If CSU coaches were hoping to ease Kyle Bell back into the lineup, it certainly didn’t turn out that way.
The junior running back, who missed all of 2006 with a knee injury, rushed a career-high 40 times for 125 yards and one touchdown. Bell carried the ball seven times on the Rams’ first scoring drive alone.
Head Coach Sonny Lubick said he was pleased with Bell’s physical return.
“The yards don’t mean a thing, it’s those tough yards, making the two yard gain into a four-yard gain,” Lubick said.
Bell said he felt good personally, but was visibly as disappointed as any CSU player following the loss.
“I felt like we battled hard,” Bell said. “We did well coming out, we pounded the ball hard. But unfortunately we couldn’t put the whole thing together.”
Co-offensive Coordinator Dan Hammerschmidt was also impressed with Bell’s physical return, though he admitted the 40 carries were not in the game plan.
“I would’ve said 20 or 25 carries would’ve been good,” he said.
One of Bell’s longest runs of the day was a 13-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter, leaving Bell with 3.4 yards per carry on the day, a stat tight end Kory Sperry said should have been higher.
“As a tight end, I know we can block better,” Sperry said. “We’re just one block away from him breaking four or five for sixty yards.