Having already hit unlucky number 13 in the consecutive loss column, the Rams (0-6, 0-3) head to the desert of Las Vegas this weekend in search of a way to snap the nation’s second-longest losing streak.
Winning in a city where everyone seems to go home a loser will be no easy task for CSU, as the hometown line-setters have the Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels (2-5, 1-2) three-point favorites.
On the Rams side, however, is history. The Rams lead the all-time series 10-4-1. In Vegas the Rams hold a 5-0-1 advantage. To cap it off, CSU’s last win came against UNLV, a 28-7 blowout on Oct. 7, 2006 in Fort Collins.
CSUcoach Sonny Lubick said that he was feeling lucky heading into the Sin City but knew the team would need to play hard to back it up.
“There was a time when we used to win quite a few games on the road. We’ve played well in Las Vegas. I know we’ve had some luck down there,” Lubick said. “The kids don’t concern themselves too much about that. It may help us, but we’ve just got to go down and play.”
Second only to the Rams for the worst record in the conference, UNLV heads into Saturday nursing a three-game losing streak. UNLV coach Mike Sanford stressed the urgency that both teams feel to get a win and to turn their respective seasons around.
“Right now we are not exactly in a situation where we can feel great about where we are. We have to get a win,” Sanford said during his weekly press conference. “I feel we are in a very similar state. I think you have two teams that are desperately in need of a win.”
If there is one strength to the Rebels that could give CSU trouble Saturday, it’s their linebacking corps. Senior linebacker Beau Bell leads the Mountain West with 74 tackles in seven games,and just this week earned MWC Defensive Player of the Midseason from College Football News. Bell is 23rd in the nation in tackles and has added three sacks to his résumé this season.
Coach Lubick said that the team needs to play mistake-free football in order to come away with one in the desert.
“This will be another good test for us to see where we are. I think they’re pretty solid. I think their strength is defensively,” Lubick said. “We can’t succeed if we lose the turnover battle.”