2021 Colorado State Football Offensive Preview
Looking at the Rams offense as it stands
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Can the Rams offense get off the starting blocks?
The COVID pandemic hit some college football teams harder than others last season, with Colorado State among the hardest hit. The Mountain West originally postponed the season and then brought it back in a conference only format. Out of the eight scheduled games, CSU only played four of them. Three were cancelled due to the pandemic and one was due to a protest by Utah State.
In the four games Colorado State did play, they were not good offensively. Part of that was a new coaching staff and new coaching philosophy. The other part was the missed practice time due to the pandemic and investigations into the program. In the four games CSU played, they were only able to average 323.5 yards per game (113th out of 127 teams) and 22.2 points per game (106th out of 127 teams).
In comes new offensive coordinator Jon Budmayr, who hopes to turn around an offense coming off a dismal year. Coming from Wisconsin, known for their hard nosed running attack, Budmayr helped balance the offense as quarterbacks coach. Budmayr looks to bring his success in the Big 10 to the Mountain West.
Head Coach Steve Addazio knew he was going to have a challenge heading into the 2020-2021 season, so he brought along some transfers from Boston College to give a stabilizing prescence in the engine room. Elijah Johnson, Cam Reddy, and Adam Korutz provided that prescence last year alongside Keith Williams and Barry Wesley. Reddy, Johnson, and Wesley all earned All-Mountain West honorable mentions last year.
“It’s really impressive. It’s a reflection of what (Steve and Louie Addazio) do each day,” offensive coordinator Jon Budmayr said to the Reporter Herald. “Those two obviously work very closely with that group. And from what I’ve been able to learn schematically and technique-wise from that position in the short time I’ve been here, it’s easy to see why that group has success.”
The entire starting line returns this season, along with dependable back up Joctavis Philips and Temple transfer Vincent Picozzi. Addazio isn’t going to leave the cupboards bare either. Nine offensive line recruits were brought in during both the 2020 and 2021 recruiting cycles. With a full spring camp, full summer lifting schedule and continued coaching under the Addazio family (Steve Addazio’s son Louie is the Rams offensive line coach) this group could become one of the top lines in the Mountain West.
The big question mark on everyones mind this coming into the season is will the quarterback be the one piece that holds the Rams back. Incumbent starter Patrick O’Brien transferred to Washington and Todd Centeio was named starter during spring camp. Centeio struggled last year, but was playing through an injury so we don’t have a clear picture of what he can do.
Centeio is the named starter at the moment, but behind him is Boston College transfer Matt Valecce. Valecce didn’t have many appearances during his time at Boston College, but is familar with Addazio’s offense. Centeio will have to prove he has a grasp on the offense and can make the plays necessary (with his arm and on the ground) to lead the Rams to victory. Also on the roster are RS sophomore Jonah O’Brien along with freshmen Giles Pooler and Evan Olaes.