Facing the first 0-2 start in his 12-year tenure at CSU, head
coach Sonny Lubick still has confidence in his team, he said at his
weekly press conference Monday. After losing to Colorado and
Southern California, Lubick is optimistic about the team’s ability
“We give USC all the credit, but we didn’t help ourselves with
errors and turnovers and sloppy tackles,” Lubick said. “I still
believe we have a good football team. We are still going to win
The loss of tight end Matt Bartz, who suffered a season-ending
torn ACL injury against USC, will be a difficult loss for the team,
Lubick said. Bartz had three receptions for 21 yards and one
touchdown in the season’s first two games.
“Apart from playing, we’ll miss his contributions as a person,”
Lubick said. “He is a great young kid and he loves football, but
everyone is certain that he will be in surgery as soon as
With Bartz out, the focus now goes to backup tight ends Brandon
Alconcel, a junior, and Tom Martindale, a sophomore. Martindale has
been fighting a knee injury during the last two weeks of
“If he can find a way to keep fighting his leg and keep
improving, he will be a good tight end,” Lubick said of
True freshman Kory Sperry may also earn playing time this
season. The team redshirted Sperry, but with injuries to Bartz and
Martindale, Sperry may be forced into playing this season.
“There is a chance of pulling the redshirt off Sperry,” Lubick
said. “I would think, as a coaching staff, he will play for us this
The loss of Bartz will hit the offense hard, but Lubick is
optimistic about the young talent at the position.
“I like both of our tight ends,” Lubick said of Martindale and
Sperry. “They’re good kids, they have brains and they are good
Lubick said he hoped the tough losses, in the win-loss column
and in the injury category, didn’t dampen the team’s spirit.
“The team atmosphere is good,” Lubick said. “Hopefully they
aren’t discouraged; I am certainly not.”
The Rams face another ranked opponent this weekend when they
take on No. 22 Minnesota Saturday night at Hughes Stadium.
“Minnesota is more of a powerful, hard-hitting football team,”
Lubick said. “This week isn’t going to be any easier.”
Running back Tristan Walker, who left the USC game early with a
knee injury, is expected to practice this week, Lubick said. He is
currently listed fourth on the depth chart.
Uldis Jaunarajs, who led all Rams rushers with 74 yards rushing
against USC, is listed as this weekend’s starter against Minnesota.
However, Jimmy Green is expected to be 100 percent after being
limited by a ankle sprain the past three weeks.
“Jimmy is ready to go,” Lubick said. “We’ll try and see if he
can go full speed today.”
The other questions surrounding the offense focus on quarterback
Justin Holland, who threw four interceptions against USC. Lubick
said Holland had to be stronger mentally, but he had been a
quarterback too long to have his confidence shaken.
“He didn’t have his best game,” Lubick said. “I expect him to go
two or three games without giving up an interception. He knows the
defenses that well and where to put to ball.”