Thursday, October 21, 2021

2021 Rams Recap - Week 7 - Lo(w)bos

Where we you on November 21, 2009? I can tell you where I was - angry and frustrated in front of a television watching my Rams fall to the New Mexico Lobos in Albuquerque during a 3-9 season in which CSU did not win a single conference game. Since that day, CSU has rattled off eleven straight victories against the Lobos including this past weekend's Homecoming blowout of our southern neighbors. Now that is a freaking streak...

The story of the game this week was the absolute mockery CSU made of the New Mexico offense after their true freshman starting quarterback wrote checks that his side of the ball could not cash. 

Um... buddy... this was your final stat line...

Ouch... I don't want to pile on, but... 

Needless to say, it was a great day. The weather was beautiful, the stadium was packed, the leaves around campus were changing colors, the defense straight up dominated the Lobos, the offense put up 36 points, and my predicted victory came to fruition. 

The Defense

The Lobos scored zero offensive points. The Lobos ended the game with 69 total yards of offense. The Lobos ended the game averaging less than one yard per pass attempt (LESS THAN ONE YARD PER ATTEMPT!!). The Lobos ended the game averaging 1.5 yards per carry. The Lobos were 2-12 on third down and 0-1 on fourth down. The Lobos had three turnovers (one fumble and two interceptions). 

When I say that the defensive effort on Saturday was historic, I'm not being hyperbolic. They actually made history. 

The Offense

Toddy Centeio and the offense pumped out the most points the Rams have scored in any game this year, scoring 36 on three touchdowns and five field goals. Does this make me excited? A little. But New Mexico was clearly outclassed and the Rams kicked FIVE FIELD GOALS. A quick breakdown of the field goals: 

  • First and goal at the 7. Three straight runs to the 3 yard line, kick a field goal. 
  • First and 10 at the 29. Run, sack, incomplete, kick a field goal.
  • First and 10 at the 23. Run, run, sack, kick a field goal. 
  • First and 10 at the 12. Run, sack, completion, kick a field goal. 
  • First and goal at the 10. Run, run (defensive penalty), run, run, kick a field goal. 
Why CSU cannot score touchdowns when they get into the red zone is a mystery to me. Is it because defenses consolidate with the shortened field? Is the vanilla, repetitive, halfback dive play calling to blame? I honestly do not know. What I do know is that CSU's remaining games will be a challenge to win if the offense continues to struggle getting into the end zone. The next four are brutal: 
  • Utah State in Logan - the Aggies have been a roller coaster this season, but they have averaged 29 points including 324 yards passing per game. With the weakness of our defense residing in the secondary, USU should put up points. 
  • Boise State in Fort Collins - we have never beat them. Ever. 
  • Wyoming in Laramie - Wyoming has been craptastic this season, but this is a rivalry game in their home stadium. They will show up. 
  • Air Force in Fort Collins - The Falcon's lone loss this season was against Utah State where they put up 45 points. 
A 2-2 record over the next four is the lowest I will accept. This keeps the Rams at .500 and gets them one game away from bowl eligibility - something we never would have predicted after the Vanderbilt game. 

3-1 would be better. 

4-0 would be perfection. 

Regardless, there are some big positives that I have seen this season: 
  1. The student section - even after the first two home losses, they continue to show up for the games. It is so encouraging to see the lower east stands fill in before kickoff. 
  2. The effort - while the results may not be fully what we want, this team does not quit or let up. The effort has been high from kick to final whistle. 
  3. Tailgating - missing a year of fall days in Fort Collins with some of my favorite people was a bummer. Being back on campus has been so incredibly wonderful. 
  4. The student section - did I mention the students? 

Flick's Picks

A win for the Rams equaled a win for Mikey. Back to .500! 

WeekOpponentPredictionResultFlick's Picks
1South Dakota StateLSDSU 42 - CSU 231 - 0
2VanderbiltWVU 24 - CSU 211 - 1
3at ToledoLCSU 22 - Tol 61 - 2
4at IowaLCSU 14 - Iowa 242 - 2
6San Jose StateLSJSU 14 - CSU 322 - 3
7at New MexicoWUNM 7 - CSU 363 - 3
8at Utah StateW
9Boise StateL
10at WyomingL
11Air ForceW
12at HawaiiW

No comments: