Offense shows up in second scrimmage of spring

Eric Wolf

The offense bounced back in a big way during Colorado State’s scrimmage Saturday at the teams’ indoor practice facility, just a week after the defense controlled the first scrimmage of the spring.

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“There were some good things, it was a better day for the offense,” Bobo said. We were able to make some big plays. I thought we were more consistent in the passing game.”

Though the team played plenty of situational football indoors Saturday, the offense ended up with nine different scoring drives on the afternoon. As a whole, the team gained 203 yards on the ground and 347 through the air for the scrimmage.

Bobo singled out the play at the quarterback position and on the offensive line, two positions where the coach believes his spring emphasis of competition is showing.

Senior quarterback Faton Bauta had a noticeably better performance according to Bobo, and he noted that Saturday was a stronger day for the quarterback position across the board, thanks largely to solid pass protection from the offensive line.

Faton Bauta during 2016 spring practice (Luke Walker/ The Collegian)
Faton Bauta during 2016 spring practice (Luke Walker/ The Collegian)

“The guys offensively who probably showed up the most (were) Marcus Wilson, he really had good a day catching the ball and blocking,” Bobo said. “Faton had a really good day playing quarterback.”

Though the team was somewhat limited operating on the 45-yard field in the indoor facility, it did not slow down an explosive passing day for the offense.

Bauta led the quarterbacks, completing 80 percent of his passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Bauta tossed all of the touchdowns on the day, as Nick Stevens threw for 130 yards on 8-of-16 passing, and Collin Hill threw for 42 yards on five completions with one interception.

Bryce Peters, who is making the most out of his spring opportunity, was another player who impressed offensively, leading the team with 96 yards on 12 carries with three touchdowns, including a length of the field 45-yard score.

Dalyn Dawkins carried the ball 15 times for 65 yards and one touchdown, while Johnathan Lewis scored two touchdowns to go along with 57 yards on 10 carries.

Xavier Williams, who stood out last week in the scrimmage, did not  have the same opportunities Saturday according to Bobo, as he finished the day with zero receptions. Marcus Wilson led the receiving group with 78 yards on three catches with one touchdown. Trey Smith and Olabisi Johnson caught the other two touchdowns thrown by Bauta.

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During last week’s scrimmage the defense set the tone and brought energy and aggressiveness, something that was missing from Saturday’s performance.

“I just didn’t feel the energy from the defense,” Bobo said. “Defense has got to play off energy and run to the ball. I didn’t think the overall energy and aggressiveness was there. I just didn’t think we had the same edge defensively when we started the day.”

Bobo singled out Josh Watson and Tyree Simmons as defensive leaders on a day where the defense was not as mentally ready as the week before. Watson continued his strong spring, leading the defense with ten total tackles, including two tackles for losses.

Jake Schlager, who had an interception called back on a penalty last week, picked off another pass, as did converted cornerback Jordon Vaden, who looks to be continuing his strong play at his new position.

Bobo said that depth was an issue for the defense Saturday, just as it has been all spring. He said it was especially on the defensive line, where the team is noticeably thin.

With one week to go before Saturday’s Green and Gold Game, there is still room for improvement on both sides of the ball.

Collegian Sports Reporter Eric Wolf can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com and on twitter @Eric_wolf5.