|Chuckie Keeton murdering us all over the field.|
What's happening here? Weren't we supposed to be at least 3-1 at this point? Instead I see the same mistakes that have been made in every game dating back to the beginning of 2009.... um 2008... err, it's been happening for so long it's almost becoming tradition. I know we'll get some comments "it's gonna take time to build. Be patient." Honestly, I've been patient for about 6 years and my patience is running low.
Utah State is coming off a tough loss to Big Ten power Wisconsin, 16-14 on the road in Madison. They beat rival Utah 27-20 in overtime in week 2. USU has playmakers and are led by QB Chuckie Keeton. Keeton is a dual threat QB, the team’s second leading rusher with 164 yards and 701 yards passing. Chuckie's leadership for a sophomore isn't Child's Play. (Pun Intended). Keeton doesn't have a strong arm so all his big plays are roll outs and passes to crossing receivers. Their rushing attack was supposed to suffer when Michael Smith and Robert Turbin graduated, but senior Kerwynn Williams has been an effective, patient runner. Seniors Matt Austin and Chuck Jacobs are the teams leading WRs. Jacobs is more of the possession type of receiver while Austin is the big play guy. They also use a heavy dose of their tight end Kellen Bartlett.
Another game, another "is our defense going to show up?" Traveling to San Jose to play the Spartans was a perfecting "turn it around" game for the Rams, so I thought. After getting pounded by North Dakota State, SJSU was going to be a tough task but a winnable game, not so much. Having a week where coaches would get in the faces our Rams to focus back on the season at hand instead of basking in a week one win over a sorry CU Buffs team (who by the way got smoked by Fresno State 69-14), didn't happen. Instead, I am thrown back into my four year Steve Fairchild coma. I thought I was cured!
The Bison certainly brought what we expected into Hughes Stadium on Saturday. A well coached team full of good athletes. CSU brought a calamity of errors and a disappointing loss was the result. The only upside of losing a game to an FCS opponent is that they happen to be the Champions of the FCS and much higher ranked than CSU. So the Bison did what they were expected to do which was beat us. The Rams didn't hold up their end of the deal which was to make it a close game.
Time of Possession - NDSU 39:52 CSU 20:08
CSU Penalties: 9 - 101 yards
CSU Third Down Conversions: 1-10
CSU Red Zone Chances: 0
By now, your Showdown hangover has subsided and your resolution to “never drink again” is still intact. It’s Wednesday, people. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The NFL starts tonight and we’re already previewing the Rams home opener against North Dakota State, so you’ll be drinking again before you know it. You’re welcome.
Every team has a “trap” game each season that goes something like … “CSU beats CU, forgets NDSU is actually very good, loses, season in the toilet, no new stadium, blah, blah…" Not going to happen. Coach Mac didn’t come to Fort Collins just to beat CU. He came to beat everyone. The Bison are the defending FCS champs, with a 14-1 record in 2011. They are currently #1 in the polls after thumping Robert Morris 52-0. (Robert Morris is a university, not just one guy).
Yes! What a way to start out the McElwain era. It definitely wasn't the prettiest game but I'll take it. There are so many things to take away from this win over the Buffs.
One: The confidence of this Ram team from last year to this year is completely different. Even when we were down 14-3, you just knew we weren't going to give up. You can just feel the energy from the entire team, even from the coaching staff. Coming out the second half, you could start to see some swagger.