SAN JOSE -- San Jose State coach Ron Caragher made a point on Tuesday to say that he takes full responsibility for his team's execution issues that have resulted in a 1-3 start.

"I'm not a blamer," Caragher said. "I'm the head coach. It all falls on me. To suggest anything otherwise is misrepresenting me to my football team and our fans. I'm the guy. I'm the head man. I take responsibility."

Caragher felt as though it was implied he was passing blame off to the players when he was quoted speaking about the team's red zone struggles at his Monday press conference.

"I love our play-calling. I love our plan of attack. We just need to execute," Caragher said Monday of his team's three touchdowns in 12 red zone trips. "To be successful we need to have higher percentages than that. You need to punch it in and come away with touchdowns. I think we've had some moments where it's there and for whatever reason it's not executed. That's definitely an area we need to improve."

Speaking more generally about the team's overall struggles, he also said Monday, "I like what we're doing schematically. I like what we're doing across the board. We just need to be able to execute."

Caragher re-iterated Tuesday that execution is what it's going to take to get back to winning football games but it's something for which he is responsible.

"I say lack of execution, but I'm 100 percent responsible for execution," Caragher said.

"I love our players. I love our plan. I love our attack, what we're doing," Caragher said. "We just need, from top to bottom, we just need to do a better job of executing. I like what we're doing. Our personality. Our players. All those things. I wouldn't trade them. Same things with the staff. Pretty soon it's going to click. But I'll fight the good fight. Keep battling, keep competing. That's really what coaching is all about. You get knocked down and you can stay down or you can bounce back up."

  • Caragher said it's unlikely that wide receiver Jabari Carr (dislocated shoulder) will play this week at Hawaii. The status of cornerback Bené Benwikere is less certain.

    Caragher said Benwikere, who was carted off the field Friday with a concussion, was symptom free as of Monday. But he still has to pass several more tests before he could be cleared to play. He was not at practice Tuesday.

  • The injury bug seems to keep biting at the Spartans, particularly at running back. SJSU is still without Tyler Ervin (high ankle sprain). The team appears to be targeting the Oct. 26 game against Wyoming for his return although Caragher said he hopes it's sooner.

    Three other running backs are dealing with at least minor injuries. Starter Jason Simpson wore a black non-contact jersey and was a limited participant in Tuesday's practice. No. 3 running back Osirius Burke was also in the non-contact jersey and No. 4 Alvin Jelks was not suited up.

    That left freshman Tim Crawley, a 5-foot-7, 169-pounder who also plays wide receiver, and freshman Jarrod Lawson as the only healthy backs among those listed on the depth chart. True freshman wide receiver Thomas Tucker, up to this point considered a candidate to redshirt, saw reps at running back on Tuesday.

    "He's an athletic guy and it's just always good to have in your hip pocket as an option," Caragher said of Tucker. "Will it show up this week? I don't know.

    "He did a good job. He was a wide receiver in high school but he's done a good job on the scout team, running hard, breaking some tackles, so we thought we'd take a look."

  • Freshman starting tight end Billy Freeman also seems to be dealing with some sort of an injury. He missed the bulk of practice while inside getting treatment, Caragher said. Backup tight end Max Miller hasn't suited up since the opener against Sacramento State and another backup, Sam Tomlitz, didn't dress against Utah State.

    Senior Travis Lorius and freshman Jordan Thiel picked up first-team reps in place of Freeman at Tuesday's practice. Since starting the season opener against Stanford, walk-on true freshman Andrew Vollert has not participated in a game although he has practiced so it doesn't seem to be injury-related. Vollert had one catch for 29 yards against Sac State.

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