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A Rant on Colorado State and Their Nemesis, the 2nd Half

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Here is a table of CSU's efforts in the first and second half.  Let those numbers soak in for a second.

 

Opponent

1st Half (CSU-Opponent)

2nd Half (CSU-Opponent)

Result, 2nd half margin, Lead

Colorado

20 - 3

3 - 14

W (23-17) -11, Biggest Lead 17

Weber State

17 - 20

7 - 3

W (24-23) +4, Biggest Lead 11

Nevada

14 - 0

21 – 20

W (35-20) +1, Biggest Lead 29

BYU

7 - 21

16 – 21

L (23-42) -5, No lead

Idaho

20 - 10

9 – 21 *Blown 13pt lead

L (29-31) -11, Biggest Lead 13

Utah

3 – 3

14 – 21 *Blown 14pt lead

L (17-24) -7, Biggest Lead 14

TCU

6 – 17 *Blown 6pt lead

0 - 27

L (6-44) -27, Biggest Lead 6

SDSU

21 - 7

7 – 35 *Blown 14pt lead

L (28-42) - 27, Biggest Lead 14

Totals

108 – 81 Advantage Rams

77 – 162 Advantage Opp.

(3-5), -85, Four blown leads

 

 

So what does it all mean?  Simply it means that CSU has been outscored by enough points that they have lost 5 games and won 3.  Ok, past the mocking comments. They have only outscored two opponents in the second half this year, one of those teams was DII Weber State.  They have been outscored by more than 200% in the second half!

Should they blame injuries?  Scheme or adjustments? Defense or offense? Or are the Rams just not a good team getting lucky in the first half of games?  Let's dig in...

Steve Fairchild won't blame injuries and that is fair.  He recruits the whole team not just the starting 22, but losing players on a week to week basis hurts consistency. The Rams have lost two starting defenders for the year in consecutive weeks.  Injuries have been a factor on every function of the team.  On defense it has been the worst; defensive line has had injuries to Cory Macon and Ty Whittier, linebackers Alex Williams and Michael Kawulok have \will miss time, in the secondary Klint Kubiak is done and Gerard Thomas missed a game.

 On offense it's better but not by much; lineman Shelley Smith missed time, running backs John Mosure and Leonard Mason have missed games, WR T.J. Borcky has missed games and Rashaun Greer must have missed time when he got his hands removed and frying pans transplanted to replace them.  Those are just the major injuries the Rams have had.  Like I said before, injuries will hurt any team but shouldn't be blamed solely.

The scheme has stayed the same and adjustments have been lacking at best.  Without serious game film to study it is hard to say what adjustments are being made by Larry Kerr on defense.  The Rams secondary is getting eaten alive though in the schemes they run.  Zone and man defenses have gotten burnt.  The frustrating ones have been mostly in zone coverage as they seem to favor it in the second half.  The pass has been the main weapon of choice against them.  A few SDSU players had career days last week and proved that.

  What can they do about it?  Throw different zones and looks at teams.  Once again without film it's hard to say for sure but they seem to sit in the same zones the majority of the time.  They get picked apart on the outsides in the 10-15 yard range.  Need a first down against the Rams?  Throw an up and out at the 1st down marker, they haven't stopped it all year.  The Idaho game was very frustrating to watch because they ran about 3 routes all night and they kept working.  I would like to see more playing the ball in the air by the CB's as they have gotten beat on a few passes that could have been picks or deflected passes.  You can counter this with why does the scheme work in the first half and not the second.  I will say poor/no adjustments are the issue for sure, not the overall scheme.

So who's to blame defense or offense?  Yes, exactly.  Giving up 20.9 points a second half is unacceptable.  Only scoring 9.6 per second half is unacceptable.  The defense is the main culprit here, you shouldn't blow double digit leads with less than 30 minutes of football to play.  The offense is not helping but the defense should be upset with their performances.

Is CSU good enough to win games? Yes.  They are inconsistent and that has led to their second half blunders.  But that doesn't mean they are a bad team.  They did lead in all but one of their games and you could  look at them and say they should be a 6-2 football team.  Idaho, Utah and SDSU were all games they had in control, if you're a bad team you don't get double digit leads like they had.  Good teams don't blow them but I am not writing this team off as a bad football team.  They are floating in between average and good.  CSU makes a couple more plays in those three games and they are 6-2, 7-1 maybe if Rashaun Greer doesn't have his frying pan hand transplant right before the BYU game.  8-0? Only if TCU gets team wide H1N1 and we play their intramural flag football team.

Who/what is to blame then? Injuries? Sure, they have caused them to be inconsistent and play some guys who aren't ready.  Scheme/Adjustments? Sure, they have gotten beat on the same plays and it is not because a complete lack of physical talent, this is the biggest culprit.  Offense or Defense?  Yup, looking at both of them.  No hiding special teams we see you there in the back screwing it up too.  Bad football team? Not bad, not good, kind of like the purgatory of football teams.  Chalk it up to a little of everything, players and coaching staff.

What I do know is the Rams can turn this into a bowl season yet with two beatable teams in UNLV and New Mexico coming up.  They can steal a home game against Air Force or Wyoming, never under estimate home field in college football.  What I do know is watching another horrid second half of football in 30 degree weather isn't my idea of a fun Saturday.