The CSU football team will play in a high-stakes hand in Las
Winning the hand against Nevada-Las Vegas (5-5 overall, 1-4
Mountain West Conference) would ensure 10 consecutive winning
seasons and a chance at five consecutive bowl games. Losing the
hand means a team that coach Sonny Lubick described as one of his
most talented groups ever would finish with a .500 record and would
all but send them home for the holidays.
“I’m going to lay it on the line,” said junior tight end Joel
Dreessen. “We’re playing for a bowl game, we’re playing for
ourselves, we’re playing for our teammates, we’re playing because
we owe these punks for last year.”
UNLV’s 36-33 win in Fort Collins last season ruined a perfect
conference record for the Rams and a chance at a top-10 ranking.
Running back Larry Croom ran through the CSU defense all day,
finishing with 20 carries for 222 yards.
CSU will try to shut down Croom and the Rebels with an extremely
thin and hurting linebacker corps. Senior Eric Pauly has been out
since the Utah game Sep. 27, Courtney Jones has been battling a
sore knee the past couple weeks, Jahmal Hall partially tore his
patellar tendon and Drew Wood has a slightly separated shoulder.
Wood should play alongside senior Jeff Flora and sophomore Adam
Lancisero, who will be making his first start for CSU.
“I can deal with the pain,” Wood said. “If you want to play bad
enough, you can deal with it.”
Lubick said depth is a concern if any further injuries occur
during the game. Defensive end Luke Adkins has been practicing at
linebacker this week in case a replacement is needed.
Wood and Lubick both said they have been very impressed with
Lancisero, who transferred from junior college just before the
start of the season.
“I’ve been a little more nervous this week,” Lancisero said. “I
want to get a win for the seniors.”
On offense, wide receiver David Anderson needs 45 receiving
yards to break the CSU single-season record of 1,193 yards set in
“I honestly have no idea how far away I am from (the record),”
Anderson said. ” I wish it had happened at Hughes.”
Running back Jimmy Green had one of his best games of the season
for the Rams last week against San Diego State, including a 42-yard
burst up the middle in the fourth quarter to make the score 21-6
and end hopes of a Aztecs comeback.
Green said he just stayed patient and kept working hard all
year, hoping for a chance. While senior Rahsaan Sanders should get
the start Saturday, Lubick said Green should get significant
“People up here I think didn’t even know I existed,” Green
The Rams face a tough Rebels defense led by strong safety Jamaal
Brimmer, who has 64 tackles, five interceptions and four forced
fumbles on the season. CSU co-offensive coordinator John Benton
said Brimmer is in the top two or three defensive players in the
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player be responsible for so
many turnovers,” Benton said.