The San Spartans won a rather unexciting victory tonight against the Sacramento Hornets. San Jose did a great job stopping Sacramento quarterback Garrett Safron from making any big plays... But the offense was fairly mediocre. Worse, starting running back Tyler Ervin was injured on his second carry, and he was walking on crutches on the sideline towards the end of the game.
There is the excuse that during a game like this you don't want to show your hand too much, but the mediocrity of the offense went beyond that. The notoriously accurate David Fales ended his first two series with overthrown passes to wide open receivers. Several other passes to wide open receivers were just dropped. Neither of those things are due to vanilla offenses. He completed just half of his throws, which is pretty darn unusual for him. It's probably just first game jitters though, as last year where the Spartans opened against Stanford there were similar issues with a lack of connection between quarterback and receiver.
Running back Jason Simpson had a good night, breaking off a 55 yard run for a touchdown. The rest of the night though were a series of short runs that never really broke into the secondary.
Maybe I'm just doomy-and-gloomy because it's 1AM, but I still can see two positives from the game.
The offensive line did fine. David Fales was sacked once, sure, but new starting left tackle Wes Schweitzer was holding his own. (negative side note, they didn't seem to be creating a lot of running lanes though...) As long as the offensive line remains solid, I'm confident that Fales and his receivers will get back on the same page.
The second thing is that our defense was great! The Spartans gave up some yardage but allowed no big plays. The red-zone defense succeeded in stopping every Sacramento drive too. The Sacramento starting running back was held to just 49 yards in 18 attempts. Last season the Spartan run defense only really picked up towards mid-season, so it's good to know they're starting strong! Keith Smith was looking great out there, making 18 tackles. Eugene Taylor also had a good night, sacking quarterback Safron twice.