Aug. 12, 2014
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FORT COLLINS, Colo. – On Tuesday afternoon the Rams completed a 104-play scrimmage in which Head Coach Jim McElwain ran his team through different situations as well as pitting the ones-versus-ones, ones-versus-twos, etc. in a move-the-ball scrimmage.
This represented one of the first opportunities for the defense to go live, and the third-year head coach was happy with his defensive unit.
“This has been the first time since spring ball that our defense could really tackle in a game environment,” McElwain said. “They did a really good job of that.”
McElwain admitted that he was surprised by the sureness of the tackling, which was led by linebacker Nu’uvali Fa’apito, defensive back Preston Hodges and defensive lineman LaRyan King, who each had six tackles.
“Our angles were good, we didn’t give any big cutbacks and the pursuit angles were good too,” McElwain said of the tackling.
In total, the Rams' defense tallied 92 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Six of the seven sacks came from the defensive line, with Justin Hansen and Terry Jackson each racking up two sacks, and Martavius Foster and Jose Cerriteno recording one sack each.
Although the defensive line was able to apply pressure to the quarterbacks, senior Garrett Grayson was rarely under pressure, being brought down behind the line-of-scrimmage once. Grayson started out completing his first eight passes for 74 yards before finishing 9-for-13 for 88 yards.
Three of the Rams' four backup quarterbacks played on Tuesday, combining for 376 yards, 143 coming from Nick Stevens. Craig Leonard, a product of Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, threw the lone touchdown pass. Senior wide receiver Jack Spady ran a perfect seam route, hauling in Leonard’s pass for a 62-yard touchdown.
The most talked-about position heading into the 2014 campaign might be the running backs. The Rams have plenty of talent to try and fill the void left by Kapri Bibbs, who is currently on the Denver Broncos. Alabama graduate Dee Hart led the team with 54 yards rushing on 11 carries and one touchdown. Junior college transfer Treyous Jarrells also impressed, picking up 42 yards on nine touches. Jarrells scored from 20 yards out during the overtime scrimmage near the end of the practice.
Jasen Oden Jr., who is still slightly banged up, ran the ball four times for 29 yards and a score.
In total, the Rams rushed for 170 yards and scored three touchdowns.
“I thought (Jasen) Oden, he’s still kind of hindered a little bit, but in the carries he had, he proved that he can really run behind his pads and keep his knees moving, so I was happy to see that,” McElwain said. “We got some productive work out of Treyous Jarrells and Dee Hart, just to get kind of an idea what those guys are all about.”
Fall Camp Notebook
Injury: Defensive back Jake Schlager injured his ankle during Tuesday’s scrimmage after registering four solo tackles.
“Injury wise, we had to take Jack Schlager in with an ankle,” McElwain said. “We don’t know yet, but we’ll find out what it is and go from there. Other than that, we came out pretty good.”
Surprise of Fall Camp: After Tuesday’s scrimmage, McElwain called local product Sam Carlson the surprise of Fall Camp. Carlson, a graduate of Poudre High School, impressed the Colorado State coaching staff during the Rams’ first scrimmage.
“I’ll tell you what, Sam (Carlson) has been the surprise of camp,” McElwain said. “He made two great, veteran calls on the run, which really helped us, so that was great to see.”
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