CSU football camp blog: Scrimmage No. 1
Aug. 11, 2012
By Nick Frank
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - In Saturday's first fall scrimmage at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, running back Donnell Alexander displayed running skills that could create a thunder-and-lightning type of duo in the Rams backfield, complimenting the bruising returning starter, Chris Nwoke.
During Colorado State's 123-play scrimmage, Alexander carried the ball 10 times, cranking out 83 yards and three touchdowns.
Head Coach Jim McElwain came away impressed with Alexander and other ball carriers after the scrimmage, played in 90-degree weather.
"I thought we discovered some running backs," said McElwain. "I thought both (Davon) Riddick and (Donnell) Alexander both ran behind their pads; you could kind of tell they ran with some confidence."
At the quarterback position, Garrett Grayson completed 21-of-33 (63.6) passes for 203 yards, while M.J. McPeek and Conner Smith both eclipsed the 100-yard passing mark in the scrimmage.
"We were really efficient in the passing game, and protection was good," said McElwain. "I thought Grayson really moved the team well. We took a couple situations, third downs, and I think he handled them a little better than he did last year."
Defensively, linebacker Aaron Davis made his presence felt by registering five tackles, one sack, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery. As a unit, the defense swarmed ball carriers, drawing praise from its first-year head coach.
"I thought they gang tackled pretty well," said McElwain. "They ran to the ball."
The coach was admittedly happy with the physical and mental performance of his team. In his eyes, he sees a completely different attitude than the one he saw when he took over the reins of the program on Dec. 13, 2011.
"I think the guys have come a heck of a long ways, even from the way they approached practice in the spring," said McElwain. "I can really see some huge strides in what we have done."
However, that doesn't mean he doesn't see room for improvement.
"We had the ball on the ground twice and we got them back but it is unacceptable," he said. "It is unacceptable to put the ball on the ground. We will learn from that."
Fall Camp Notebook
Meet the Rams: Rams fans will get their first chance to glimpse the 2012 team at "Meet the Rams Day," on Friday, Aug. 17. The open practice will run from 7:30-9 p.m. at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium. Players will sign autographs for fans after the practice.
Position battle: As McElwain alluded to earlier in the week, there is competition at the kicker position, with the possibility of different kickers for different roles. At Saturday's scrimmage both candidates, Keenan Adams and Jared Roberts, saw opportunities to make their case, handling kickoffs and place-kicks.
Rocky Mountain Showdown student tickets: Student tickets for the Sept. 1 kickoff of the Bold New Era are still available. However, time is limited as Aug. 24 is the deadline for student tickets at the reduced price of $30. Student fans can purchase tickets here.