While the average student may face in-class exams this week, the CSU Rams are facing a much different type of test: playing on the road.
The Rams (3-0) are off to their best start since 1994, but have yet to play a game outside the state of Colorado. That will change this week as CSU is set to travel to Provo, Utah to face the Brigham Young Cougars this Saturday.
Rams linebacker Alex Williams said the team is excited about the change of scenery and the chance to stay undefeated, but doesn’t expect it to come easily.
“We’re just looking forward to going down there, getting a win and going 4-0,” the junior said after practice Tuesday. “It’s definitely going to be a hard trip, but we are looking forward to it.”
Quarterback Grant Stucker agreed with Williams, adding that the Rams are at a point where they can control their own destiny.
“Provo is a tough place to play, but at the same time I think we have something going right now to where the only thing that matters is how we go in and play,” Stucker said.
CSU is hoping to improve on their road record from a year ago. Last season the Rams were 3-4 away from Hughes Stadium, losing at California, Air Force, Utah and Invesco Field against CU-Boulder.
Wide receiver Dion Morton said exactly what the Rams have to do to pull off the upset in Provo this weekend and improve on last season’s shaky road record.
“We just have to go in with confidence, play our game and don’t let the crowd or different circumstances influence us,” he said. “It’s always nice to have a home crowd behind you, but if someone is rooting against you, you just have to persevere.”
BYU has been very good at home recently, as they were a perfect 6-0 at LaVell Edwards Stadium last season – the Cougars home field. BYU lost to Florida State in their home opener last Saturday.
Stucker said Provo is not the best place to play, explaining that BYU fans are nice, but still make a big difference.
“The thing about Provo is that it really isn’t hostile. It’s just loud,” the Ponderosa graduate said. “That’s why it’s tough to play there. The fans just love BYU and get loud when they need to be. They are really nice fans though.”
Even with the loud environment, Morton likes the Rams chances. The senior said that the Cougar’s loyal fans won’t help, though.
“I was looking the other day, and they have an average attendance of around 60,000,” Morton said. “It’s a hard environment to go into, whether they have 30,000 or 60,000 fans. Their fans are going to get into it and make sure you know they are there. We just have to fight through it and play our own game, and we’ll be content with the outcome.”
Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at email@example.com.