Receivers, defensive backs and newcomers standout in first scrimmage

Eric Wolf

After eight straight practices, the Colorado State Rams held their first scrimmage of the fall Thursday night at Hughes Stadium.

It was the first chance for coach Mike Bobo and his staff to put the players in a live setting where they could compete and be evaluated fully.

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Statistics were not provided for the closed scrimmage, but Bobo was available after the scrimmage.

Receivers and secondary

From Bobo’s post-scrimmage press conference, much of the standout play on the field centered around the wide receivers and defensive backs, many of whom Bobo singled out for their play.

In the defensive secondary, Bobo was pleased with the performance of Kevin Nutt, Jr., as well as that of Jordon Vaden and Jamal Hicks, both of whom had interceptions during the scrimmage.

Vaden’s interception came when the offense was working in the red-zone, and Bobo added that if the officials had not have blown the play dead, Vaden would have taken it for a pick-six.

On the offensive side of the ball, the players who matched up against the secondary all day were the ones Bobo singled out for their performance.

Xavier Williams, Olabisi Johnson and Sammie Long made the plays on offense. Williams and Johnson have been limited in practice during camp, and they wore red jerseys holding them out of contact during the scrimmage, but Bobo still liked what he saw out of his receiving core.  

“Defensively I thought the secondary was in tight coverage on some of them,” Bobo said. “The receivers just made plays, which is what you got to have.”

Newcomers

Freshman running back Marvin Kinsey Jr. and juco transfer wide receiver Michael Gallup were two players who were able to stand out in their first official scrimmage in a CSU uniform.

“Every time he touched the ball, something good happened.” Bobo said of Kinsey, who had a 50 or 60 yard gain on a swing pass where he broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage.

Gallup is a player who Bobo has singled out multiple times through fall camp, and Thursday’s scrimmage was no different.

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“He makes plays,” Bobo said. “He’s got to get in better shape and he has to learn what to do every play to be truly dominant. He’s making plays and he doesn’t even know what he’s doing yet. That’s the positive.”

Bobo thought the scrimmage helped ease the nerves of his newcomers overall, which was a main emphasis of the scrimmage going in. The coaching staff wanted to put their young guys in a stressful situation and see how they would react.

Quarterbacks

Junior Nick Stevens, senior Faton Bauta, and freshman Collin Hill are all battling for the starting job, and Bobo did not come to very many conclusions on his quarterbacks after the first scrimmage.

CSU quarterbacks during 2016 fall camp (Luke Walker/ Collegian)
CSU quarterbacks during 2016 fall camp (Luke Walker/ Collegian)

Bobo said that he would have to go back and evaluate film to establish an order with his quarterbacks following the scrimmage. He said that he thought he had a good idea who came out of the scrimmage with the best day, but he would wait until after he watched the film to make any judgments.

“They all had some moments,” Bobo said. “They all had a few bad moments and a few of them had some good moments.”

For much of the scrimmage the team played situational football, which made it difficult for the offense to gain any momentum the coach said, which limited what the offense could run. 

“Nothing got clicking offensively, where you could say (that) this guy is head and shoulders above everyone else,” Bobo said. 

Coach Bobo and his coaching staff placed an emphasis on the scrimmage being their first real test of the fall. The scrimmage gives both the staff and players a solid benchmark of where they are at, and what they need to do moving forward.

“You all always expect more and hope you are farther along than where you are,” Bobo said. “I told them afterward we got along way to go, but that’s okay.”

The team gets the day off on Friday before returning to the field for practice number ten Saturday morning.

Collegian Sports Reporter Eric Wolf can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @Eric_Wolf5