The Rams put the pads on for their second scrimmage of the spring Sunday afternoon, and the result, at least offensively, was the same stagnant pace seen in the first scrimmage.
The offense surrendered 17 sacks and four total turnovers in the 14-period affair, excluding one fumble by Chris Nwoke, who was whistled down as the ball was coming out.
â€œI saw him put one on the ground,â€ CSU coach Jim McElwain said. â€œI know they called it down, but thatâ€™s not acceptable. Turnovers are unacceptable, so learning ball security is something heâ€™s gotta really get better at.â€
Adding to the ball security problems was the inconsistent play from the quarterbacks.
The four quarterbacks that split time, including front-runner for the starting position Garrett Grayson, combined for a 39 percent completion percentage, two interceptions and two fumbled snaps.
Grayson received the most playing time of the group, getting to throw the ball 27 times for 10 completions.
After practice, McElwain stressed the need to develop his signal-callers throughout the spring enough to entrust them with running his offense next season.
â€œThe quarterback deal, itâ€™s about decision-making,â€ McElwain said. â€œAnd having coached the position for quite a while, thatâ€™s the things youâ€™re looking at.â€
As the offense struggled to move the ball down the field throughout the scrimmage, a few members on the defense shined.
C.J. James continued his torrid pace he has shown this spring, totaling six sacks on the day while also playing at fullback in some of the Ramsâ€™ red zone packages.
â€œThat guyâ€™s a pretty good player,â€ McElwain said. â€œHeâ€™ll make his sacks and third downs (stops)…but the thing Iâ€™m happy (about) with C.J. is what heâ€™s doing in the run game where heâ€™s actually fitting the right gaps.â€
Despite Jamesâ€™ domination of the Ramsâ€™ offensive line, the Rams cut the amount of sacks from 27 in the first scrimmage to 17 Sunday. McElwain acknowledged the slight improvement, but added that there are some major improvements needed from the offense before the regular season begins.
â€œIâ€™d like to see a little more leadership on offense, to be honest, Iâ€™m not sure weâ€™ve found that yet,â€ McElwain said. â€œBut with that being said, I like their thought process, I like the way theyâ€™re approaching the game a little bit, (but) they need to understand the importance of studying the game outside of just the 20-hour rule that we have with them.â€
Football Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at email@example.com.
Top plays from the scrimmage
Offense – 37-yard rush by Chris Nwoke – 26-yard touchdown pass from Garrett Grayson to Dorian Brown – 2-yard touchdown run by Tommey Morris
Defense – Interception and 6-yard touchdown return by Momo Thomas – Fumble recovery by Teâ€™Jay Brown off an M.J. McPeek fumbled snap – Interception by Austin Gray off tipped Garrett Grayson pass