The CSU football team enters its final week of practice hoping to end an otherwise brutal season with a bit of dignity.
On Saturday, the Rams (3-8, 2-5 MWC) were embarrassed on Senior Day in a 49-10 defeat at the hands of the Brigham Young Cougars. And though the 2010 senior class will surely not have fond memories of its final game at Hughes Stadium, the Rams will have a chance to go out as winners if they can defeat the Wyoming Cowboys (2-9, 0-7) this weekend in the Border War.
â€œThis game is huge on all levels â€¦ it comes down to heart,â€ said senior linebacker Ricky Brewer, who led the team with 13 tackles against BYU. â€œIt means everything to me. Thatâ€™s for sure.â€
Last year, the Cowboys came into Hughes Stadium and defeated the Rams 17-16, ending CSUâ€™s two-year grip on the Bronze Boot.
Since 1993, the Rams have won 12 of the past 17 Border Wars, including six wins in Laramie, where the rivalry game will be held this year. The Cowboys enter the game on a six-game losing streak.
â€œWeâ€™ve got to send these seniors out right and get some momentum going into the offseason,â€ said quarterback Pete Thomas. â€œHopefully we can get a running game going. Their secondary is real good.â€
Though CSU will likely be favored to beat the Cowboys this weekend, the team hasnâ€™t won a road game all season. Senior wide receiver Tyson Liggett says that winning at least one road game is one of many incentives for going all out this Saturday.
â€œThe biggest thing is finishing up on a good note with a win,â€ Liggett said. â€œWeâ€™ve got a lot of stuff to look forward to for a win. It makes us work that much harder. We enter this weekend with an intention to win.â€
CSU coach Steve Fairchild said he hasnâ€™t been completely caught off guard with the struggles of his team this season, citing the Ramsâ€™ youth as one reason for the difficult 3-8 record thus far.
â€œI think that this year has been exactly what I thought it would be in terms of progress,â€ Fairchild said. â€œWe knew that we were going to be awfully young in certain spots, and we knew that coming in.â€
The 2010 Border War will kickoff at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie at noon.
Assistant Sports Editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.