Colorado State could have quarterback controversy

Some calling for change under center after 0-2 start and two blown leads

jscroggin@thetribunenews.comSeptember 13, 2013 

Similarly to Cal Poly, Colorado State had a quarterback battle raging in training camp. 

Garrett Grayson, a junior who passed for 946 yards last season, emerged as the pick in a three-way competition that also included sophomore Conner Smith and true freshman Nick Stevens. 

Now, after two losses and some unflattering offensive statistics, some are calling for a change. Although Rams head coach Jim McElwain confirmed Grayson to start against Cal Poly today, he also suggested he may play another signal-caller at some point. 

Colorado State has had fourth-quarter leads in each of its losses. 

But in last week’s 30-27 loss to Tulsa, the Golden Hurricane erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit and won on a last-second field goal while the Rams offense went three-and-out on four straight possessions.

Behind Grayson, Colorado State is converting just 19.4 percent of its third downs, which ranks the Rams 11th in the 12-team Mountain West Conference and 118th out of 124 FBS teams. 

Their 285 yards of total offense per game is also next to last in the Mountain West and 111th in the FBS. 

The other options are certainly intriguing.

Though Stevens won the second-string spot in training camp, Smith enters today’s game as the No. 2 option.

As an injury replacement last season, Smith was 3-1 as a starter and passed for a team-high 1,022 yards. He had six touchdowns but also threw six interceptions. 

Stevens had a standout career at Vista Murrieta (Calif.) High, passing for 2,318 yards and 24 TDs his senior season when he led his team to a 13-1 record. Vista Murrieta was ranked 26th in country by MaxPreps after losing 30-28 in the CIF-Southern Section Inland Division title game to Corona Centennial. 

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