The Rams hung tough with the No. 19 Horned Frogs Saturday, finding themselves down only 13-3 at halftime. But three second half touchdowns for TCU propelled them to a 34-10 victory Saturday afternoon.
The win for TCU clinched their third straight Mountain West Conference title, while the loss for CSU knocked them down to 3-7 on the season, leaving the Rams on the outside of the bowl picture looking in for the third straight year.
And while the Colorado State defense kept the team in the game early, they wore down late and the story of the game was Garrett Grayson and the offense.
Overall, the offense played its best combined game of the year.
The play-calling was more deceptive and the high amount of play-action passes kept the TCU defense off balance. Chris Nwoke ran the ball well, while not as strong as the last three weeks, but still gained 60 yards. And Carter came in to run strong as well, for 53 yards of his own, while adding 77 yards and a TD through the air. There was a great rhythm to the offensive side of the ball, especially in the second half, which is key when thinking of TCU being known for being a quick and physical defense.
And the true freshman Grayson passed extremely well, especially considering it was his first career start at the D-1 level. Grayson showed a spectacular skill set, which makes him a dangerous player to try to defend.
Grayson stood poised in the pocket and stepped up into his passes well. He progressed through reads and hit Lou Greenwood for a big first down in the 3rd quarter, and he made great decisions with the ball all afternoon long. Grayson showed off his arm strength, overthrowing receivers on multiple occasions and throwing it through a receiver’s hands with one laser.
And what’s most impressive about Grayson is his mobility which allows him to run away from would-be tacklers and it gives the Rams’ coaches the ability to roll him out on play-action and bootleg plays—motion that makes it very difficult for opposing defenses to stop.
He’s so mobile that the freshman can be used on designed runs, or he can simply create on the fly and pick up positive yards on the ground.
The youngster’s highlight reel play of the day was when he avoided the rush of two oncoming defenders, ran to his right and threw the ball 50 yards in the air to a wide open Raymond Carter that he took to the house for CSU’s only touchdown of the game.
Grayson ended the game 14-of-24 passing for 248 yards, one touchdown and one interception that was returned for a touchdown. He also rushed for 53 yards on the day.
So while the Rams lost for the sixth straight game, it seems they may have found their QB of the future. And at the very least, there will be a stiff competition at the position going into the 2012 season.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being your CSU Rams Examiner, Kurtzman writes for Blake Street Bulletin, Stadium Journey, Bleacher Report, and Mile High Hoops.
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