A game that was met with excitement for Colorado State fans ended in disappointment. The Rams as a 14-point favorite lost to the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors 43-34. Now the Rams have one of the youngest teams in FBS, but there was still expectation that this team would be able to handle the Rainbow Warriors from Hawaii. It took me two days to find the words for this story. Here is the good, the bad and the really ugly of the Colorado State Rams performance over the weekend.
The Good: Once the team fully woke up in the 3rd quarter and 60 percent of the fans left KJ Carta-Samuels put on a show. The graduate transfer from Washington, who won the starting job as Colin Hill recovers from an ACL tear. Carta – Samuels put on an aerial show in which the Ram faithful went crazy. The Rams quickly closed a 30-point gap to within 6 points on separate occasions in the second half. The Rams ran out of time, but Carta-Samuels finished 34/50 535 yards and 5 touchdowns. His favorite targets were Preston Williams who finished with 9 catches for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns. Bisi Johnson finished with 6 catches for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns. If this was put together over 4 quarters who knows what could’ve happened.
The Bad: Special teams was abysmal. Kickers have one job and that’s to kick field goals. Wyatt Bryan missed two field goals badly that were momentum killers. Rams drove down the field before the half and set up for a field goal to cut the deficit to 23-10. He missed the kick wide left. One thing I noticed is during second half warm ups he tried another field goal from the same distance. Hooked it wide right. He missed his following kick from 48 yards out. Ryan Stonehouse didn’t have one of his better games punting. Two fumbled kickoffs but were luckily recovered.
The Really Ugly: The defense was terrible. I would say Hawaii ran the same six plays the entire game and the defense looked unprepared, undisciplined, and outright lost. A freshman safety was put out there on a play in the third where Hawaii sent the slot receiver on a fly route. The freshman was welcomed to college football in a big way. He was torched and it increased Hawaii’s lead to 37-7. The front seven lost containment several times on QB option plays and shovel passes that Hawaii ran repeatedly. All you hear is talk about this defense getting better, but I didn’t see it. When they needed a stop the most late the fourth, Hawaii converted a key third down eventually putting the game out of reach with a late field goal. This defense needs to improve fast because the next three games could be ugly if they don’t.
I believe with a short week but a full week of preparation with Mike Bobo should help right the ship. Give credit to Hawaii though because I think they’re going to be pretty good this season. The Rams have a rivalry game this Friday against Colorado which will be tough.