The CSU football team closed its fall camp this past weekend, holding a mock scrimmage and pre-game walkthrough on Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium. The Rams practiced entering the stadium as if preparing for an actual game, going through team warm-ups and pre-game routines in front of a few dozen fans and team personnel.
The team went through all the situations they would face in a game, emphasizing special teams and the two-minute offense. Coach Sonny Lubick said afterward that he was happy with the scrimmage and liked the way that his team responded to the game-like atmosphere.
“We covered every situation you can possibly cover,” Lubick said. “We got more done today then we’ve got done most days.”
Particularly impressive was the kicking game, with senior kicker Jason Smith hitting a 30-yard field goal and a 57-yard field goal against a full defense to close the practice.
“It was good, especially going into this last week,” Smith said. “(To) get a little bit of confidence there and that the guys can see it, too.”
Smith said that the 57-yarder was the deepest field goal that he had ever made with the team, but that he has the ability to stretch that distance if needed. Offensive coordinator Dan Hammerschmidt said that a consistent kicking game is the key to taking pressure off this year’s offense.
“If Jason has a year like that, these calls get a lot easier,” Hammerschmidt said.
As for the rest of the team, coach Lubick said that he has been impressed with the production of senior quarterback Caleb Hanie throughout camp, particularly with his accuracy and ability to make plays on the run.
“I feel like our quarterbacks have had an excellent camp, especially Caleb,” Lubick said. “We’ve got a chance to be really good.”
The defense also showed flashes of brilliance, not allowing the offense to score a touchdown in the red zone or get anything going during the two-minute drill.
“I think our defense is going to be a little undersized, but it is going to be tough, and it is going to be quick,” coach Lubick said afterward.
A full depth chart is expected to be released today with major position battles possibly decided at starting strong-side linebacker and offensive line.
The Rams kickoff their season on Saturday against CU with the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver. Kickoff is set for 10 a.m.
Senior linebacker Jeff Horinek sat out of the scrimmage with a mild sprain in his left knee. According to Head Coach Sonny Lubick, X-rays and an MRI of the knee showed no structural damage, but Horinek was given the day off as a precaution.
Senior wide receiver Damon Morton was also held out of the scrimmage due to a slight sprain in his right shoulder. He expects to return to practice today.
Senior defensive end Bob Vomhof missed the scrimmage as he continues to recover from surgery on his meniscus. He expects to make a full recovery in time for the season opener with CU.
Sports writer Nick Hubel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.