CSU quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt threw passes in practice Friday
for the second time since breaking a bone in his right hand.
However, Van Pelt’s passes were shaky at times and he said he
still has a long way to go to be ready for the Boston College
Eagles in the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl on Dec. 31.
“(The hand) feels better each and every day,” Van Pelt said
after practice. “Sometimes you just have to work it back into
The star senior broke a metatarsal bone in his right hand during
the Rams’ last regular season game against Nevada-Las Vegas on Nov.
22. Sophomore quarterback Justin Holland took over and led the Rams
to a comeback victory.
“I’m just going to do what I normally do and prepare like I’m
going to play,” Holland said. “If (Van Pelt) ever did go down, I
would be ready to go in.”
Van Pelt practiced in most drills without shoulder pads and a
helmet while the rest of the team was in full padding during
Friday’s two-and-a-half hour practice, the Rams’ first on their new
practice field. Van Pelt did not participate in the full-team
scrimmage at the end of practice.
“Bradlee’s coming along but it’s going to be another week before
we know if he’s going to be ready,” head coach Sonny Lubick said.
“It just might be a game-time decision.”
Van Pelt said he would probably wear a helmet during Saturday’s
practice and hopefully be in full padding soon after. The Rams will
practice Saturday, Sunday and Monday before taking a break for the
holidays. They will head to San Francisco on Dec. 26 and practice
three more times before the game.
“My hand has it’s own timetable,” Van Pelt said. “When it gets
cold, my hand gets stiff.”
Van Pelt and Holland were more concerned about getting ready for
Boston College’s defense. Van Pelt said the team has to focus even
harder now finals are over because they will have more time
“It’s hard to stay focused (for a bowl game),” Van Pelt said.
“You have finals week, you have a big break ahead of you and plus
you have so much time off.
“That’s why there are teams that are really good that show up to
bowl games that just don’t perform well. Last year (in the Liberty
Bowl) was a good reminder that if you go into a game thinking that
everything is just going to come together because it should. It’s
the wrong attitude to have.”
Holland said the Eagles run a base defense of four lineman and
three linebackers and are extremely physical.
“It will probably be one of the most physical games we’ll see,
especially the receivers,” Holland said. “We’ll stay with our basic
stuff, but we come up with new stuff every week.”
The Rams practiced on a new artificial surface field installed
on the west end of the main campus. The field was funded by a
portion of the $15.1 million donation from the non-profit community
organization, The Bohemian Foundation, to the athletic department
in May. It is asynthetic surface that is made to feel like grass,
but has a rubber or sand combination underneath that drains the
field quickly and is more durable to wear and tear.
“It felt great,” Holland said. “The ground’s so hard now in the
winter that it’s just not forgiving at all and your cleats don’t
sink into it but on the (artificial surface) it’s like the first
day of two-a-days when the grass is just perfect.”