Apr 152012
Authors: Andrew Schaller

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.

“I saw him put one on the ground,” CSU coach Jim McElwain said. “I know they called it down, but that’s not acceptable. Turnovers are unacceptable, so learning ball security is something he’s gotta really get better at.”

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.

“The quarterback deal, it’s about decision-making,” McElwain said. “And having coached the position for quite a while, that’s the things you’re looking at.”

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 Rams’ red zone packages.

“That guy’s a pretty good player,” McElwain said. “He’ll make his sacks and third downs (stops)…but the thing I’m happy (about) with C.J. is what he’s doing in the run game where he’s actually fitting the right gaps.”

Despite James’ domination of the Rams’ 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.

“I’d like to see a little more leadership on offense, to be honest, I’m not sure we’ve found that yet,” McElwain said. “But with that being said, I like their thought process, I like the way they’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.”

Football Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at sports@collegian.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 Te’Jay Brown off an M.J. McPeek fumbled snap – Interception by Austin Gray off tipped Garrett Grayson pass

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