As head coach Sonny Lubick seemed pleased to start a normal week of practice leading up to the game Saturday against Nevada, he reflected on what his players have to do for the Rams to be successful.
"From this point on should be a major stretch from here on out," Lubick said. "One of the goals that I have is that we need a few more guys to step up because we will have those injuries where a player will be out for a week to three weeks."
Starting offensive guard Brandon Alconcel will miss this week's game due to a shoulder injury. Junior running back Nnamdi Ohaeri is considered doubtful for Nevada, but has recovered from his high ankle injury faster than expected.
Lubick also touched on why the bye week, while early in the season, came at a great time for the Rams to recover from injuries.
"If we had to play this past Saturday I don't think Justin (Holland) would have played much, if at all, and I don't think Miles (Kochevar) would have played. Hopefully both will be cleared to practice this afternoon."
Monday's practice was out of the norm for the Rams. Generally the team reviews film and the game plan for the upcoming team on Mondays. Coming off last week's bye, however, the Rams took the field for a quick one-hour practice.
"We had a pretty good practice today," said redshirt freshman safety Mike Pagnotta. "We just went over our general stuff today."
The Rams' main focus was to go over special teams. The team worked on punts and punt returns, which has been a sore spot to the Rams so far this season.
The Rams continue to look for new players to step up and fill much needed roles on special teams that current starters are being forced into.
"There are four or five young guys who feel they can help us in some areas," Lubick said. "One guy that looked awfully good to me helping us on special teams is (sophomore wide receiver) George Hill, he looks like he has a knack for things."
The George Hill-type players will be counted on heavily to fill in for players such as Kochevar and senior safety Travis Garcia on special teams, to give them a rest.
The Rams will be back out on the practice field today for their first full practice of the week.
Ohaeri (ankle) is doubtful. Holland (ankle) is likely to play. Alconcel (shoulder) is out two to three weeks. Junior linebacker John Witt (knee) is out one to two weeks.