It all seems so familiar.
A team from a mid-major college football conference playing
top-notch football with athletes shunned by other larger schools. A
team ranked nationally, earning respect from the national media and
dominating the conference. A team with a coach nationally respected
for turning a program from nothing to a perennial contender.
It used to be CSU.
However, after a 7-6 season last year and a 3-5 start to this
one, CSU is no longer the top of the Mountain West. That title is
currently held in Salt Lake City, home of the Utah Utes.
Utah (8-0, 4-0 MWC), ranked sixth in the Bowl Championship
Series rankings, is trying to become the first non- BCS conference
school to earn a place in a BCS game. They are also the defending
“I’d like to see a team break the BCS,” said junior wide
receiver David Anderson. “But, it’s not going to happen while I’m
at CSU unless it’s CSU.”
The Utes, who have averaged 46 points and almost 500 yards of
offense per game this year, are led by second-year head coach Urban
Meyer. Meyer is regarded as one of the best young collegiate
football coaches in the nation. He said CSU is the measuring stick
for his team.
“Right now, we’re a one-year wonder. Nothing more,” Meyer said.
“They are the champs several times over.”
Utah, winners of 12 straight games dating to last year, beat CSU
28-21 in the conference opener for both teams. In that game, CSU
lost four fumbles but still came back from a 21-7 deficit in the
fourth quarter to challenge the Utes before falling short.
Utah has dominated the MWC ever since.
The Rams hope to find their offense, one that has been
inconsistent all year. True freshman Caleb Hanie said the offense
needed to play with a sense of urgency to keep up with the
“We have to put some points on the board,” Hanie said. “It’d be
good to score consecutive touchdowns two or three times during the
Hanie also knows that turnovers will be a quick killer for
“I’ve got to take care of the ball, and play error free
football,” Hanie said. “And you’re going to have to run the ball
The Utes also have the best scoring defense, giving up the
fewest points per game (18.4), and third in total defense (341
yards per game).
This game also carries more weight for CSU than normal. The Rams
must win their remaining three games this season to become eligible
for postseason play for a sixth consecutive year.
“We’ve been down a lot, especially this season,” Anderson said.
“But if we can pick up a win right here, we can make a lot of