Sep 072009
 
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

What did I say? Huh? What did I say? Did I say to not disrespect my Rams? Yes I did. Do you see what happens when you disrespect my Rams? You get burned, baby!

I was on the field before the game Sunday evening watching the CSU quarterbacks and receivers warm up in front of the CU-Boulder student section. That whole section was chanting, “It sucks to be a CSU Ram, I said it sucks to be a CSU Ram!” And for the first time in my life I was actually excited about that unoriginal, asinine chant. Heck, I was tempted to start motioning for those CU students to be louder.

Why?

Because I could tell the fire it was lighting under this CSU football team — how that was just more ammo to fire back in their faces. And great Scott, did it work!

Excuse my French for a moment, but CU got their asses kicked. And not because they’re a bad team, but because CSU football is back – and not only back, but back in style! Praise is due to this offense, the play of Grant Stucker in his first career start showing great poise in the pocket, completing 59 percent of his passes for 208 yards. Sure, he officially threw two interceptions, but that first one I’ll count as a punt.

Look at the receiving corps, making the Colorado secondary pay for any little mistake, getting open on those beautiful deep balls.

The offensive line for their protection and creation of holes for the backs.

John Mosure, scoring both of the Rams’ touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. We’ll just pray that his injury isn’t serious.

And to cap off the offensive praise, how about Leonard Mason and those 107 rushing yards in his debut? I was trolling ESPN.com last night after the game and saw an AP photo of Mason being mobbed by fans on the field. The smile on his face could have lit up the entire stadium. That’s not something that happens at the junior-college level. You can tell how thankful he is to be a Ram and to play the way he did.

But while the offense can get the obvious credit for putting those points on the board, Larry Kerr’s defense is what won the game. A defensive line that allowed around 5 yards per carry a season ago, held the prolific rushing attack of CU to 1.4 yards per carry.

A defensive line that graduated three of its four starters from 2008 came in with three new starters Sunday night and earned three sacks (linebacker Mychal Sisson had the fourth) against what many predicted would be the best offensive line in the Big 12 North. That’s what I call legit.

Aside from the collective play of the defensive line, there was one specific player on this Ram defense that deserves all the praise in the world. You all know what I’m talking about. He’s Will Farrell’s “boy,” Elijah-Blu Smith. Yes, I know, DeAngelo Wilkinson had a great game, leading the Rams with 7.5 tackles, but Blu forced two turnovers, one of which led to a touchdown. His interception required great concentration, given the fact he was behind CU wide receiver Scotty McKnight when Gerard Thomas jarred the ball loose and his hit on McKnight in the third quarter, forcing a fumble and killing the Buffs’ drive was the play of the game in my opinion.

McKnight will be seeing Blu in his nightmares for weeks to come.

Nice Job, Mr. Smith.

I honestly feel that this is the biggest win of Steve Fairchild’s head coaching career, even bigger than the New Mexico Bowl last season. Why? Because it draws attention to the program early in the season, not at the end where people forget during the spring. This was a win on national TV, the only football game televised last night. A win where CSU didn’t just slip by, they dominated in every aspect of the game.

We as the CSU community were the only ones who believed in this team, and this team embraced that.

Here’s to you, CSU.

Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens can be reached at sports@collegian.com

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