Rams Get Defensive In First Scrimmage of the Spring
FORT COLLINS – Junio defensive lineman Richard King had a 45-yard fumble return for a touchdown early in the Rams first scrimmage of the spring on Sunday, setting the tone for the defense.
Sophomore Ellison Hubbard got to quarterback J.C. Robles, sacking him and stripping the ball. King rumbled down the field, shedding tacklers along the way.
“Great energy, effort, and excitement by the defense,” head coach Mike Bobo said. “It was good to get smacked around a little bit offensively. I think we came out there a little bit offensively thinking that we are better than we are, and we did not execute at a high level and we did not protect up front.
"We did not throw and catch very well and we missed guys open. We dropped touchdown passes on the first drive. We didn’t hit our touchdowns. We turned some bad plays into catastrophes. There was some brighter spots in the second half, for the offense, but I would have to say the defense won that day, today.”
King would later add another fumble recovery, this time forced by senior linebacker Tre Thomas on junior wide receiver Brenden Fulton in the open field.
The offense threatened on some long drives early in the scrimmage, but two interceptions in the end zone, both by junior cornerback Anthony Hawkins, eliminated early scoring opportunities for the offense.
Redshirt-freshman safety Adonis Rufran also recorded an interception. Five different Rams recorded at least a half-sack, and Hubbard led with 1.5 total sacks. Thomas led the team with 14 tackles, followed by 13 and 10 from senior linebackers Josh Watson and Anthony Giusti, respectively.
The Rams’ run game provided some positivity for the offense, totaling 246 yards on 52 carries.
“One bright spot on our offense was our running backs,” Bobo commented. “I thought they ran extremely hard—Darius May, Izzy Matthews, Marvin Kinsey, Rashaad Boddie. I think all those guys ran extremely hard. They are going to bring the physicality to our offense. We have a long way to go up front but we have to do a better job in the receivers blocking in the perimeter. But we have some pretty good running backs and we have to get the guys glued in and executed a little better.”
Sophomore Rashaad Boddie led with 88 yards on 18 carries and a TD. Fellow sophomore Darius May added 62 yards on 13 carries with a pair of scores, while senior Izzy Matthews had 56 yards on seven carries.
CSU received uneven play at the quarterback position, with Robles, Justice McCoy and Judd Erickson all playing with the 1’s at various times.
“We have a long ways to go; we are not executing very well, not communicating very well. We need somebody to take charge of the offense,” Bobo said. “That has to come from the quarterback position. I thought all three had some bright spots. Judd Erickson had a couple (series) with the ones and did some good things which he executed a little bit better than the other two. It is the first scrimmage, so we will look at the tape and go back to work next week.”
Erickson threw a pair of touchdowns – a nine-yarder to Matthews and a 10-yard TD to Fulton. McCoy also had a touchdown pass on the offense’s biggest play of the day, a 45-yard reception by running back Marvin Kinsey.
The Rams will be back on the field for their 10th and 11th practices of spring next Wednesday and Friday, and will hold their second scrimmage on Sunday. The Green and Gold Spring Game is scheduled for Saturday, April 21 at noon. It is free and open to the public.