Fresno State’s second scrimmage was physical, as both the offense and defense showed what they have been working on in front of the fans for the first time this season.
“Both sides of the ball made some plays and that’s what you expect in a scrimmage,” Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter said. “Early on, our defense did a good job stopping the run … it’s tough to convert when it’s third and long and we’re bringing the pressure.”
“If we continue on this pace, I’ll feel better and not have so many concerns about our depth.”
Gaining depth in the roster was a goal of this scrimmage. Brian Burrell saw a few plays behind center and is continuing to solidify his spot as Derek Carr’s backup.
“I think [Brian’s] gotten a little bit better and a little more comfortable. In two more weeks he’s going to be ready to be a serviceable number two,” DeRuyter said.
On the second play of the game, wide receiver Davante Adams and outside linebacker Ejiro Ederaine had a scuffle on the field.
“You like guys being aggressive, but you can’t be stupid,” DeRuyter said. “You can’t let your emotions get the best of you. You get into two weeks of camp, guys get a little edgy at each other, that happens.”
“They have to know when to walk away,” defensive coordinator Nick Toth said. “If somebody takes a shot at you, you have to turn and walk away. It’s a moment to learn.”
With two weeks remaining until Aug. 29’s home opener against Rutgers, improvements are in store for the defense. There were no forced turnovers during the scrimmage and the offense held a steady lead.
“It’s something that defensively we have to go back and emphasize, but I’m impressed that our offense is doing a good job at taking care of it,” DeRuyter said.
“We have to tackle a bit better … keep getting better at a lot of things. We’re getting ready to play an offense that’s nothing like ours. We’ve got two weeks now to get used to playing not-spread football,” Toth said.
DeRuyter announced on Thursday that junior safety Donnell Vercher left the team for personal reasons.
Vercher, a standout at Clovis High School, came to Fresno State after failing to gain admission at Wisconsin. Vercher played at Fresno City College for two seasons.
“He came in a few days ago and we had a heart-to-heart. I wish him the best. We gave him a few days and he’s decided for right now that he wants to take some time off,” DeRuyter said.
“We’re going to move on and we wish him the best.”