They couldn’t do it against 10-0 TCU or 4-7 UNLV, but with a winless New Mexico in their sights, the CSU Rams might have their best chance yet to break a seven-game losing streak.
The Rams (3-7, 0-6 MWC) are headed down south and ready to face the New Mexico Lobos (0-10, 0-6) in a battle of the Mountain West’s bottom two teams.
CSU head coach Steve Fairchild said his team doesn’t have a problem with motivation right now and explained that this might be the week the Rams finally pick up a win.
“We’ve had a good attitude all year long,” Fairchild said. “I keep thinking this is the week but we just have to go play a little better than we’ve been playing.”
The Lobos will attempt to end a losing streak of
their own on Saturday, one that’s twice as long as CSU’s. New Mexico has lost 14 straight dating back to October of last year, a fact that doesn’t mean much to Rams quarterback Grant Stucker.
The 6-foot-2 senior said that any team CSU plays right now will pose a tough challenge.
“It doesn’t matter what team you play in the Mountain West Conference, it’s going to be a dog fight,” Stucker said. “This conference is shaping up to be something the nation needs to look at as a top conference. This game could definitely turn into a down-to-the-wire one or two play thing.”
Fairchild agreed with his starting quarterback.
“I think it’ll be a tough game; they all are. Anybody we play is going to be a tough game,” he said. “I’m not concerned about their record, just more concerned about playing better than we have.”
The Lobos have struggled offensively for the majority of the year, which comes as good news for a Rams defense plagued with injuries and third down troubles. Currently New Mexico ranks last in the conference in total offense and averages just over 92 yards per game rushing.
Even though the Lobos have trouble with their ground game, Rams linebacker Alex Williams explained CSU is still focusing evenly on stopping the run and the pass.
“We’re focusing more on both,” Williams said. “Obviously on third down we can’t let anything happen, especially on third and long. The first few downs we’ll try and stop the run and just try and play hard overall.”
Fairchild gave credit to Lobos quarterback Donovan Porterie for playing well as of late. The senior has been one of only a few bright spots for New Mexico this season, throwing for 2,052 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.
Fairchild emphasized that his defense has to stop both the run and the pass, but said Porterie has the ability to hurt the Rams.
“They do both, so we always have to stop the run or it’s going to be a long day defensively,” he said. “Their quarterback is throwing the ball well lately so we’re going to have our hands full, I’m sure.”
Kick off for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 4:06 p.m. Stay tuned to Collegian.com and Collegiansports.com for post game coverage.
Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org