In the CSU football teamâ€™s spring game, the gold team (first-string offense and second-string defense) beat the green team (second-string offense and first-string defense) 10-3 Saturday afternoon.
The game, and the culmination of spring practices, however, has left the Rams with more questions than answers heading into the fall.
â€œItâ€™s a team in search of a little bit. Theyâ€™ve got a lot of Leonard Nimoy in them right now,â€ CSU coach Jim McElwain said. â€œYet, I think that thatâ€™s good because it takes some soul searching to be able to exactly define where you want to be.â€
The Rams were not where they wanted to be offensively during the scrimmage, as both offenses struggled to move the ball, with the only touchdown of the day coming from a 45-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Shaq Bell.
â€œSometimes we were driving at will it was almost seeming like,â€ said quarterback Garrett Grayson of the first-team offense, â€œbut (the defense) came up with some stops. Thatâ€™s the No. 1 defense and theyâ€™ve been kind of whooping up on us all spring, so thatâ€™s to be expected.â€
Despite the slow pace of both offenses in the scrimmage, there were numerous bright spots to be found on both sides of the ball.
In his first scrimmage since converting from a defensive back to a wide receiver, Dominique Vinson caught a 51-yard pass from quarterback M.J. McPeek, on his way to three receptions for 59 yards on the day.
â€œThe move of Vinson over to receiver I think is gonna help us,â€ McElwain said. â€œI think thatâ€™s a credit to the depth that we have in the secondary, which is a good thing.â€
Wide receiver Thomas Coffman also made a splash during the scrimmage on special teams, highlighting his playmaking ability with a 45-yard kick return.
â€œEveryone on our kickoff return team is doing a really good job,â€ Coffman said. â€œ(Special teams coach Mike Hammerschmidt) has done a really good job of teaching me how to return and use my speed when I can get in the open field.â€
On the first-team defense, cornerback Momo Thomas had an interception returned down to the gold teamâ€™s five yard line in the second quarter.
The ball was subsequently turned over by a McPeek fumbled snap, one of two fumbled snaps on the day, preventing the green team from capitalizing on the turnover.
â€œI get on myself real hard for that,â€ center Weston Richburg said of the fumbled snap. â€œI think some of it you have to attribute to how much weâ€™re thinking.
â€œBack in the Fairchild era, I wasnâ€™t thinking about anything. I … knew what I was supposed to do, just sling (the ball) back there, now we have to think through everything, but thatâ€™ll come.â€
So as spring practices have now been completed, the burden of learning new schemes and getting better falls on the players, a task McElwain has told his players is the hardest part of the offseason.
â€œThe big thing is, these guys have to dedicate themselves during the offseason,â€ McElwain said. â€œTeams are made, actually during the summer. â€¦ and thatâ€™s gonna tell a lot about who weâ€™re gonna be next year.â€
Football Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dominique Vinson: 3 Receptions, 59 Yds., 0 TD
Momo Thomas: 7 tackles, 1 Tackle for loss, 1 Int.
Marquise Law: 4 Receptions, 49 Yds., 0 TD
Max Morgan: 10 Tackles, 6 Solo
Kick returns: Thomas Coffman: 1 return, 45 yards
Kicking: Jared Roberts: 2/3 FG Long: 45; 1/1 XP