Sep 072008
Authors: Sean Victor Star

A win is a win is a win.

But, man, never has one felt so unsatisfying.

Saturday was supposed to be a piece of cake. It turned out to be tougher than a dorm-cooked steak.

Somehow, someway, the Rams held back their gag reflex and washed it down with a pair of clutch kicks and a fortunate fumble.

And though it was uglier than a Tour de Fat costume, Steve Fairchild earned his first win as a head coach.

Not like Fairchild cares, though. Because as he said after the 23-20 victory over lowly Sacramento State, “A win is a win.”

Just ask CU coach Dan Hawkins, who wasn’t as fortunate against an FCS (D-II) team in his home coaching debut a couple of years ago.

Entering this week’s bye, the Rams have one win, one loss and several question marks.

After getting stung twice for touchdowns by the Hornets, freshman Brandon Owens proved he isn’t ready to start at the cornerback position, so who is?

This just in, the Rams pass defense will face much better competition the rest of the way.

With all of its experience, can the offensive line step up and give the running game a dominant performance it’s capable of producing? Such a game would do wonders for first-year starting quarterback Billy Farris and his inexperienced receiving corps.

And finally, can anyone make an open-field tackle besides Ricky Brewer? While Brewer was busy totaling twice as many tackles (11) than anyone else in green and gold (five), the Ram defense was busy grabbing air in the open-field.

With that said, some players have seized their opportunities through the first two games and stepped up to solidify their roles.

Rashaun Greer is turning into a sure-handed, bonafide No. 1 receiver, and Saturday’s stats prove it (nine catches, 152 yards).

Sorry, Kyle Bell, but Gartrell Johnson is the go-to running back. A 3.7 yards per carry average by Johnson wasn’t spectacular, but his 16-yard scamper on the second-to-last play of the game was.

And with a perfect 4-4 performance thus far, including the game-tying and game-winning field goals Saturday, freshman Ben DeLine has proven he has the stones to kick in the clutch.

The only Jason Smith fans are missing these days plays in the NBA.

With this week’s aforementioned bye, DeLine will have 12 days to bask in his heroics.

But what are Ram fans supposed to do over that span? Support the most consistently successful team at CSU.

Conveniently aligned with football’s bye week, volleyball will host the Rocky Mountain Challenge this weekend at Moby.

The tournament concludes with a real gem Saturday night when the Rams host No. 8 Florida. The match might be the toughest test for the Rams all season, so the girls will need all your support.

Besides, who says you need a football game to tailgate?

Sports columnist Sean Star can be reached at

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