Apr 142002

In the first scrimmage of the spring football season last weekend, the CSU defense showed no mercy on the offense and dominated them top to bottom.

Saturday, the offense evened the score.

Aside from some penalties, the Rams’ offense was able to generate some big plays and looked a lot crisper than a week ago, when they were only able to muster one first down.

Quarterbacks Bradlee Van Pelt and Justin Holland took the majority of the snaps and both played well, in their own ways.

Van Pelt looked good on the ground, rushing six times for a team-high 72 yards, including a dazzling 40-yard scoring run early in the scrimmage.

Van Pelt said that although he was pleased with his running, he still isn’t satisfied with his passing stats.

“Running the ball comes natural to me, I don’t need a lot of work at that,” said Van Pelt, who completed 11 of 19 passes for 92 yards. “What I need work on is throwing the ball in live situations. I need to learn to trust myself so I need to get better at that.”

Holland, meanwhile, continued to impress with his arm, completing 10 of 17 passes for 172 yards, including a 60-yard strike to walk-on receiver Derek Haverly.

“I felt really good about the throws and the decisions I made today,” Holland said.

CSU head coach Sonny Lubick said he was pleased with both quarterbacks.

“Both of those guys played real well,” Lubick said. “We are definitely ahead of last year at the quarterback position.”

However, the quarterbacks weren’t the only members of the offense to shine.

Junior wide receiver Chris Pittman played well, making eight catches for 102 yards, many of which were on third down.

Redshirt freshman running back Uldis Jaunarajs also showed signs of brilliance, busting for a 60-yard scoring run for the first touchdown of the scrimmage.

Defensively, redshirt freshman linebacker Frostee Rucker was outstanding, making back-to-back sacks on Holland, and making several other punishing tackles on the day.

“I don’t really try to take any crap from anyone out there,” said Rucker, who is competing with junior Andre Sommersell for the strong side linebacker position. “I just go out there and try to hit. That’s my game.”

Lubick said overall he was happy with the improvement on both sides of the ball, but they still had plenty of work to do.

“We had some penalties and other mental mistakes out there that concern me a little bit because those are the kind of things that can kill drives,” Lubick said. “But that’s what the spring is for, to correct those kind of mistakes. Hopefully, we’ll cut down on those things next time we’re out here.”

The Rams will practice two more times this week and will then cap off the spring season with the annual Green and Gold game next Saturday at Hughes Stadium. n

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