SAN JOSE -- Joe Gray led four touchdown drives, and the junior appeared to take a clear lead in San Jose State's quarterback battle at Saturday's spring game.

Gray completed 17 of 20 passes for 192 yards and no interceptions. Four of his six possessions were capped by short TD runs and another resulted in a field goal.

"I was impressed," coach Ron Caragher said of Gray. "When he was in there, the results were very positive. Whether we had touchdown drives or field goal drives, Joe seemed to do a good job moving the chains and that was really encouraging."

Meanwhile, senior Blake Jurich struggled. He completed only 4 of 9 passes for 34 yards, and his six drives netted only a field goal and a field goal attempt that was blocked.

The Spartans gained just four first downs on the Jurich-led drives. There were two three-and-outs and the lone points came on a possession that began at the opposing 25-yard line. The offense settled for an Austin Lopez 34-yard field goal after failing to pick up a first down.

"Not a stellar day for Blake and I don't think that was representative of the type of spring we saw from him," Caragher said. "He's had a pretty good spring and today it wasn't there. He's a competitor. He'll bounce back."

Caragher said Saturday's spring game would carry a lot of weight in the quarterback evaluation process, which will continue into fall camp. As far as lasting impressions go, Gray excelled.


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"I feel good about the impression that I personally put out there, but it's still not about that," Gray said. "It's about the team moving forward. As long as the team is moving forward, it's always a plus for me being in the game, but I'm glad the team is moving forward and I feel that I played well."

The spring game ended on a down note when senior safety Ryan Harper was taken away by ambulance after dislocating his left knee. Caragher said Harper was in good spirits but chose to end the scrimmage after the injury. Harper was on the field for about 30 minutes being tended to by trainers and paramedics before he was taken off by a stretcher.

"All of our players' minds are on Ryan and his recovery and how he's doing, so I thought it was good to call it off and keep him in our thoughts and prayers," Caragher said.

Four different running backs scored touchdowns. Thomas Tucker led the way with seven carries for 43 yards and 5-yard scoring run. Jarrod Lawson, Osirius Burke and Ray Lomas IV each had a 1-yard touchdown run.

The only turnover came when Jurich hit Jordan Thiel for an 8-yard pass. Vincente Miles Jr. delivered a big hit that popped the ball in the air and Alex Manigo recovered and took it back up the field for about 35 yards.

Safety Simon Connette led the defense with eight tackles, and linebacker Christian Tago had seven. Sean Bacon, Adrian Blake and Eugene Taylor each had a sack.

  • The Spartans will take off next week for spring break, then have one final spring practice on April 3 to make up an earlier rained out session. After that, they'll break until training camp begins in August.

    For more on San Jose State athletics, visit the SpartanCentral blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/sjsu. Follow Jimmy Durkin on Twitter at Twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.