Jeffries began working with the return unit.
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