CSU head coach Sonny Lubick talked about everything from last year's disappointment to the readiness of this year's team in his press conference Monday. It was Lubick's last press conference before the team travels to Boulder to play Colorado this Saturday.
It would almost be impossible to live in Fort Collins, especially to go to CSU, and not know the pain CSU football felt after the Rocky Mountain Showdown last year after coming up, literally, one yard short.
This year, no matter what happens in Boulder, the final moments aren't going to be unforeseen. The football team did a mock game Saturday at Hughes Stadium to prepare for every possible situation, Lubick said.
"We've had all the time necessary, and I really believe we've got a lot accomplished," Lubick said. "I know that the players, as well as the coaches, as well as the fans are ready to play a football game.
"We're anxious to go play down in Folsom Field again, and hopefully we can play four good quarters of ball."
While the team can prepare for all controllable situations, some uncontrollable situations have already struck the team – injuries. Though the team is lucky to have able backups at the injured positions, Lubick said.
"Everyone always asks how are we physically? I'd say we're good," Lubick said. "We know we have a couple players on defense who we're counting on that won't be playing for us in Ben (Stratton) and Luke Adkins, but we've had plenty of time to work in Luke Adkins replacement [Jeff Horinek]."
Horinek, a redshirt freshman linebacker has been practicing with the first team defense throughout training camp due to Adkins' early injury.
The other position hit with injuries is at safety, where Ben Stratton is out for the year. Luckily for the Rams, Lubick said, the problem there is not about having an un-experienced starter.
"It just so happens that we have two other fifth year seniors working at that position, and they're going to be very, very capable," said Lubick. "Hopefully we won't have to dig too deep down into our depth."
As far as Lubick's thoughts on CU, he has coached this game enough times to know what to expect from the Buffaloes.
"I think they're going to be experienced, in some ways a lot like we are," Lubick said. "I believe they have a very good quarterback in Joel Klatt, I have a lot of respect for him.
"I believe they're really going to want to run the football, I would do it if I were them. I think the strength of their football team is their two tight ends, they'll come out and run bootlegs and waggles and get the ball to their tight ends. I think they're not gonna change much like were not gonna change much."
Lubick didn't say much about what the rivalry means to him, except that he'll go after the win just like in any other game. He said the main thing is to try to win it for the fans.
"That's a happy day, for whoever wins that game," Lubick said. "I'm not going to down play it, we're going down there with one purpose in mind."