Stevens, a true freshman out of Murietta, Calif., took a few more snaps with the second-team offense on Wednesday morning. Colorado State coach Jim McElwain said he'd been getting a few, and some of that was just so the quarterbacks are used to different centers, but Stevens took a few more with the second unit than he had before.
Stevens hit on 16-of-23 passes for 231 yards and two scores, but it wasn't a performance that caught McElwain off guard, nor is the fact he's picked up the offense so quickly. Part of that has been his work in meetings, which McElwain suggested has raised the level of the entire room.
McElwain said the additional reps were "well deserved," and he's liked what he has seen so far.
"Poise, is probably No. 1. And understanding where to go with the ball when things break down and not ever being in a panic mode," McElwain said. "It's kind of a calming influence out there."
It also creates a bit more competition for the spot, which McElwain will never shy away from. Neither will Garrett Grayson, who said Stevens looked good and made him view the race for the job a little differently.
"If he's going to open it up to Nick, then that just brings more competition and I have three guys trying to get the spot instead of two," Grayson said.
Grayson said his main issue Tuesday was picking up the blitz packages and not making the hot read soon enough. He took blame for half of the sacks given up for that reason.
In the long run, a less-than-perfect performance will do him some good, Grayson said, making him a little more attentive in film study.
" Sometimes having a great scrimmage is almost bad because you don't feel like you need to work on anything, then you get lackadaisical," Grayson said. "When I go out there and look at the film yesterday and Coach Mac kind of ripped me, I can see that now with the mistakes I made and go correct them instead of sitting on my butt and doing nothing."