Oct 062011
Authors: Kevin Lytle

Five games into the season and the offense of the CSU football team still lacks an identity.

In fall camp the Rams thought they would have an explosive, well-balanced attack.

But in every game so far, either the passing or rushing game has worked while the other faltered.

The most balanced attack came against the University of Northern Colorado when CSU ran for 242 yards and passed for 259 yards.

But most of the passing came after the game was a blowout.

Through the early portion of the season, coach Steve Fairchild has been happy with the running game. And he thought that after the passing attack that averaged only 180 yards a game through the first four games got going, the rushing would get even better.

While quarterback Pete Thomas threw for 387 yards on Saturday against San Jose State University with numerous deep plays, the rush game only accounted for a mere 71 yards.

“I was encouraged because we threw the ball and got our receivers involved,” Fairchild said. “We got some explosive passes, which had been lacking. Up until last week, I liked the way we’d run the ball.”

The team is now using its bye week, the first they’ve had since September of 2008, to continue to fine-tune the offense in order to find the consistency needed to be an explosive offense.

The lack of a dynamic playmaker in both the run or pass has been a contributing factor in the offensive problem.

Of the two running backs that get the bulk of the carries, Raymond Carter and Chris Nwoke, both average right around 50 yards a game.

“It’s just the little things,” Carter said on what it will take to get the run game going. “Once we get the little things down, the running game will work to perfection.”

And the passing attack has been even more lacking.

Going into the SJSU game last weekend, CSU receivers had accounted for only 361 yards and no touchdowns in four games.

But the passing attack exploded for 387 yards and three touchdowns.

The trick now is to keep that production going.

“Keep improving,” Thomas said on how to keep the pass game clicking. “Receivers keep running their routes right. I’ve got to be efficient, accurate where I’m throwing. O-line needs to hold up like they did in the game. Everything has to click in order to get the passing game going.”

Considering that CSU is averaging 25 points per game when they think that they haven’t even clicked yet, it could bode well if both units got in sync with each other.

“Good teams put the pass game and run game together in the same game,” Thomas said. “It’s not easy to do at all. You see teams all across the country and in the NFL struggling to do both. But we’re confident we’re going to put both together.”
Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at sports@collegian.com._

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