Fresh off their first road victory in over a year, the CSU football team is prepared to host the No. 17 BYU Cougars in a game of epic proportions in the Mountain West Conference standings.
While most of the country is sitting on BYU (7-1, 3-1 MWC) to win this game, the Rams (4-4, 2-2 MWC) would jump the Cougars in the MWC standings if they were to win, placing them at no worse than a tie with Air Force for third with three games remaining.
“I actually didn’t even know that, really,” said junior wide receiver Rashaun Greer when asked about the conference standings. “That’s an interesting fact, but we can’t even think about it, we just gotta go out there and play like both teams are 0-0 . we just gotta go out there and give it our best.”
In order for CSU to beat BYU on Saturday, they’ll have to overcome a four-year losing streak of the Cougars.
But head coach Steve Fairchild likes his team’s chances.
“We have a chance to really make some noise in this game,” Fairchild said. “And, it will be a good measuring stick for us too to see how much we’ve improved.”
Fairchild continued, saying that despite how well CSU played against TCU and how the Horned Frogs defeated BYU 32-7, he’s not going to use those two games to predict Saturday’s game.
“I never do any of those ‘won by so many points’ because BYU was on a Thursday night down (in Fort Worth, Tex.). They’re a good team and, obviously, we’re trying to get to their level so this will be a good test for us.”
Leading the way for BYU’s high scoring offense this year is quarterback Max Hall and tight end Dennis Pitta. On Monday, Hall, who has already thrown for over 2,300 yards and 24 touchdowns this season, was named as a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award, an honor given to college football’s best quarterback. The award has been won by BYU quarterbacks on four occasions, most recently by Ty Detmer in 1991.
Even with the strong offense of BYU, Rams sophomore linebacker Ricky Brewer says that the team is focused.
“It’s a new day, it’s a new opponent, you do take things from your losses and you learn lessons and the number one thing that we have to keep in mind is that this is our house; we gotta protect it and defend our turf,” said the Mullen High School graduate.
“It’s going to be an exciting environment and we need that student support. I believe if we get that, having them back us, we’ll come out with spirit and enthusiasm that can’t be matched.”
Adding to the tenacity that the student support brings, members of the CSU football team, including running backs John Mosure and Gartrell Johnson III, have asked for the fans to help the Rams ‘green out’ BYU on Saturday afternoon by wearing the color green to Hughes Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 4 p.m., and the game will be televised on The Mtn.
Football beat reporter Matt L. Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.