Colorado State's scrimmage on Monday night at Hughes Stadium was a mock game that kicked off at 7 p.m., which is the time next week's game against Colorado kicks off. According to Head Coach Jim McElwain, the Rams "really tried to work on moving the ball and playing the game as it is in the first quarter." Another key focus of the scrimmage was "(working) third down and coming out. And you know, go get a first down."
For the offense, the scrimmage was a positive step in getting ready for the upcoming season. Top players in the passing game shined for the Rams, as the 79 play scrimmage included 60 pass attempts. Starting quarterback Garrett Grayson led all passers with 188 yards, completing 19 of his 25 attempts as well as tossing 2 touchdowns passes. The first touchdown of the scrimmage was a pass from Grayson to top receiver Rahard Higgins for 6 yards, ending a 10 play, 65 yard drive. Higgins, who struggled to make plays in the Ram's previous scrimmage, had 6 catches for 24 yards and a touchdown on Monday night. Grayson's second touchdown pass came on a 25 yard hook up with other top target, Charles Lovett, Lovett's only reception of the night.
Coleman Key played exceptionally well, completing 10 of 12 attempts for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns. Though he won't be pushing for the starting job this year, Key is competing for the second quarterback spot with redshirt freshman Nick Stevens, who went 11 of 18 for 125 yards.
Young receiver Jordan Vaden, a sophomore, led all Ram receivers with 76 yards on 5 receptions. Elroy Masters Jr., a redshirt freshman, caught 3 passes for 55 yards. One of Master's catches was a 39 yard touchdown catch from Key. Key's other touchdown pass was a 22 yarder to Jack Spady, a senior walk-on who has yet to see the field for Colorado State. Spady ended the day with 3 catches for 43 yards. The most promising day for young receivers came from true freshman Deionte Gaines, the speedy athlete from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida. Gaines (along with Higgins) led all receivers with 6 catches for 64 yards, the second most on the night behind Vaden.
Due to the scrimmage's focus on the passing game, the running backs had less of a chance to show what they were made of. Treyous Jarrells, the Junior transfer, led all Rams with 7 rushes on the night for 46 yards. Jarrells also had 4 catches for 36 yards. Jasen Oden, the expected starter for Week 1, had 5 rushes for 15 yards, but excelled all night in pass protection and short yard situations. Dee Hart added 3 rushes for 18 yards. McElwain on Jarrells getting the most touches; "he ended up having more carries, and we really wanted to see that tonight."
The scrimmage was mostly a success for the offensive side of the ball. The offensive line as a whole only let up 3 sacks on the night while helping the running backs average over 5 yards per carry. Grayson showed off his ability to take control of the offense, leading multiple scoring drives while keeping his mistakes low. Practice continues this week, with only nine days until the Rocky Mountain Showdown against Colorado.