SAN JOSE -- There's a new common sight at San Jose State practices this spring.
It could be Bené Benwikere defending Jabari Carr on a passing route, Vince Buhagiar chasing down Tyler Ervin on a running play or Travis Raciti putting pressure on a David Fales' pass.
The element of the Spartans' first-team offense facing off against the first-team defense has become a big part of the spring practice sessions, which are one-third of the way complete as of Thursday's practice.
"We didn't really get a chance to do that during training camp and spring last year," said Ervin, a junior running back. "Us going against the first team gives us a true look that we really need to get better."
Throughout most of last season, the first-team offense typically matched up against the second-team defense. The first-team defense usually got its work in against the second-team offense.
New coach Ron Caragher likes the idea of pitting his top players against each other.
"Iron sharpens iron is a great phase that I like to use," Caragher said. "You get better when you're constantly challenged. Why not the ones go against the ones, twos going against the twos? I think that's how you get better."
It should provide a solid challenge for all of the top line players. Defensively, it's an opportunity to compete against Fales, the nation's most accurate quarterback last season.
The offense gets to face a defense that returns several
"We've got a set of linebackers that are, bar none, some of the best linebackers I've ever played against," Ervin said. "Everybody on the defense is doing a really good job. I feel like we're going to get better just going against these guys."
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