The Rams started practice this week minus one of their most
experienced defensive players. Eric Pauly’s career at CSU is over.
A knee injury has finished his senior season early and he will have
to watch as the football team tries to overcome its 2-3 record.
“It’s a huge loss for the football team,” said head coach Sonny
Lubick, in his weekly press conference. “He’s the player you want
on your team but as (Pauly) says, that’s football.”
Stepping up to fill the weakside linebacker position is the
6-foot-1, 221-pound sophomore from Arlington, Texas, Courtney
Jones. Senior middle linebacker, and Pauly’s roommate, Drew Wood
has complete confidence in the young replacement.
“You hope you can go through the season without any injuries but
that just doesn’t happen,” Wood said. “The fact is Courtney Jones
is going to be a good player; he’s no Eric Pauly yet, but who
Tuesday was the Rams’ first practice since losing to Mountain
West Conference rivals Utah on Saturday. The intensity showed with
all the players looking to prove a point. Wood said that it’s
important for the older players to lead by example.
“Talk is cheap,” Wood said. “I could come out here and say we’re
gonna beat (Fresno State) on Saturday, but if you come out hard and
work hard then the younger guys will follow suit.”
Both sides of the ball have the attitude that if they work hard
in practice, it’s going to pay off. The players have noted that one
of the biggest differences between this season and last season is
the inability to win close games.
They believe that, by coming out to practice, working hard and
transferring that hard work onto the football field, they can
“I think we’re upbeat, we had a really good practice today,”
said senior quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt, after practice Tuesday.
“Obviously we’re disappointed, we want to win and we expect
ourselves to win.”
Van Pelt said that the players just want to get back on the
field. Regardless of how tired they all are from Saturday’s game
they just want to prove to themselves as well as everyone else that
they can win.
They will have their chance when they face the Fresno State
Bulldogs (3-2) Saturday for CSU’s homecoming game. The game starts
at 1 p.m. at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, following the
annual parade that starts at 9 a.m.