The goal for the CSU offense was to control the ball and keep the Minnesota offense off the field; 56 points later, goal not accomplished.
The CSU offense was supposed to move the ball on the ground and use short passes to sustain long drives and rest the Ram defense. In the end it was far from obtained.
"Well as they say in the old days, this was a good old-fashioned butt-kicking," said Head Coach Sonny Lubick, who's Rams were blown out by the Big 10 conference's Minnesota Golden Gophers 56-24 at the HHH Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn. Saturday.
The Ram offense managed just seven plays in the first quarter, and sophomore punter Jimmy Kaylor touched the ball more times, two punts, than senior receiver David Anderson, none, in the opening fifteen minutes.
The Ram defense gave the team a chance early, allowing just a field goal in the opening quarter. But after the Rams had to settle for a field goal after having a first and goal from the three, the Minnesota run game took off behind junior running back Laurence Maroney.
Maroney scored on touchdown runs of two and 32 in a 19-point second quarter for the Golden Gophers, to break the game open and take a 22-10 lead into halftime.
"We really thought if we could get something going that first possession of the second half we were right in the ball game," Lubick said.
The Rams couldn't get anything together, and the blowout took form. Minnesota outscored the Rams by 20 in the quarter and never looked back.
The Rams weren't able to do anything they wanted to on offense, defense or special teams.
The Rams managed just 59 total yards on the ground, as compared to the 355 the defense allowed to the Gophers. The Rams also had a punt block go for a touchdown, and the offense had three more turnovers, making a total of seven in the first two games.
"There's not a guy in this locker room who doesn't believe we're a better team than what we showed today," junior offensive tackle Clint Oldenburg said. "It's just pretty tough to feel good about anything."
The Rams had high hopes coming into this season of returning to the form the Rams have known since Lubick came to Fort Collins 13 years ago. Now they're 0-2 for the second consecutive season, and the Mountain West Conference is looking as strong as ever, already boasting wins over Oklahoma, Washington and Missouri.
Another big problem for the Rams so far is injuries. Last week their starting running back, junior Nnamdi Ohaeri, went down with a high ankle sprain that will keep him out for at least two to three more weeks. Saturday senior quarterback Justin Holland left the game with an ankle sprain and didn't return. Senior guard Brandon Alconcel also left the game on the same play as Holland with a shoulder injury.
Despite the injuries the Rams also have a lot to work on as they have been able to muster just 144 rushing yards through the first two games, while they've allowed 468. Luckily for the Rams they'll have enough time to work, with this week being the teams lone idle.
"I think this bye comes at a good time," Lubick said. "We'll go back to work and try to get better, now we'll see what the heck we're made of."
After the bye the Rams next play their first home game Sept. 24 when they host Nevada.