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Carlos Hyde, Quinton Dial Shine in Preseason Debut

Posted Aug 7, 2014

The San Francisco 49ers should feel encouraged about the play of several young players on the roster in Thursday's preseason opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

BALTIMORE – The San Francisco 49ers should feel encouraged about the play of several young contributors on the roster.

Although the final score showed a 23-3 Baltimore Ravens victory in the Thursday night's preseason opener, the game saw a handful of first and second-year players getting valuable in-game experience.

After watching the 60-minute contest between the two Harbaugh-coached teams, we’ve highlighted six 49ers who made the most of their playing time against the Ravens.

RB Carlos Hyde

Frank Gore did not play against Baltimore. The start went to the second-round draft pick. Hyde looked solid in his opening drive, carrying the ball three times for 34 yards. The highlight of the series was a 19-yard scamper around the left side of the offensive line behind three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley. Hyde lowered his shoulder on a Ravens defensive back to finish the run for good measure. Hyde’s run, the longest of the game for the 49ers, set up a 25-yard Phil Dawson field goal. Hyde finished the game with 39 rushing yards on five carries, good for a 7.8 yards per rush average. He also lined up in the backfield in the shotgun formation and looked good picking up a blitzer while Blaine Gabbert completed a quick out to Stevie Johnson. All that was missing from Hyde’s debut was a reception out of the backfield. No worries, he’ll have three more preseason games to demonstrate his catching skills.

DT Quinton Dial

Here’s a guy who has done nothing but impress every day of training camp. The second-year lineman’s ascending play continued against the Ravens. Dial recorded six first-half tackles and forced two fumbles. Dial stripped running back Bernard Pierce, but the Baltimore runner recovered his own fumble. In the second quarter, Dial once again got his hand on the ball, stripping veteran running back Justin Forsett at midfield to force the game’s first turnover. Dial didn’t start the game, but he did see a lot of action in the first half. Dial lined up at left defensive tackle to start the third quarter. He finished the game with a team-high 10 tackles.

DB Jimmie Ward

The more you can do. The more valuable you can be. That appears to be the approach for San Francisco’s first-round pick. Ward lined up at nickel cornerback with the first-team defense. He also started on the punt return team as a gunner opposite of safety C.J. Spillman. Ward, not done yet, played safety on the second-team defense alongside Craig Dahl. Ward recorded two tackles, a tackle for loss and broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Jacoby Jones. Ward played safety with fellow rookie James McCray in the third quarter.

CB Chris Cook

The veteran lined up at left cornerback and pushed Ravens wide receiver Deonte Thompson out of bounds while he tried to haul in a 4-yard touchdown pass. Cook also intercepted Tyrod Taylor in the third quarter to give San Francisco its second takeaway on defense. Cook finished his 49ers debut with three tackles.

DT Tank Carradine

Strong. Real strong. That’s what we saw from the second-year lineman who did not see the field as a rookie. Carradine flashed his grown-man strength with a vicious sack in the first half. Carradine beat his man with an inside pass-rush move to crush Taylor in the pocket. Carradine finished the game with eight tackles.

LB Michael Wilhoite

Patrick Willis sat this one out. That allowed Wilhoite and rookie Chris Borland to handle the inside linebacker duties. Wilhoite played well, totaling four tackles on opening drive. Wilhoite also recorded a sack in the first half, forcing the Ravens to settle for a long field goal. Wilhoite finished the game with seven tackles.

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