Sep 062010
 
Authors: Joel Hafnor

DENVER –– There was little question as to which side was superior on Saturday at Invesco Field, as CU-Boulder cruised to a convincing 24-3 victory over the CSU Rams in the 2010 Rocky Mountain Showdown.

In his opening collegiate act, CSU freshman quarterback Pete Thomas showed glimpses of his potential but ultimately struggled to sustain any long drives. The Rams produced only 245 yards of offense and converted just 1-of-12 third down opportunities in their opening week defeat.

Despite the loss, Thomas was pleased to get his Rams career underway.

“I felt comfortable out there,” Thomas said. “I’ve been more nervous before high school games than I was in this one. I had a really good mindset before the game.”

Two of Thomas’ three interceptions in the game came on acrobatic plays on the part of the Buffaloes defense. Still, Thomas is making no excuses for himself.

“I just had too many mistakes,” said Thomas. “You’ve got to give their defense credit.”

Despite the Rams’ offensive stagnation, third-year head coach SteveFairchild remains optimistic about the direction his freshman signal caller can lead this team.

“We have a long way to go with (Thomas) and a lot of areas, offensively,” Fairchild said. “But there’s something in me that tells me that by the end of the year, this offense will be better than any one since I’ve been here.”

CU head coach Dan Hawkins had only good things to say about the Rams’ young quarterback and said he expects Thomas to come into his own at some point.

“(Thomas) looked poised, and I thought they did some good things for him,” Hawkins said after the game. “He’s going to be a really good player, there’s no question.”

The Rams’ inexperience was evident in many areas on Saturday, the most glaring weakness being the ground game. CSU rushed for just 49 yards as a team, with 32 of those yards coming near the end of regulation when freshman running back Tony Drake used his speed on a pair of carries to pick up big gains.

It was an especially dreadful debut for UCLA transfer Raymond Carter, who ran for 10 yards on 11 carries –– not the debut the CSU running back wanted to have.

“Obviously we made some mistakes,” Carter said. “We are a young team and things like this are going to happen. We just need to get better from it.”

Defensively, the Rams were strong at times, but two blown assignments put the inexperienced offense in a hole that was ultimately too large to climb out of.

Defensive coordinator Larry Kerr feels like the Rams’ defensive mishaps are something that can be corrected moving forward.

“Those things are really game changers when you just break a coverage; it’s unfortunate,” Kerr said. “There’s a lot of correctable things we’ll see on the tape.”

The Rams have now lost 10 consecutive games dating back to 2009. Their last victory came on Sept. 19, 2009 in a 35-20 victory over the visiting Nevada Wolf Pack.

While the Rams have been reeling, Nevada has won nine of its past 12 since visiting Fort Collins last fall.

CSU heads to Reno, Nev. to face the Wolf Pack on Saturday in a game televised on ESPNU.

Assistant Sports Editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Next Game: CSU vs. Nevada

CSU heads to Reno, Nev. to face the Wolf Pack on Saturday in a game televised on ESPNU.

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