The Colorado St. Rams had their first scrimmage this spring and the defense shined during Friday's scrimmage as they piled up 27 sacks, an interception returned for a touchdown and 30 tackles for loss.
This can either be one of two things: The defense is amazing or the offensive line is not doing their job, and head coach Jim McElwain echoed as much after the scrimmage. It is not a surprise that the defense out performed the offense since the offense is learning a new system and on offense in general there are more moving parts than what a defensive players job entails which basically comes down to covering a player or going after the ball carrier.
The offensive line for Colorado State is fairly experienced with three expected starters who have started in at least six games, so the defensive performance is more of the defense playing extremely well and not the offense struggling. Having the defense play well early on is a positive step that the team is going in the right direction.
The star players in this scrimmage were Nordly Capi and C.J. James combined for nine sacks, and those two were the team leaders in sacks last season and are expected to be the leaders on defense again in this upcoming season.
On the offensive side of the ball McElwain was impressed with running back Chris Nwoke, but he still sees ways for him to improve:
"I'd like to see him pull his legs through a little bit on contact," McElwain said. "I thought he had a chance to take a couple a little farther, but he runs hard, and obviously he proved what kind of a player he is today. I was proud of him."
Nwoke finished the scrimmage with seven rushes for 52 yards.
Overall, McElwain was fairly pleased with the first scrimmage and is optimistic that this team can be pretty good:
"I think the organization of the scrimmage was good. We got all the situations in."
"You get disappointed a little bit when one team maybe doesn't do as good as the other. But at the end of the day we are all a team and these guys are going to stay together. We have a chance to be a pretty decent ball squad."
"I was really kind of happy about the pace of the scrimmage. I thought the guys handled substitutions pretty decently for the first time. I'm kind of a little optimistic."
There are two more practices this week before Colorado State holds an open scrimmage on Friday April 13 in Denver.
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