Sep 182003
 
Authors: Jon Ackerman

Don’t act like this is your first time. It happens all the

time.

“Watch out now. One of the best quarterback prospects in the

nation is coming to CSU. Secondary beware, you’re about to be lit

up.”

We’ve heard the early praise of Miami of Ohio’s stud

signal-caller, Ben Roethlisberger (who from this point on will be

known simply as Booger). He got a write-up in the Sporting News

saying he was the No. 1 draft prospect at quarterback, even though

he’s a junior and may not even enter the draft. There was a story

about him and the rest of the RedHawks in the New York Times on

Thursday.

But this Booger doesn’t scare me, or the CSU defense. They’re

used to this.

Last year it was Louisville’s Dave Ragone, now a backup QB on

the Houston Texans. The man in front of him there? David Carr,

formerly of Fresno State, the stud who came to Hughes Stadium in

2001.

Booger can put up all the passing numbers he wants. Last week he

was 28-of-37 for 353 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions

in a 44-14 win over Northwestern. He connected with 10 different

receivers.

Good work. None of that makes a difference here.

Ragone and Carr put up some gaudy numbers against the Rams. Last

year, Ragone was 22-of-41 for 294 yards, one touchdown and one

pick. Two years ago, Carr was 28-of-37 for 389 yards, two

touchdowns and no picks.

Neither NFL prospect alone beat CSU. The Rams held on against

Louisville last year, 36-33, though Ragone led quite a comeback.

The year before, Carr also drove a comeback, but Fresno State

knocked off CSU in overtime on the strength of a better overall

team (No.8 in the nation at the time) and a clutch kicker.

Think anything will be different Saturday, when Booger tries to

throw rings around the Rams?

Nope. He’s a good quarterback, so the RedHawks will try to

throw. Just like Louisville and Fresno State. Booger will make his

plays, toss a couple touchdowns, but won’t be the difference in the

ball game. Just like Ragone and Carr.

If there is a difference between the Rams that’ll face Booger

and the Rams that faced Ragone and Carr, it’s our quarterback.

Against Carr, Bradlee Van Pelt was an untested sophomore. His

numbers were of JV status compared to Carr’s, but he ran for a

53-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and threw a 21-yard TD pass

late in the fourth to give the Rams the lead.

Against Ragone, Van Pelt was a bit more experienced, but still

not a good overall quarterback.

Now he is. He’s always been able to run. Now he can pass. And if

not better, than as good as Booger.

But as past games with featured quarterbacks will tell you, it’s

not about that one guy. Only John Elway can carry a team to success

without a supporting cast.

But he’s also known as God, and even he needed Terrell Davis to

win the big one.

Carr beat CSU because he had help. Ragone couldn’t beat CSU

because Van Pelt had help. Booger won’t beat CSU because he has no

help and Van Pelt is better than ever and still has help.

The CSU secondary has been somewhat suspect this season,

especially when it got lit like a doobie by a minor leaguer in

Denver. But those guys have responded since.

Let the Sporting News say Booger’s the top QB prospect in the

country. Let the New York Times tell him he’s a Heisman candidate.

The Rams have experienced it all before.

They’re not virgins.

 

 

 

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