Nov 172003
 
Authors: Vince Blaser

If the CSU football team beats Nevada-Las Vegas in Las Vegas

Saturday, the Rams have a very good chance to go to a bowl game.

But don’t tell quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt that.

“Screw bowl games, screw the postseason,” Van Pelt said after

CSU’s 21-6 win against San Diego State Saturday. “Play for your

pride, play for yourself, play for your teammates.”

Van Pelt said he addressed the team with similar comments before

the SDSU game. He said sometimes the team has been caught worrying

about the future instead of the game ahead.

The Mountain West Conference has contracts with the Liberty

Bowl, the Las Vegas Bowl and the San Francisco Bowl. Utah clinched

a share of the conference title by beating Wyoming 47-17 Saturday

and looks to play in the Liberty Bowl. New Mexico looks like a

strong candidate for the Las Vegas Bowl, as the school travels well

and has wins against Utah, CSU and Air Force.

At 6-5 with a 3-3 Mountain West Conference record, the Rams are

tied for third in the MWC with Air Force and BYU, with Wyoming at

2-3. However, BYU has been eliminated from bowl contention and

Wyoming needs wins against New Mexico and UNLV just to become bowl

eligible

The San Francisco Bowl is contractually obligated to take the

highest remaining finisher in the MWC not selected by the Las Vegas

or Liberty bowls. So with a head-to-head win against Air Force, San

Francisco would have to take CSU over Air Force if both teams

finish 4-3 in the MWC. However, Las Vegas could conceivably select

Air Force, bumping New Mexico to San Francisco, but the MWC is

looking for a possible fourth bowl slot.

“For the players, you would like to see those kids earn and

deserve a bowl game,” said coach Sonny Lubick at his weekly press

conference Monday. “There’s always, every year, somebody that is

unhappy. The big thing we have to do is win and play real well, and

if that’s not good enough that’s not good enough.”

The Rams’ defense hopes to duplicate Saturday’s performance in

which they forced two interceptions and eight punts while only

giving up six points. Rams cornerback Ben Stratton said the defense

knew they could dominate teams all season, it was just a matter of

executing and playing with emotion.

“One thing I learned today is that you can’t play unless you got

emotion,” Stratton said after the SDSU game.

However, the linebacker corps is a little thin heading to Las

Vegas. With Eric Pauley already out for the season and Courtney

Jones nursing a knee injury, the Rams were hindered even further

Saturday when Jahmal Hall went down with a knee injury.

Lubick said Monday that Hall underwent an MRI exam and is

doubtful to play against the Rebels. That leaves junior college

transfer Adam Lancisero to get the start at linebacker with seniors

Drew Wood and Jeff Flora.

Lubick said Lancisero has impressed since arriving at CSU and

did well replacing Hall last week. Wood has his own injury problems

as he partially separated his shoulder against SDSU. However,

Lubick said he likely would play Saturday.

The offensive side looks healthier. Guard Albert Bimper is the

only starter not likely to play. However, Van Pelt is nursing

bruised ribs and running back Rahsaan Sanders has battled hip and

ankle injuries all season. Lubick said running back Jimmy Green

should get significant playing time against UNLV.

 

 

 

 

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