DENVERâ€“â€“ The CSU offense totaled a measly 243 yards in four quarters at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Saturday, essentially costing them the game.
â€œWe were out of sync offensively,â€ coach Steve Fairchild said.
Pete Thomas had 18 completions on 28 attempts for 157 yards, as the Ramsâ€™ offense failed to stretch the field with the passing game.
â€œWe canâ€™t play like that against a team like CU and expect to win,â€ Thomas said. â€œI feel terrible, really disappointed in myself. I should have made a lot more plays, executed better, and it would have been a different outcome.â€
CSU never got an effective run game going either because Thomas and the wide receivers never forced the defensive backfield to respect the pass.
â€œOur challenge is weâ€™re still not dynamic enough at receiver, so weâ€™re probably going to play the rest of the year with both safeties down tight, trying to force us to throw,â€ Fairchild said. he rushing attack totaled 67 yards for the game.
On two scoring drives the Rams gained 44 of those yards, as they exhibited a good balance between run and pass. However, they were never able to build on anything offensively.
â€œOnce we get going, weâ€™ve got to stick to (the run game),â€ said running back Raymond Carter, who had 31 yards on six carries. â€œ(Chris) Nwoke had good runs, I had good runs. If we can keep the fire going weâ€™ll be successful.â€
CSU scored on the first drive of the game when Thomas scrambled four yards for the first rushing score of his career.
The Rams scored their second touchdown with 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter to make it a seven-point game. The score came on a trick play, when wide receiver Charles Lovett threw a 23-yard pass to tight end Crockett Gillmore.
â€œWe had a great sell and the safety bit,â€ Gillmore said. â€œWe worked on it all week (in practice), and I donâ€™t think it worked one time, but it did today.â€
It remains to be seen if CSU can beat teams downfield in the passing game as opponents will continue to put eight in the box until the Rams prove they can.
â€œWe know that weâ€™re going to start getting one-on-one more often,â€ freshman wide receiver Lee Clubb said. â€œSo weâ€™re going to have to work harder in practice, just doing everything we can to get separation.â€
However, if the Rams are going to get the offense moving as a fluid unit they will need to get the pass game working with the run game to keep teams off balance defensively.
â€œIt goes hand-in-hand,â€ Thomas said. â€œI should have made more plays in the pass game. Maybe we should have made a few more plays in the run game.â€
To the credit of the coaches and players, CSU played hard, physical football for the duration of the game.
â€œItâ€™s real frustrating,â€ Carter said. â€œWe put in hard work this past week to get ready for CU. Obviously the outcome didnâ€™t go the way we wanted.â€
Football Beat Reporter Travis Todd can be reached at email@example.com.
- Rushing: 67 yards
- Total Offense: 243 yards
- Third Down Conversions: 5 for 13
- Pete Thomas: 18-28 for 157 yards