Sep 302010
 
Authors: Cris Tiller

The CSU football team’s conference schedule could not start any tougher as they play host to No. 5 Texas Christian University Saturday at Hughes Stadium.

Experts say the Rams don’t stand a chance.

TCU comes to Fort Collins with a top 10 running attack, a Davey O’Brian watch list player in senior Andy Dalton for best quarterback in the country and a defense ranked 18th in the country with 11 team sacks.

None of those facts are enough to convince CSU’s coaches or players that this game is out of reach.

“If we step out on the field and we don’t believe we can win the game, then it’s already taken care of,” said defensive captain Ricky Brewer. “So of course we have to have the confidence to go out there and get it.”

Any thoughts of an upset are based on a good week of practice, something the players feel has been accomplished following their first win in over a year.

The Rams approach the game with TCU as they would before any other game, but going into battle with a national title contender requires performing at a near-flawless level.

Junior wide receiver Matt Yemm and the offense have made paying attention to the details a priority.

“You want to go as hard as you can every week, but you maybe go a little bit harder, be a little more disciplined, you know? Routes have to be perfect; blocking has to be perfect,” Yemm said. “Everything has to be perfect if you’re going to beat these guys, so just focus on the little details.”

Emotions are high for a matchup that could potentially turn the season around after a disappointing start.

“I think we’re confident. Everybody feels we took a step forward last week,” said CSU coach Steve Fairchild. “You got a ranked team coming here.

This is where you want to be. We’ve been a ranked team before, and now we have one coming here.”

An offense that suddenly awakened last week is anxious to show they can sustain their production against a top defensive team.

“We’re really excited to have the opportunity to go against such a prominent defense in the country. Everyone knows that they’re tough,” Yemm said. “And for the opportunity to get an upset and try to build off some of the momentum we got last week.”

True-freshman quarterback Pete Thomas will face the best team he has ever seen in only his fifth collegiate start.

“It’s going to be a big game, not only for me but the whole team, the whole community. So hopefully we can have a good showing out there,” Thomas said.

While the odds are stacked against the Rams, home field advantage can never be ruled out in college football.

“They’re coming to our house, so that’s the first thing on our side,” Brewer said. “Of course we have a great student section, so that’s another thing on our side. If we can get that stadium loud and rocking, I think we have a great chance, believe it or not.”

Football Beat Reporter Cris Tiller can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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