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PREVIEW OF HATE, WEEK EIGHT: POKING THE BEAR

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CSU almost pulled it off on Saturday, which should count as half of a win in the standings

NCAA Football: Colorado State at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to The Preview of Hate, a wildly popular preview column following the Colorado State Rams athletic program. Each week, we’ll dive into “Tiers” of things I hate about the upcoming matchup. Whether that be the opposing teams uniforms, city, campus, or even the actual game. This week, we look at the upcoming matchup with the UNLV Rebels (who are not running, they run later).

Before we begin, let’s discuss what uh, occurred last week.

So, here’s the thing about Boise State fans: they’re a little sensitive. But don’t call them sensitive then it’s you who is being sensitive, apparently.

I don’t know exactly what happened to banter in sports but apparently you’re not allowed to dislike other teams anymore or pick on them. Well, you can, so long as you don’t pick on Boise State fans. Because they’re a little sensitive about the whole thing.

This, obviously, isn’t representative of all of Boise’s fandom. There were quite a few who played along with the trash talk and even more who gave it back. That’s fun! That’s sports! We have literally zero control over what’s going to happen in the game so, yeah, I’m going to talk a little trash.

Boise, the special snowflakes that they are, would like to remind everyone that THEY are the ONLY good program in the Mountain West and it’s BS that they aren’t in a Power 5 conference right now and that THEY shouldn’t be treated like this. Just a reminder for everyone to NEVER EVER pick on Boise State fans. It’s not that they’re mad (they’re totally mad) they just think it’s stupid (because they’re mad) that fans of teams lesser than Boise would pick on Boise (which makes them mad).

The worst part about all of this is NOT ONE Boise fan took up my offer to DM me and challenge me to a fight in a parking lot. Come on, I specifically asked you to do this.

Wussies.

Turning the attention to the game, Colorado State came to play! The defense handcuffed the Boise State rushing attack early and kept Rypien off balance for nearly two full quarters, only allowing a late first half TD.

Then the second half started!

The Rams are going to give up rushing yards, that’s just what they do. They give up 198 yards per game on the ground (shockingly only 5th worst in the conference somehow). So just expect them to allow the opposing running back to have a day. Jeremy McNichols got going in the second half, as one does, and tore the Rams up for 217 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. McNichols is one of the most talented backs in the conference and the Rams felt it as McNichols opened the second half with two touchdowns to take the game from 7-3 to 21-3.

Somehow, someway, in the fourth quarter, the Rams looked at 28-3 on the scoreboard, they looked at the terrible, stupid blue turf at their feet, and they decided they didn’t want to get blown out by Boise today.

The spread at kickoff was 28 points, Boise State was a 28 point favorite at home against a backup QB.

Nick Stevens decided he didn’t like that. The Rams scored 20 unanswered points, recovered back to back onside kicks, and had a shot at the win with seconds to play.

Then on the final play, well, something happened.

In a flurry of blue turf and green jerseys, there was a bunch of laterals and then a dropped ball and then a technical forward lateral and then the game ended???

I don’t know what happened, I’m not an expert on laterals, I only got a C in Laterals 201 so I didn’t make the grade to take Laterals 300. I’m just going to trust that the refs made the right call here and that Boise State won the game.

But, uh, weird right? Not the average way you lose a game, I would surmise.

Frankly, I hate the idea of “quality losses”. A loss is a loss, you lost the game. But considering two weeks ago the Rams lost to Wyoming and looked awful doing it, this near comeback in Idaho is as close to a “good loss” as my feeble mind will allow.

That blue field is a demogorgon to the Rams and has been for nearly a decade. I can’t imagine only losing a game by 5 there, I really can’t fathom that it’s THIS team that did it. But hey, whatever, the world is crazy. It’s 2016 and David Bowie is dead so why not?

Anyway, to the Tiers.

Las Vegas.

This week’s opponent, UNLV, plays in a city that is fine. It’s a fine city. I have no direct quarrels with Las Vegas.

It’s just extremely overrated.

Sure, you see the commercials and it’s all a bunch of attractive people and clubs that literally never stop bumping and liquor that never stops flowing. That all exists in Vegas, I’ve seen that part of Vegas.

But have you seen the other parts?

Have you seen the family of eight from Florida taking up the entire walk of the strip? Have you seen them having their kids sit at the slot machines next to them while they gamble? Have you seen it?

You always hear about “the part of Honolulu you never see,” or “the part of New York City you never see,” to encourage people to learn about the downtrodden citizens of the tourist cities they visit.

They should make a “the part of Las Vegas you never see,” but it’s just obese women named Linda screaming at the waitress in Caesar’s Palace at 2PM on a Tuesday for making her a single Captain and Diet instead of a double.

Tier Two

Let me just look up the offensive statistics for UNLV before the game on Saturday and see if UNLV matches up well with CSU and oh, sweet Jesus.

UNLV averages 247 yards on the ground per game and they haven’t even played CSU yet.

For reference to CSU’s struggles so far in the conference, they allowed 269 yards to sixth place Wyoming and 226 yards to 10th place Boise. So extrapolate that to UNLV rushing for nearly 50 more yards per game than Wyoming and you’re looking at allowing over 300 yards on the ground on Saturday.

I got a C- in math so don’t quote me on that.

CSU’s run defense is, in polite terms, not good. It’s hurt them in every loss this season, they allow big holes, they almost never bring the runner down on first contact, and they really struggle when the running back is big, fast, or some unholy combo of the two. Luckily, only every single running back in division one football is big or fast. Really, what I’m counting on here is that the Rams run into a running back who is just super tired or hungover before the game.

Tier Three

Nick Stevens.

Look, I’m not going to say Nick Stevens looked awful all game, he didn’t. He had a great second half. He also looked pretty good against Utah State.

But he finished 17/31 against Boise with 189 yards. He wasn’t exactly prolific and had the Rams not gotten a couple of bounces from the egg shaped ball, this could’ve finished 28-10 and not looked as good.

He kept his poise though, in a tough environment, in a place the Rams haven’t won since 1683. I’m not disappointed in Nick Stevens’ play through one and a half games in his return to starter.

I’m just not sure he’s going to be enough to overcome some of these coin flip games like UNLV.

UNLV, Air Force, New Mexico. These are three games that could go either way this season and if Stevens CAN’T lead the Rams to wins in at least two of them, kiss the dang New Mexico bowl goodbye.

I’ve been worried about the quarterbacks since the first week of camp and that’s not going to stop just because of a wild fourth quarter. The Rams really need Nick if they have postseason hopes.

Tier Four

Las Vegas, again.

This may be more of a beef with the creative content director at MTV, but Las Vegas really ruins the Real World.

I’m a big fan of the reality television on MTV, I won’t deny that I may be one of the few fans over the age of 22 that does still enjoy the programming but the last Real World was in Las Vegas and frankly, the whole thing was ruined because of the city.

Las Vegas just isn’t a place to put people for a reality show because, especially on the strip, it’s not really a town with “residents” per se. Yes, people live there. But if you’re in a bar on the strip what do you think is more likely: you meet someone from Dubai or you meet someone who lives in Vegas?

The Real World needs that “resident” feel to it, in my opinion. It needs that local feel, it needs that actual real world potential. Las Vegas is not the real world. It’s advertising, colors, and lights blasted at you until your eyes bleed and you spend all of your money on some watered down margaritas and a Miller Lite.

Las Vegas is Disney World for adults, it’s difficult for anyone to convince me it’s a real city. If you told me tomorrow you grew up in Las Vegas I would spit out of my coffee in a really dramatic way like I was in a movie about aliens and they just told me the aliens invaded. It’s bonkers, my mind can’t wrap it’s head around the idea. It’s like a fake city to me, I just assume they bus people in from Arizona every morning like The Truman Show and everyone just works a 24 hour shift. In my mind, Las Vegas is some kind of resident free wasteland of whiskey and cocaine. One day they’ll cancel all flights into Las Vegas for a week and the national news will come in because the strip looks like every scene in I Am Legend. My brain can’t comprehend the sheer guts it would take to live in Las Vegas full time, so I just deny that anyone does for my own mental safety.

Anyway, that’s why you shouldn’t put The Real World there anymore.

★ ★ ★

I’m taking CSU by seven in this one. UNLV is decent though so if the Rams lose please don’t yell at me.

Next week, another city I’ve never been to, Fresno.