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Football is a game of opportunities. You can pound your opponent into the ground, but if you don't capitalize when you need to, you will be, well, the CSU team Saturday.
The visiting San Diego State Aztecs did not manhandle the Rams Saturday. They definitely played well, but this was not a performance for the ages. The Rams were within striking distance all the way to the later parts of the fourth quarter. As far as they came from playing to their fullest potential, the Rams could have pulled off the win had they capitalized on just one of many missed opportunities.
The first came in the first quarter when the Rams' Bob Vomhof committed a costly personal foul that set up the Aztec's first score, a 20-yard touchdown pass.
The second happened only minutes later when the Rams recovered a fumble on the visiting team's 20-yard line. Instead of taking advantage of the botched handoff and tying up the game, they ran three un-aggressive plays, including a pass completion for no gain, and settled for a field goal.
"We ran the ball great between the 20's, we just couldn't get it finished inside them," said quarterback Justin Holland on the Rams' red zone woes.
Coming out of halftime the Rams showed life for the first time, driving 74 yards, before missing a chip shot field goal from 26 yards out.
"We try to take it one drive at a time," said sophomore Kyle Bell about Saturday's frustrations. "It takes the wind out of you but you (go) to the sidelines and make adjustments. You have to look towards the next drive."
With 4:59 left in the game, the Rams found themselves with the opportunity of the game, lining up on the goal line with a chance to bring the score within six with plenty of time to go. But after a dropped pass by Dustin Osborn and a Holland interception on the following play, that finally put the game completely out of reach for the Rams.
"(It's a situation) where you want to put up your best performance and you don't even come close. That's the hardest part."
Of course the greatest missed opportunity was a win that would have put the Rams in a great position to make a bowl game. For that, the Rams can only blame themselves.
"Everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong," Vomhoff said.