OXFORD, Ohio â€“ Heading into Saturday, it had been 364 days since the Colorado State football team last came away with a victory.
Thanks to Miami (Ohio), it will be at least another seven days before CSU gets a chance to earn its first win since Sept. 19, 2009 as the RedHawks steamrolled the Rams 31-10 in front of 16,691 fans at Yager Stadium.
Like its prior two games in 2010, CSU (0-3) failed to establish a run game, acquiring one net yard on the ground. Both junior Raymond Carter and senior John Mosure finished the game with seven yards apiece.
â€œI thought we struggled offensively, obviously,â€ said CSU coach Steve Fairchild during his post-game press conference. â€œWe did not play very well up front. We have to protect (the quarterback) like weâ€™re capable of and we have to get a much better game from our front guys to get any consistency offensively.â€
Though the Rams struggled on the ground for the third time in as many games, freshman quarterback Pete Thomas continued to improve, throwing for 305 yards, including a six-yard pass to junior wide receiver Matt Yemm with 1:14 left in the game for CSUâ€™s first touchdown of the season.
Yemm, who played quarterback at Fort Collins High School, had four receptions for 56 yards, including a one-handed 36-yard reception down the sideline in the first quarter that set CSU up for a 25-yard field goal from Ben DeLine. That field goal gave the Rams a 3-0 lead, their first of 2010.
â€œIt was really frustrating. Our biggest frustration the past couple of weeks has been not getting into the end zone,â€ said Yemm on his first quarter reception.
â€œ(My touchdown), was a little bittersweet. It would have been nice to get the win,â€ he added.
Both teams were sound defensively as CSU and Miami (2-1, 1-0 MAC) were held to 306 and 299 yards of total offensive, respectively.
And while CSU sacked Miami quarterback Zac Dysert on five occasions, it was the defensive pressure of the RedHawks that made the biggest difference in Saturdayâ€™s outcome.
Miami sacked Thomas four times, once forcing a fumble resulting in a turnover, and a quarterback hurry by Ryan Kennedy in the second quarter rushed the young CSU signal caller into throwing an interception to Evan Harris, which was returned for a touchdown, moving the score to 17-3 â€” ultimately out of reach for the Ramsâ€™ offense.
â€œI thought we had a good game plan coming in, but Miami played well. They had great defense,â€ Thomas said. â€œWe know we can move the ball, we know what we have to do: we have to put the ball in the end zone.â€
Thomas said that playing the first three games of the season without an official home contest has been tough for CSU, but is still no excuse for the results the team has produced.
Fairchild echoed his quarterbackâ€™s sentiments.
â€œYou look around the country and Iâ€™m not sure how many schools have not played at home by the fourth game of the season,â€ Fairchild said. â€œBut schedules are what they are and you have to play them. It will be nice to play at home next week.â€
CSU will have its first official home game of the 2010 season at Hughes Stadium when it hosts Idaho for Ag Day on Sept. 25. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m.
Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens can be reached at email@example.com.