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.
â€œWeâ€™ve had two good weeks of practice and weâ€™re doing the right things out here,â€ said coach Steve Fairchild. â€œHopefully weâ€™ll just keep getting a little better and better each time we go out for a game.â€
Coming off an enormous win against Utah State University, the players stressed the importance of maintaining that high energy level.
â€œThe team just has to keep working hard,â€ said running back Chris Nwoke, who earned Co-Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance against USU. â€œItâ€™s all about believing and team effort. When we stay together thatâ€™s how we can keep succeeding.â€
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.
â€œObviously weâ€™re not in rhythm yet with everyone and that shows in the passing numbers but weâ€™ll get it together,â€ 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.
â€œCoach calls some great deep balls, but defenses called the right defense too,â€ Thomas said. â€œItâ€™s not for a lack of trying, we just havenâ€™t been able to hit any, but Iâ€™m real confident we will him them soon.â€
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.
â€œOur confidence has been high as a defense already, but the (USU) game helped it out,â€ linebacker Shaquil Barrett said.
As a team, the Rams seem to be transitioning in the right direction after a disappointing 2010 campaign.
â€œWe believe in each other and weâ€™re staying together. We have that whole team vibe going on and we have the right leaders,â€ 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 havenâ€™t won a non-conference road game since 2002.
â€œYou canâ€™t ever take teams like that lightly,â€ Nwoke said. â€œYou got to come out and play hard, play together and keep going for all four quarters.â€
After all, this team doesnâ€™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 firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be followed on twitter at @travis_treats.
- 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