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An update on Colorado State's quarterback situation

Justin Michael Avatar
September 28, 2022

Colorado State’s highly anticipated trip to Nevada is just around the corner and at this point it’s unclear who will be the team’s starting quarterback for the conference opener. 

Clay Millen has been the team’s No. 1 QB since coming over to CSU with the staff last winter and his numbers have been fairly solid for a first-time starter. In essentially 14 quarters of football, Millen has completed 68 of 92 attempts (74%) for 667 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions.

However, after taking a beating behind a struggling offensive line in the opening month, Millen suffered an apparent shoulder injury in the Week 4 loss to Sacramento State and had to be replaced by Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi in the second quarter.

Sacramento State nickleback Marte Mapu (5) celebrates with his teammates after sacking Colorado State quarterback Clay Millen at Canvas Field in Fort Collins, Colo. on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.

Following the game, Norvell did not have an update on Millen’s status or the severity of his injury. Millen has not practiced so far this week though, so there is a chance that it ends up being Fowler-Nicolosi that gets the start against the Wolf Pack, as he’s been running with the first team the past couple of days.

“Clay is still recovering. We’ll see as we move into the weekend, and into next week, how he’s doing. But he’s kind of day to day right now,” Norvell said after Wednesday’s practice. “He’s got a chance to step back and really take a look at what’s going on and how we do things. And he’ll benefit from that.”

In an interview with Matt Mumme last week, the associate head coach/quarterbacks coach praised the work that Fowler-Nicolosi has put in since getting to campus last spring. He also emphasized that the true freshman offers escapability, which is a major reason why he was able to surpass Giles Pooler on the depth chart.

“At this point in time, with where we’re at up front with our protections, Brayden would give us a better option because of mobility,” Mumme said. 

Colorado State quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi looks for a receiver against Sacramento State Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, Colo. on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.

Fowler-Nicolosi completed 6-of-15 attempts for 116 yards in just over two quarters of action against Sacramento State. His biggest play of the afternoon was a 52-yard touchdown strike to WR Tory Horton — the first touchdown scored in the first half by CSU this season. 

Whether it’s Millen or Fowler-Nicolosi that plays against the Wolf Pack, Norvell hopes to be able to attack more with the offense. The Rams have tried to execute a lot of simple stuff in the quick game to help offset the pass rush, but unfortunately it just has not been very successful.

We’ll see if the Rams can find some consistency in what is sure to be a hostile environment in Reno, NV. Sometimes that type of environment can bring out the fight in a team.

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