CSU football’s lack of rhythm hindering offense

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Much like the holy grail, the fountain of youth and bigfoot, consistency is nowhere to be found for Jim McElwain and his offense.
CSU dropped its third straight game at home to Utah State Saturday 31-19, and nobody can seem to figure out what’s wrong.

“I really don’t know how to answer that question,” quarterback Garrett Grayson said after the game. “We’ve come out every game and started slow like that, and then the second half it seems like things start to click. I really don’t know the answer. We’re all watching film. I’m watching more film than I’ve ever watched since I’ve been here.”

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McElwain offered up his solution to the the stagnant offensive performances so far in 2012.

“We’re gettin’ no rhythm offensively,” CSU coach Jim McElwain said. “And rhythm is very important in this game. We got some really good stuff, and what we need to do is make sure we can handle it and do what’s right for the guys that are playing in the game.”

The Rams produced 331 yards of total offense Saturday, but most of those came in the final minutes of the game when the result was all but certain. CSU had just 61 yards at halftime, and only 177 after three quarters.

“It’s just the little things, we miss a block there and I miss a pass here and we never get into a rhythm,” Grayson said. “It’s just shooting ourselves in the foot is what it really is.”

The poor performances from the offensive side of the ball have routinely placed the Rams in a hole that is simply too deep to climb out of. Even when the CSU defense picks up momentum, it quickly dies, and opposing defenses know it.

“That was a huge for us as a defense,” Utah State linebacker Zach Vigil said. “Anytime you can keep them out of the end zone when there’s a huge, big play on their side of the ball, is huge for us.”

Practice makes perfect is not a saying for McElwain, it’s a reality, a way of life.

“We get a big play and then we shoot ourselves. Those are all the consistencies that you must do everyday,” McElwain said. “It goes back to what you do everyday in preparation. It’s simple. The formula is not rocket science.”

After four weeks nobody is giving up, a distinct difference from years past. Improvement is a slow and steady process.

“I think we’ve made big improvements. People can argue with me all they want, but I really do,” Grayson said. “We know it’s a process, coach Mac says that to us all the time, he’s not expecting us to be the Alabama teams that everyone saw. It will come with time.”

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Sports Editor Cris Tiller can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Follow @cristiller