The Colorado State Rams moved to 2-0, 1-0 in conference on the year with a 33-14 win. The score isn't really the story since they were playing a FCS school who had lost to Lindenwood University. The Rams dominated. That was the game really. The story is how the Rams played and why they did certain things. If you just want a game recap then your not a smart person. That would be a waste of time, the game was fairly boring and over in the 1st quarter. The second half was a glorified practice to the Rams. However, stick with me after The Jump and learn something about the CSU Rams.
Oh, this could be the worst game in CSU history(ish) if Mychal Sisson did break something in his leg. My guess is yes he did. My first thought was oh shit, my second one is hoping he gets a medical redshirt. Uhhh, let's get past The Jump before I get depressed.
I will go through the Rams unit by unit. Let's kick it off with Pete Thomas.
His three interceptions will be the story. I will break them down. First was into the wind and thrown a half second to late. No wind and its a touchdown. Thrown a half second/step earlier and its a touchdown. It was a interception and Thomas needs to get that out a bit earlier and realize the weather conditions. Thomas's fault, but a hard luck INT none the less. Second pick was a tip at the line and popped straight up. Hard to place blame here since Thomas is 6'4 and has a high release point. These picks happen to everyone. Third was a "trying to get better pick". Fairchild said he left Thomas in to long, and the purpose was to learn some things and get game reps. It was 3rd and long and on my couch I said something similar to what Fairchild would have told him. It went something like "Throw it anyways and try and get something deep in coverage" Well Thomas got picked. No way he makes that throw in a close game or even a conference game. The second half was a glorified practice.
Thomas in whole had a good game and got unlucky. Thomas was 28-42, good for a 67% completion percentage. He had easily 5 or 7 dropped balls. His option on a high fade route for a touchdown was 5'8" freshman Charles Lovett. If Lovett is 6'2 it's a touchdown. Lee Clubb dropped a touchdown. This could have easily been a 2 touchdown 2 or 1 interception game with a 70%+ completion percentage. Oh, Thomas is the only CSU sophomore to have 3,000 yards in his career. He should end up over 5,000 at the end of this year. That would put him in the middle top ten all time at CSU. He is good, but learning.
The running backs! Whatever we know the offensive line does the work. That is how a FBS line should look against an FCS line. The Rams O-line dominated to the tune of 242 yards with 3 touchdowns. That is a 5.9 average overall. Thomas was only sacked once I believe. Raymond Carter had 100 yards, even with dancing around too much. Chris Nwoke got the second half off due to possible injury and a blowout. Nwoke had 5.9 YPC average and a touchdown. Derek Good had a gruesome thumb injury on his second carry, then ended the game with 9 carries for 81 yards. Good looked good. Over at Ramifications a Rams football blog they have been calling for more carries for Good and their case just got stronger. Good might have looked the best. He should get carries in the future, I hope at Carter's expense instead of Nwoke. Carter has a bad habit of not hitting holes fast enough, negating his speed and open field moves. Overall the O-Line was great, even with a string of injuries to the fullback position.
The wide receivers, not a great game, maybe not even good. The starters, Marquise Law and Lou Greenwood were ok. Both had drops, two in Law's case. Freshman Lee Clubb lead the team with 4 catches for 50 yards. 12 different players caught a pass, Fairchild knew it wasn't going to be close so he spread it around. This team is missing the go to guy. Media is saying Greenwood needs to be that guy, but I don't see it and it's no fault to Greenwood. At a listed 6-1, read 5'11, and new to the position I don't see Greenwood carrying the team. Law and if/when Byron Steele gets off suspension needs to step up. Thomas needs a big target to go to. Crocket Gillmore missed on a jump ball in the endzone, he will need to be that go to guy until a WR steps up. Ho hum day for the receiving corps today.
Defense, very good again. No 10 sacks or 4 forced fumbles but a very good day. The pressure upfront was very good again, the inside guys are getting it done. Nuku Latu and John Froland got their names called in the broadcast booth a few times today for good reason. The inside does their job and the DT's can do theirs. The line does their job and the other seven guys are free to make plays.
Two interceptions by the Rams today. One was a direct result of John Froland(I think, the MTN didn't replay it enough for me to see the number) getting a hand on the QB's arm during a throw. The other was a great pick by Ivory Herd getting a beat on the ball and being more aggressive and athletic then the receiver. Just 49 total yards in the first half. Add on a play where freshman LB Max Morgan drove his man into the QB and got a safety without touching him and it was a good day for the Rams on D. Mike Orakpo played great again and is looking like another Sisson in the making.
The Rams used the second half to work on things in looking forward to the CU Buffs which makes the stat sheet a little deceptive. I called for the Rams to not leave yards on the field in the running game and they didn't leave many if any. The defense played another stellar game getting production at positions weak in the past. The Rams played this game great besides the injuries.
The Ram faithful will go to bed praying for Mychal Sisson's right leg tonight. Let's hope their prayers are answered because this team is 1-3 wins worse with out him and a lot less fun to watch.