The Colorado State football team has an array of questions as it approaches its home-opening game with the Idaho Vandals.
Just days removed from CSUâ€™s final non-conference game of the 2010 season, the team is taking to the practice field to find some answers.
Of the Ramsâ€™Â many issues, the run-game remains the most pressing. The team produced a staggering one yard of rushing in last weekâ€™s 31-10 loss at Miami (Ohio). In the Ramsâ€™ three games this season, theyâ€™ve accounted for just 128 yards on the ground, ranking them 119th out of 120 FBS schools.
Freshman Tony Drake, who leads the team with 16 yards per carry, has sparked the Ramsâ€™ kickoff return game in his first three collegiate contests. In fact, his efforts have made the Rams the 7th-best kick return team in the nation. And still, the true freshman hasnâ€™t received a handoff since the CSUâ€™s opening week loss to CU-Boulder on Sept. 4, despite the coaching staff last week saying it planned to get Drake more touches.
â€œWeâ€™re doing everything we can to try to get Tony the ball,â€ head coach Steve Fairchild said in his Monday press conference.Â â€œBut sometimes the flow of the game will dictate how much you can use a guy like that.â€
Time seems to be running out for the Rams to get their act together, as a very tough conference schedule looms after this week, including a visit from the No. 4 Texas Christian Horned Frogs on Oct. 2.
In an attempt to spark the Ramsâ€™Â dormant run-game, Fairchild announced Monday that the offensive line will endure some changes beginning this week.Â
Weston Richburg will take over as the starting center, while Joe Caprioglio will take over guard duties. The move means that former starter Tyler McDermott will be relegated to back up duty.
â€œI feel like if we run the ball, we will be a successful team,â€ said quarterback Pete Thomas. â€œWe are working hard to fix (the run). If we keep working, I think we will.â€
Thomas registered his best game to date in the loss to Miami, throwing for more than 300 yards and breaking the Ramsâ€™
touchdown drought with a fourth quarter pass to Matt Yemm. His collegiate career has begun in frustrating fashion, as Thomas has been forced to do the heavy lifting for the CSU offense with no production from the running game.
Still, the Ramsâ€™ signal caller is making no excuses and preaches the importance of the upcoming game against Idaho.
â€œWe are 0-3 â€“â€“ thatâ€™s unacceptable,â€ Thomas said. â€œThatâ€™s not the way we thought it would go.â€Â
Assistant Sports Editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at email@example.com.
Attend the game
- Free student tickets to Saturdayâ€™s game can be picked up at the McGraw Center and Lory Student Center box offices through Friday.Â
- Transportation: Super Shuttle will be making pick ups every twenty minutes at locations around the city, including:
- Lory Student Center transportation center,
- McGraw Athletic Center parking lot,
- Rams Village on Elizabeth Street and
- Hughes StadiumÂ after the game.