After a somewhat frustrating spring, the No. 1 offense for the
CSU football team had its coming-out party at the spring scrimmage
Starting quarterback Justin Holland completed 17-of-22 passes
for 218 yards and two touchdowns in front of 2,100 fans at Sonny
Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium in an intrasquad game that
culminated the Rams’ 15 spring workouts.
Running back Marcus Houston also had five carries for 35 yards
and three catches for 48 yards and a touchdown for the White team,
comprised of the No. 1 offense and reserve defense. The White team
beat the Green team, made up of the starting defense and reserve
“(The offense) played a lot better today,” Holland said. “Today
we came out and we made it a point to get our backs some carries,
get them down the field, let them do some things, even if we had to
do it in the passing game.”
Heading into spring practice, CSU’s defense needed to find new
starters at seven positions and knew that junior college transfers,
who will likely help fill some gaps, would not arrive until the
The offense, meanwhile, returned a wealth of talent and
experience and expected to fine-tune its attack during the spring.
However, the defense dominated the offense for most of CSU’s 14
spring workouts prior to the scrimmage.
“I was kind of pleasantly surprised that the offense moved the
ball pretty well (Saturday),” head coach Sonny Lubick said. “I know
we’re going to be pretty good on defense.”
Offensive coordinator Dan Hammerschmidt said he was a little
frustrated by the lack of offensive progress prior to the
scrimmage, but he also knew many of the players were banged up.
“Our receivers have been hurt the whole spring,” Hammerschmidt
said. “Dave Anderson has been half speed all spring but he’s just
kept going because he’s a tough guy.”
Anderson, who set the CSU record for receptions in a season last
year, caught five passes for 45 yards, including a beautiful
16-yard reception for a touchdown from Holland. Dustin Osborn, who
separated his right shoulder on April 2, and George Hill both made
a great case to start at the other receiver position opposite
Anderson. Osborn caught six passes for 67 yards and took hits
despite wearing a red jersey, which indicates that a player should
not be hit. Hill caught seven balls for 79 yards. Johnny Walker,
who also is competing for the receiver job, severely strained his
hamstring in the first quarter of the scrimmage but should be
recovered by the start of the season, Lubick said.
There should also be a spirited competition for the starting
running back spot. Houston and Jimmy Green, who had a 23-yard run,
both had good games Saturday. Uldis Jaunarajs was not as
impressive, running eight times for 23 yards and one fumble.
“There’s a lot of aspects that have allowed me to feel really
natural and fluid,” said Houston, who transferred from the
University of Colorado last spring. “This time last year there were
a bunch of questions that were out there and unanswered. I’m
looking forward to my role as a senior on this team.”
Hammerschmidt said the running backs will be involved in the
passing game more this season because they will run fewer plays
with maximum protection, which they did to utilize the running
ability of former quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt.
Defensively, Lubick said he is impressed with many young
defensive linemen competing for three vacant starting position
jobs. However, he said he was a little disappointed by a few
mistakes cornerback Brandon Cathy made during the scrimmage after
Cathy had a good spring.
CSU’s secondary should be bolstered with the arrival of
cornerback Robert Herbert, a transfer from Compton City College,
CSU Director of Athletics Mark Driscoll said the process of
replacing the old scoreboards at Hughes will start Tuesday. Two new
scoreboards, including one with a giant videoboard, will be
installed for next season. Driscoll also said the process of adding
4,600 seats in the stadium’s north end zone should begin sometime
in mid-May and should be in place in time for the first home game
Sept. 18 against Minnesota … Hammerschmidt said that walk-on Joey
Kearney, who went 5-for-6 for 45 yards and a touchdown Saturday, is
the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart heading out of spring
practice because he knows the offense best. However, he said Casey
Hansen, who went 7-for-11 for 75 yards, could also compete for the
No. 2 job behind Holland.