Bad weather is not a problem for the CSU Rams anymore.
The Rams headed inside for practice Tuesday afternoon to escape heavy winds and saw their passing game come alive in the process.
After struggling the past few outings, CSUâ€™s quarterbacks and receivers looked solid in the Indoor Practice Facility and won an offense versus defense scrimmage 14-10 as a result.
Freshman quarterback Pete Thomas led the Rams during the scrimmage, completing five of six passes for 53 yards, including a 22-yard strike to receiver Tyson Liggett to start the competition.
Redshirt freshman Nico Ranieri also contributed to the offensive victory with two completions for 17 yards.
Ranieri, a Florida native, said it felt good to pull out a win in a scrimmage for a change.
â€œItâ€™s nice to come out on top,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s just bragging rights until the next practice and then you have to go out and do the same thing.â€
Liggett, the Rams most experienced receiver, agreed and admitted the defense has had bragging rights most of the spring season.
â€œItâ€™s good to win one,â€ he said. â€œThe defense has us most of the time and in the locker room they have bragging rights. Itâ€™s nice to come out here, get a win and talk to them a little bit.â€
Even with the visible improvement, CSU head coach Steve Fairchild pointed out the passing game has a long way to go before they can compete. The Rams entered the spring without established starters at quarterback or wide receiver.
â€œOur consistency and the level of being on the same page with quarterbacks and receivers is not anywhere near game-ready, but weâ€™re getting better,â€ Fairchild said. â€œ(Wide receivers coach Dan Hammerschmidt) is doing a good job and weâ€™re going to develop in those spots. Weâ€™re just young in some spots.â€
After starting the season with four potential starting quarterbacks including Ranieri, Thomas, junior T.J. Borcky and senior Jon Eastman, the Rams have moved to a two-quarterback rotation with the two freshmen.
Fairchild explained that the rotation is only temporary and said he expects Eastman to get more reps later in the season.
Even though they are the two youngest quarterbacks on the team, Ranieri thinks he and Thomas are learning quickly this spring.
â€œI think the passing game has been coming along at a good pace this whole time, especially since both of us (Ranieri and Thomas) are so young and fairly new to the system,â€ he said. â€œI think today looked good, but it wasnâ€™t our best day.â€
Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.