Apr 252004
 
Authors: Vince Blaser

After a somewhat frustrating spring, the No. 1 offense for the

CSU football team had its coming-out party at the spring scrimmage

Saturday.

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

offense, 31-10.

“(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

summer.

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,

Lubick said.

NOTES:

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.

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