The Rams played their final scrimmage of fall camp Saturday afternoon in front of a few thousand season ticket holders and Ram Club members at Hughes stadium. The event was closed to the media but head coach Mike Bobo was happy Ram fans came out to support the team.
“That is what we are trying to build here is the excitement,” Bobo said. “Everybody is excited about 2017 and the new season. I think we have sold every club seat or something. Things are going really well, but I’m excited about this season and the farewell to Hughes, the tradition and I feel no reason that we should not sell out every game.”
How did the team perform Saturday? Overall, offense ruled the day Saturday. “We pretty much ran at will,” Bobo said. “The pass-rush was non-existent out there today.”
The second-year head coach admitted that the team is going to try and run the ball a lot in 2016, which is no surprise. Bobo liked what he saw from the entire stable of running backs Saturday.
“We’re going to need more than two backs” Bobo said. “Izzy Matthews went down today with an ankle sprain and couldn’t finish. (Dalyn) Dawkins we were going to hold after the first series. Those two guys came in and did a nice job.”
Along with the usual backs in Mathews and Dawkins, Bryce Peters, Marvin Kinsey and Rashaad Boddie all performed well. Kinsey rushed for 158 yards on 15 carries to go along with a pair of touchdowns. Boddie also scored a pair of touchdowns in just ten carries for 108 yards.
With an emphasis on running the ball as the game-plan for 2016, the Colorado State coaching staff seems to be extremely confident in the depth of the backfield.
Along with the running game, Bobo was pleased with the efforts from his quarterbacks, two of which decided to play live and run full contact (Faton Bauta, J.C. Robles). Although Bobo is not ready to name a starter at this point in time, he will review film from the entirety of fall camp as well as today and begin preparing for the September 2, matchup with Colorado.
“We’ve got a good idea of who we are and what we do offensively,” Bobo said.” What quarterback fits that best is going to weigh heavily in that decision, but I thought all three played well today (Bauta, Collin Hill, Nick Stevens).”
Along with quarterback play, Bobo was extremely pleased with the efforts from the wide receivers all week, despite being a little banged up.
“The receiving group was much better today, really had three or four good practices in a row,” Bobo said. “They made plays today. Not just catches, but yards after the catch. Which is what you have got to have in this offense.”
Bobo continued on the receivers, “I thought they blocked well, I thought they caught the ball well, I thought they ran the ball well after they made the catch.”
One player that stood out particularly to the coaching staff was Sammie Long, who coach Bobo said had his best day here since the coach arrived in January 2015.
“He has been a guy that been dependable, never really made the spectacular play, just made the routine play,” Bobo said. “ He made some spectacular plays today, which was good to see from him.”
Depth on the outside has been a big question mark for the Ram offense. Guys like Long will need to step up for the offense to produce at a high level.
With the offense coming up big today, it poses the question is this Ram offense truly something to be feared or is a young and inexperienced defense being exposed?
Collegian sports reporter Justin Michael can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @JustinTMichael.