Things will get very real for the San Francisco 49ers in a short period of time.
But before they do, the team can rejoice on completing the preseason with a 14-12 home victory over the San Diego Chargers. The regular season is right around the corner. So are final roster cuts.
But in the mean time, Thursday night was all about rookies filling up the statsheet as they saw significant playing time while veterans rested.
"I thought the young guys represented themselves well," Jim Tomsula said. "I thought they played hard and physical. I thought both teams did."
It's not known how many rookies will make San Francisco's 53-man roster, which will be announced on Saturday at 1 p.m. PT. But what is known, is that many of the NFL newcomers made a lasting impression in the win over San Diego.
Let's take a look at the top performances.
QB Dylan Thompson
Started at quarterback as Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert watched from the sideline. Kaepernick wore sneakers throughout the game; Gabbert wore cleats in case he needed to play in an emergency. ... Thompson got off to a fast start in a critical performance. His first throw, a 70-yard touchdown pass to a fellow South Carolina Gamecock, wide receiver Bruce Ellington, was followed by a two-point conversation pass to Quinton Patton. The three-play, 75-yard scoring drive gave the 49ers an early 8-0 lead. … Thompson later sprung another college teammate, running back Mike Davis, on an 11-yard, first-quarter run with an open-field block along the left side of the line. … Two plays later, Thompson avoided a blitzing cornerback with a reverse spin move towards the visiting sideline. The rookie signal-caller proceeded to dash up the left side of the field for a 12-yard carry. … Thompson's 10th pass of the game was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Chargers cornerback Richard Crawford. … Thompson later tossed his second touchdown of the game to his third college teammate on the 49ers, tight end Busta Anderson. The fourth-quarter play capped a 6-play, 75-yard scoring drive. ... Thompson finished the night completing 17 of 25 passes for 225 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
RB Mike Davis
Entered the game on the 49ers third possession of the game. ... The rookie runner's first carry behind fellow rookie Trent Brown and right guard Brandon Thomas went for a 2-yard gain. ... Davis' longest run was an 11-yard carry. ... He finished the game with seven rushes for 33 yards (4.7 yards per carry). Davis made an impressive reception in the first half, but his reaching grab was negated by an offensive penalty.
WR DeAndrew White
Saw his first offensive action on San Francisco's opening series of the second quarter. … White returned a second-quarter kickoff out of the end zone to the 21 yard line. The Alabama product lowered his shoulder and barreled over a pair of San Diego tacklers as he crossed the 20. … White picked up 36 yards on a deep ball from Thompson down the left sideline. The wideout known as "Alabama," pulled out a well-timed spin move after making the reception to dart up the field and tack on more yards after the catch. … White added a nifty 34-yard punt return with less than a minute left in the first half. ... White connected with Thompson on another back-shoulder pass in the fourth quarter. This hookup went for 31 yards down the right sideline. ... In total, White was San Francisco's second leading receiver on the night with three receptions for 77 yards. He also posted the team's highest average on punt returns (23.3 yards) on three attempts.
RB Jarryd Hayne
Was back to receive San Diego's first punt. Hayne scooped up a dribbling ball as he was moving backwards and returned it eight yards down the right sideline. ... Hayne fielded a punt at his own 5-yard line on a ball that was initially bobbled and then booted by Chargers punter Mike Scifres. Hayne brought the 53-yard punt up the middle of the field for a 7-yard gain on the return. … Hayne got a rep at punt gunner in the second quarter. The running back successfully split a double-team block on a ball that was downed at San Diego's 25-yard line. … Hayne later beat another double-team block and brought down Chargers receiver Javontee Herndon for a 1-yard loss on a second-quarter return. … Hayne's first carry came late in the second quarter. It went for a gain of 6. … After making a 5-yard reception in the third quarter, Hayne picked up 19 yards on a run. It was the longest carry of the game. ... The former rugby league star showed his physicality a few plays later when he took a screen pass for a 12-yard gain and finished the play by trucking Chargers cornerback Lowell Rose in front of the 49ers sideline. ... Hayne led the 49ers with 58 rushing yards on 10 carries (5.8 average). He added two catches for 17 yards and averaged 14.3 yards on three punt returns.
TE Busta Anderson
Entered the game on San Francisco's third possession. ... Anderson caught a 2-yard pass from Thompson in the first quarter. ... Thompson found his fellow Gamecock in the fourth quarter for a 16-yard touchdown pass to put the 49ers up 14-6. Anderson leaped over Crawford to score the touchdown and give San Francisco a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter.
S Jaquiski Tartt
Lined up outside on the punt cover team in the first quarter. ... Tartt joined his close friend, Jimmie Ward, as San Francisco's safeties in the second quarter. ... Tartt finished the game with four tackles, tops among all 49ers rookies.
DL Arik Armstead
Started as San Francisco's left defensive tackle in base alignments and as an interior sub-nickel rusher on passing downs. ... Armstead recorded his first tackle of the game on a 1-yard carry by Chargers running back Donald Brown. ... The first-round pick finished the game with three tackles.
P Bradley Pinion
The rookie's first punt traveled 46 yards and was not returned. ... His next punt traveled 51 yards and was again fair caught by Herndon. ... Pinion punted the ball nine times in the game with a long of 51. ... The fifth-round pick handled kick off duties in the second half.