Oct 182004
 
Authors: Jon Pilsner

Sometimes adversity brings a football team closer. At least

that’s what CSU football head coach Sonny Lubick is hoping for this

week.

Facing Wyoming without his starting quarterback, Lubick said he

is confident his team is going to play hard behind backup

quarterback Caleb Hanie this week at his weekly press conference

Monday.

“Caleb is going to be OK. He might be better than OK,” Lubick

said. “He is smart and he is a tough kid. This is a challenge to

the coaches and to Caleb and we will see what we can do.”

Hanie, a true freshman from Forney, Texas, will start this

weekend against the border rival in place of starter Justin

Holland, who broke his leg in Saturday’s 21-17 CSU win over San

Diego State. It will be Hanie’s first career start.

Lubick said while Hanie needs more repetitions in the offense,

he is willing to learn and has impressed the coaches.

“This kid has his mind made up and he wants to play,” Lubick

said. “All of his actions say that, too.”

Lubick said Hanie has talked to the coaches once a week and

looked at game film to help learn the offense, so he earned the

backup role after being listed fourth on the preseason depth

chart.

“He did an excellent job. He showed mental toughness,” Lubick

said. “He didn’t expect to go in, but he prepared himself.”

Lubick said Holland had surgery at noon Monday to help stabilize

the leg. He will miss the remainder of his junior season.

“I talked with (Holland) after the game and on the plane, but

there is just not much to say,” Lubick said. “He will be a very

integral part of our team. I want him to be on the sidelines, in

the locker room, in pre-game functions, but we won’t force him

to.”

Lubick said the defense was more confident after forcing three

turnovers against SDSU, including a fumble late in the game that

allowed CSU to score the go-ahead touchdown. Linebacker Luke Adkins

also returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown and was

named player of the game by Lubick.

“That was nice to see some turnovers,” Lubick said. “If you can

end up on the plus side in turnovers every game, you are going to

be good.”

Starting free safety Ben Stratton also did not play much against

SDSU after injuring his right ankle in the first quarter. Lubick

said he wanted Stratton, who is CSU’s leading tackler, back and

healthy but wasn’t concerned with the depth at safety.

“Adam Lancisero had a great game, he played solid,” Lubick said.

“Miles (Kochevar) played pretty darn well. And Travis (Garcia)

played very well.”

Garcia, who plays on special teams, will start if Stratton is

unable to play. He will share time with both Lancisero and Kochevar

in the secondary.

“Those three guys are going to be our guys down the road and I

think they are going to play pretty well,” Lubick said.

Another player who stepped up and received significant playing

time was freshman tight end Kory Sperry. Sperry, who caught three

passes for 36 yards, also joined the special teams squad. Despite

Sperry being inexperience and slightly undersized, Lubick has

confidence in the true freshman.

“Kory was pretty darn good. He and Travis (Garcia) played very

well on special teams,” Lubick said. “He is good enough to get it

done.”

The other injury that has the Rams concerned is the leg injury

to junior running back Jimmy Green. Green rushed 21 times for 51

yards and one touchdown but was hobbling around on crutches

Monday.

“He made some tough runs and he was running with his shoulders

straight,” Lubick said. “I feel good about the running game when he

is in there, but we will know more (on Tuesday) about his

condition.”

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