It was a night of missed opportunities for CSU on Saturday afternoon as the Rams fell 13-7 to Texas Christian University in front of a crowd of over 27,000.
The loss was CSU’s first of the year at Hughes Stadium, snapping a five game winning streak at home that stretched from the final two games of 2007.
The only score for CSU (3-3, 1-1 MWC) came on their opening possession, as they led a nine-play, 78-yard drive ending with a four yard touchdown run by senior running back Gartrell Johnson III, his sixth of the season. While that drive was the only one that was capitalized on, the Rams had their chances in the second quarter to really shake things up, but two dropped passes in the end zone by tight end Kory Sperry and wide receiver Rashaun Greer would turn CSU’s fate otherwise.
“First off, it’s my fault,” said Greer, who entered Saturday’s game ranked second in the nation for receiving yards per game. “If I would have caught that ball it would have turned the whole outcome of the game. It hurts … I guess you could say it was a focus issue or lack of aggression to get the ball.”
Sperry says if he had made the catch, he wouldn’t be having the conversation about whether or not CSU could have won.
“We’re always the underdogs and we expect that,” said the senior tight end. “And actually we let that one slip away. There’s two instances when we should have had touchdowns. And so this feels like we beat ourselves.”
Both dropped passes we’re almost perfect throws by quarterback Billy Farris and to hurt things even more, they came during the same drive. While Farris was only 5 for 11 passing for 67 yards on the day, with those two unfortunate breaks for him and the Rams, he wouldn’t get to a chance to finish the game as CSU head coach Steve Fairchild pulled him after CSU’s first drive of the third quarter, replacing him with redshirt freshman Klay Kubiak.
Farris was surprised we was pulled from the game and that he wasn’t given a chance to come back in when CSU had a chance for a game winning drive, something he’s led the Rams in twice this season.
“It was unexpected. That’s just kind of the way (Coach Fairchild) is. He does that in practice sometimes. You just never know,” said Farris.
The loss to TCU is especially tough for the Rams because they hit the road for Salt Lake City to face No. 14 Utah next Saturday, a place they haven’t won in since 2002. Fairchild says he’s not certain, but believes Farris will probably start in that contest.
Football beat writer Matt Stephens can be reached at email@example.com.