Sep 292011
 
Authors: Travis Todd

When CSU plays host to San Jose State University on Saturday, the Rams have the chance to start a season 4-1 for the first time since 2006.

To increase the chance of a positive outcome the team has stressed the importance of getting better every week in practice.

“We’ve had two good weeks of practice and we’re doing the right things out here,” said coach Steve Fairchild. “Hopefully we’ll just keep getting a little better and better each time we go out for a game.”
Coming off an enormous win against Utah State University, the players stressed the importance of maintaining that high energy level.

“The team just has to keep working hard,” said running back Chris Nwoke, who earned Co-Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance against USU. “It’s all about believing and team effort. When we stay together that’s how we can keep succeeding.”

The running game finally started to hit its stride last week, now the Rams will be looking to spread out their offense by passing down field.

“Obviously we’re not in rhythm yet with everyone and that shows in the passing numbers but we’ll get it together,” sophomore quarterback Pete Thomas said.

A point of contention all season has been whether or not the Rams have the ability to throw the deep ball.

“Coach calls some great deep balls, but defenses called the right defense too,” Thomas said. “It’s not for a lack of trying, we just haven’t been able to hit any, but I’m real confident we will him them soon.”

On the other side of the ball, the defense has been a pleasant surprise this year for CSU (3-1,1-0 MW). The Rams are giving up 21.5 points per game in 2011, nearly two touchdowns less than they allowed last season.

“Our confidence has been high as a defense already, but the (USU) game helped it out,” linebacker Shaquil Barrett said.

As a team, the Rams seem to be transitioning in the right direction after a disappointing 2010 campaign.

“We believe in each other and we’re staying together. We have that whole team vibe going on and we have the right leaders,” Nwoke said.

SJSU (1-3, 1-1 WAC) is coming off of their first win of the season last week, a home triumph against New Mexico State University. The Spartans have lost 16 consecutive road games dating back to Nov. 1, 2008 and haven’t won a non-conference road game since 2002.

“You can’t ever take teams like that lightly,” Nwoke said. “You got to come out and play hard, play together and keep going for all four quarters.”

After all, this team doesn’t want to end up how the 2006 Rams did. That team lost seven consecutive games to end the season, leading to a dismal 4-8 record.

Football Beat Reporter Travis Todd can be reached at sports@collegian.com. He can also be followed on twitter at @travis_treats.

Homecoming game

  • Who: San Jose State vs. CSU
  • Where: Hughes Stadium
  • When: Tomorrow, 2 p.m.
  • Join the conversation: Use #sjsu_vs_csu on Twitter and follow our live chat on www.collegian.com
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