When SDSU is passing the ball: Despite an early-season injury, quarterback Kevin O’Connell has rebounded and returned to his starting spot against Texas Christian two weeks ago. In his two starts since he returned, O’Connell has thrown four interceptions and two touchdowns. The Rams’ pass defense has played well at times against average competition and should be able to handle the far-from-potent Aztec offense.
When SDSU is running the ball: After the first two games of the season, running back Atiyyah Henderson had rushed for zero yards on one carry. Since then, he has racked up 706 yards on his way to a pretty good season. Henderson’s one drawback is his scoring numbers. He hasn’t crossed the goal line yet and is one of the nation’s leading rushers who hasn’t had a touchdown. Despite this fact, a worn-out defense may not be able to stop SDSU.
When CSU is passing the ball: Almost out of nowhere, some fans have started to call for backup Billy Farris to get the start against the Aztecs. However, starter Caleb Hanie will likely get the nod despite Farris’ numbers in the last two games. Hanie and his receiving corps should be on track against an SDSU defense that has given up 93 points in its last two games. CSU should finally get a break in this game and may throw the ball more frequently than they have during the rest of the regular season.
When CSU is running the ball: It has been well-documented that CSU is not a running powerhouse this year. That being said, last week’s performance against TCU hit a new low point. Farris, who entered the game in the third quarter, led the Rams in rushing with 19 yards. It is a stretch, coming off a game like that, to think anything will change. However, with Nnamdi Ohaeri out for the game, Gartrell Johnson III and Michael Myers will split carries for the Rams.
Prediction: For both teams, 2006 has been a year to forget. SDSU and CSU’s combined conference record of 3-11 is not what either Sonny Lubick or Chuck Long expected. That being said, this game may be fun to watch as players fight for their jobs going into spring ball. For seniors, it is a chance to go out a winner, something not all players get the opportunity to do. In other words, this game is almost impossible to predict due to personnel changes for both teams. But they don’t pay me to be indecisive, so I believe that CSU will go out as winners and end their miserable season on a high point.
Final Score: CSU 31, SDSU 21
Sports Editor Mike Donovan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the individual author and not necessarily those of the Collegian.