Defense controls Saturday's UTSA Football Fiesta Spring Game
SAN ANTONIO — Codie Brooks and Blake Terry registered seven tackles apiece to lead the Orange (defense) to a 52-33 victory against the White (offense) in the Fourth Annual UTSA Football Fiesta Spring Game presented by HealthTexas, which was played Saturday before 3,200 fans at the Alamodome.
Using a modified scoring system that rewards one point for first downs, three points for a stop (scoreless drive) and five points for a takeaway, the Orange stormed out to a 27-3 lead through the first quarter and cruised to its second consecutive win in the annual scrimmage.
Brooks, a sophomore defensive end from Seguin, also posted two of the team's seven sacks, as he was joined in that column by Jason Neill, who had a pair, Justyn Eddins, Cody Rogers and Robert Singletary. Mauricio Sanchez added six tackles, while Nic Johnston and Dalton Miller each recorded five stops.
The Orange opened the game with three straight stops and then came up with the first of five turnovers when Chase Dahlquist forced and recovered a fumble at the White's 46-yard line.
After another stop, Tevin Broussard stepped in front of an Austin Robinson pass to push the lead to 22-3. On the next possession, Crosby Adams III picked off a Tucker Carter pass in the flat, which likely would have been returned 65 yards for a touchdown had turnovers not been blown dead. The third takeaway still helped stake the Orange to a 24-point lead after one stanza.
Robinson, a redshirt freshman quarterback from Houston, led the White on a 12-play, 59-yard drive that included three first downs and it was highlighted by a 26-yard pass to Earon Holmes and capped by a 28-yard field goal from Sean Ianno to make it 27-9.
The defense answered two possessions later when Dahlquist, a sophomore safety from Tulsa, Okla., intercepted a pass deep in White territory to help provide the 38-12 halftime margin.
The offense struck quickly to start the second half when Carter found Kenny Harrison deep over the middle for a 69-yard scoring strike on second down. Ianno's extra point made it 38-19.
Robinson then led the White on a 14-play, 48-yard scoring march with four first downs and a 40-yard boot from Ianno that pulled the offense to within 38-26 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter.
However, that was as close as the White got, as the defense recorded stops on the next three possessions.
The Orange allowed just one more field goal, a 26-yarder by Ianno, and came up with one final takeaway, a fumble that was recovered by Marcos Curry on the final play of the game, in coasting to the 19-point triumph.
Robinson threw for 164 yards on 20-of-34 passing, while Carter completed 11-of-22 passes for 125 and a score.
Josiah Monroe led all receivers with eight catches for 58 yards and Holmes added three for 46.
Brandon Armstrong rushed for 29 yards on 11 carries to lead the ground game.
UTSA will open the 2014 season at Houston on Friday, Aug. 29. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally on ESPNews.
Head Coach Larry Coker
On today's game …
"Offensively, we had too many negative plays and we had some penalties. We had a chance to make some big plays and got some big plays in. The defense came out ready. They were pretty dominant. They're going to be pretty good and they have been all spring. We have a lot of guys back. Our secondary play is better and they'll be strong up front. Our defense is pretty solid, but the offense has to raise their game up. I like both quarterbacks and I saw some things out of both them."
On the play of quarterrback Tucker Carter …
"I think he's going to be fine. I really like what I saw all spring. I saw some good things out of him today. He can pass the ball. If we protect him, he'll be able to make some plays for us."
Tucker Carter, Sr., QB
On today's game …
"We made some big plays, but we took too many sacks and made too many mistakes offensively. It's good to look up there and see we still had points on the board. We are doing some good things and we know that."
On the long touchdown pass to Kenny Harrison …
"He just crossed and made it easy. I just put it on his chest and he did the rest of the work."
On spring practice …
"I thought we improved a lot as a team. We did some good things and improved in a lot of areas. We know that we are going to take a week or two off and then it's back to work. We have the summer sessions, running and lifting every day. We don't take days off."
On the play of the defense …
"They're tough to run the ball against. When they get you in those long-yardage situations, that pass rush can really get after you. It makes it tough on any offense. I'm excited to see them play against someone else and not us."
Codie Brooks, So., DE
On the defense's play today and throughtout spring practice …
"It's scary how good of a defense we can be and we're still missing people. We're still missing some people on defense and we're still playing great."
On the play of the offense …
"We always seem like a second-half team on offense. If things go down the drain in the first half, they always find a way to pick themselves up. It's always good seeing that your offense doesn't stay in the hole and can get you out of it."