Wednesday, November 18, 2020

2020 Ram Recap - Weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4 - Smorgasborg

As one would expect with a newborn arriving the first week of November, the amount of time available to digest the performance of the CSU football team has been minimal. Now that little Morgan has arrived and we are settling into our routine, I have found pockets here and there to keep my creative endeavors moving. This includes recaps of what the Rams have produced thus far this season. And wow - the results are all over the board. Seems about right for the year 2020.  

Week 1 - New Mexico

The state of New Mexico has been a hotbed of COVID activities and, despite the efforts of the universities and the Mountain West Conference, the game between the Lobos and Rams was cancelled with no plan to reschedule. This game was one that I was looking forward to - the Rams have a decade-long win streak against our southern state neighbors. The Lobos, like the Rams, are in the first year of a head coaching regime. Their program has been in shambles over the last several years. This could have been a great warmup game to get the Addazio squad game-ready and game-tested. Alas, we are CSU football fans and cannot have nice things. 

Final score:
New Mexico - 0
Colorado State - 0

Week 2 - Fresno State

As I filled in my predictions, the number of games that looked like wins was LOW. I scrambled to find a game that looked close that I could flip the Ram's way. I ended up flipping the Fresno State game in favor of my team. In hindsight, that was a poor choice. The Bulldogs had lost the previous week against Hawaii so there was some hope as kickoff neared. From the jump, the Bulldogs were the better team and this continued through the entire game. The starting of Todd Centeio at quarterback took the Ram faithful by surprise; everyone had expected Patrick O'Brien to start with Centeio as a change-of-pace option strategically used within the gameplan. Instead, we got a run-heavy option approach that was not able to keep up with the Fresno State scoring. By the time O'Brien was inserted into the game, the score was out of reach with the time remaining. The first game of the Joey Lynch offense at CSU was not the most impressive, but he was without Dante Wright (stud). 

The biggest concern from that game was the secondary. Fresno State receivers were running wide open the entire game. The weakness in the secondary showed prominently on multiple third and long plays that resulted in large gains for first downs or short 4th down situations that Fresno was able to execute. 

Final score:
Colorado State - 17
Fresno State - 38

Week 3 - W(h)yoming

The last time that we had our hands on the Bronze Boot was 2015 - Bobo's first year as head coach with a roster full of Jim McElwain recruits. Bobo could not mess that one up and his first year Boot victory gave us a false sense of excitement around this new coaching staff. This year was different - a new staff with a bunch of Bobo recruits who had a string of losing seasons behind them and not much optimism with the program. 

But man, did the Rams show up to play. The Rams received the opening kickoff and gained one first down before punting. Then the Rams set the tone - Xazavian Valladay was stuffed in the backfield on first down, bringing up second and 12. An incomplete pass put Wyoming in the exact position that had killed CSU the week before: third and long. Luckily, Levi Williams is not Jake Haener and a great break on the ball by Marshaun Cameron ended up with Cameron and the football in the end zone. 7-0 Rams. 

Next possession, Cameron sacked Williams and forced a fumble which was recovered by Dequan Jackson. One play later, Trey McBride was waltzing into the end zone with the football and the Rams had what I have been told is a "two touchdown lead". It has been so long, I had forgotten what that was. 

The Cowboys are a resilient team and naturally fought their way back into the contest. With a little over eight minutes remaining in the game, CSU received a kickoff following a Wyoming touchdown to bring the score within seven. Patrick O'Brien, A'Jon Vivens, Dante Wright, Marcus McElroy, and Trey McBride took nearly six minutes off the clock and moved the ball to the Wyoming 29 yard line. Freshman kicker Robert Liss, who had missed a 45 yard field goal earlier in the game, walked out and stuck the dagger in the Pokes with a 48 yard beauty through the uprights. The ten point lead would hold and the Rams would finally get to rush across the field to grab that beloved "trophy" (again, this is a word that I have not used in five years so I am a bit rusty). I do not care what happens the rest of the year - we won the Boot. Life is good. 

Final score:
W(h)yoming - 24
Colorado State - 34

Week 4 - Boise State

Did we pick a bad week to play Boise State. The previous week, Boise was ranked in the top 25 and hosted a top 10 team in BYU. BYU ran roughshod over the Broncos, embarrassing them at every turn. The CSU game was a bit of a revenge/recovery game for Boise State and they flat steamrolled the Rams. 

The game started off poorly and the Rams could never recover. Let us take a look at the possessions to start the game... 
  • CSU: 3 plays, -3 yards, Stonehouse punt blocked and returned for a Boise touchdown (0-7)
  • CSU: 3 plays, 4 yards, punt - fumbled by Boise and recovered by CSU only to produce...
  • CSU: 3 plays, 4 yards, punt 
  • BSU: 10 plays, 48 yards, TD (0-14)
  • CSU: 4 plays, 13 yards, punt
  • BSU: 3 plays, -9 yards, punt
  • CSU: 6 plays, 44 yards, blocked field goal returned for a Boise touchdown (0-21)
Just like that, the Rams were down by three touchdowns. Game over. For anyone keeping track at home, the Rams currently are the proud owners of [calculator noises][super complicated math going on in the background][Dustin Hoffman Rain Man brain] zero victories against Boise State. We have never won a football game against them. Fortunately, they are a junior college and we crush them in academics, which is totally what all the cool kids use as their metric.

Final score:
Colorado State - 21
Boise State - 52

Looking Ahead

The University of Nevada Southern Showgirl Edition is scheduled for this upcoming Saturday. There were some reports of the game being cancelled due to COVID, but those reports were unsubstantiated as of this post being posted. Naturally, the games that CSU have a great chance of winning are the ones that are impacted by COVID. The joys of being a CSU fan. If the game does happen, I like CSU at home against the Rebels. Even up the record and get closer to bowl eligibility (I snorted). 

Flick's Picks

Enough about the football team - how did YOU do Mike? Well, not great, Bob. 

WeekOpponentPredictionResultFlick's Picks
1New MexicoWCOVID0 - 0
2at Fresno StateWCSU 17 - FSU 380 - 1
3WyomingLUW 24 - CSU 340 - 2
4at Boise StateLBSU 52 - CSU 211 - 2
6at Air ForceL
7at San Diego StateL

8Utah StateL

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