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2008 Mountain West Coference Football Preview: #5 Colorado State Rams

#9 San Diego State


#7 Air Force

#6 Wyoming

This may same high for a team that was terrible last year and a team that is breaking in a new starting quarterback. However, the Rams should pose one of the best running attacks in the league with Gatrell Johnson III and Kyle Bell back full from his injury, and include Kory Sperry who is a top two league tight end, before he injured his knee early on in the Cal game. The coaching staff is new with Steve Fairchild taking over for long time coach Sonny Lubbick. Fairchild was with the program during the teams great run during the 90's where the team went to multiple bowl games and won multiple conference titles.

Offense: The quarterback situation finally came to an end and the starter to replace Caleb Hanie will be Senior Billy Farris. Farris has seen very little time on the field as last year he had only 20 attempts. The Rams should not have to rely heavily on Farris, because the running game should be one of the strongest in the league. Kyle Bell who came back last year in 2007 after sitting out 2006 with a torn ACL was good at times, but he was no where near is 2005 season when he was considered one of the leagues top runners. Gattrell Johson III came on very strong and actually replaced Bell as the starter near the end of the season. If both backs can produce to their potential then the running game could be dominant and by doing that the passing game will open up.

Tight end Kory Sperry was a stud during his first game against Colorado and in the limited time against Cal before he injured his knee. Sperry was the most reliable target during his time on the field, and the same goes for him as it does for Bell that if he comes back from injury he can be one of the leagues elite at his position.

Defense: Football is all about defense, and the Rams struggled to stop teams last year by giving up 31 points per game. The six starters back should help, but only one of those is back on the defensive line in senior defensive end Tommie Hill who lead the team in sacks last year with five and a half.

The linebackers should be fine with all three starters back and their top back up as well. The linebackers will need to help with the running game because the Rams had a tough time defending the run last year. If the linebacking corp can stay healthy then expect this to be the best unit the team has.

Defensive backs are covered at the safety position but the corners will be filled with new and inexperienced players. Both starting corners graduating and thus leaving two large holes for players to fill. The Rams only have one corner on the roster with any division one experience and that is DeAngelo Wilkinson and he suffered a shoulder injury and was limited in the spring. The secondary will have to grow up quick in this pass happy league in order to keep the team competitive.

August 31 at Colorado
September 6 Sacramento State
September 20 Houston
September 27 at California
October 4 UNLV
October 11 TCU
October 18 at Utah
October 25 at San Diego State
November 1 No. 16 Brigham Young
November 8 at Air Force
November 15 New Mexico
November 22 at Wyoming

Lock it up... Sacramento State

50/50... Colorado, Houston, UNLV, TCU, @ San Diego State, @ Air Force, New Mexico, @Wyoming

No Chance... @Cal, @Utah, BYU

Projected Record: 6-6