Oct 022007
Authors: Sean Star

Though it may not seem like it, there’s reason to be optimistic about Saturday’s homecoming football game against San Diego State University.

Recent history is in favor of the green and gold as coach Sonny Lubick is 11-3 in homecoming games at CSU and 9-2 in the last 11.

In fact, the Rams most recent victory came in last year’s 28-7 win over Nevada-Las Vegas on homecoming weekend, CSU’s lone conference win in 2006. And the year before that, the Rams defense held strong on four consecutive goal line plays against visiting Utah to preserve an unforgettable 21-17 win.

So it seems, there may be no better time than this weekend for the Rams to break end their horrendous 11-game losing streak.

Taking the term homecoming to heart, the Rams are returning to Hughes Stadium after playing three of their first four games away from Fort Collins on the way to a disappointing 0-4 start. The team’s lone home game was a 34-28 loss against the third-ranked team in the nation, California.

“We’re at a school with a program where you can’t have eight home games. I’d love that, though,” said Lubick at his weekly press conference Monday. “There’s something to be said about playing at home. There’s just a bit more opportunity.”

Lubick will be looking to earn his second homecoming victory Saturday over the Aztecs after defeating SDSU 19-17 in 1994.

Pick to finish second to last in the preseason conference polls, San Diego State appears to be the best chance at a Ram win until the second to last week of the season when Georgia Southern comes to town.

Leading the Aztecs is senior quarterback Kevin O’Connell, who has played well this fall despite his team’s 1-3 record. O’Connell is passing for almost 300 yards per game and has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions in his last two games.

Since starting the final five games his freshman year, the senior from Carlsbad, Calif., has proven to be an effective dual-threat, ranking fifth in all-time passing yards and first in rushing yards for a quarterback at SDSU.

“This team (SDSU) scares us because this quarterback played against us the last two years and beat us two times,” Lubick said. “.The one thing he does is he’s very tough. As tall as he is, he can run. He scored from about 15 yards on us last year as the game was winding down. What he’s doing now is getting out of the pocket and making guys miss.”

Entering conference play, the Aztecs appear to be improved from last year. SDSU has played the country’s 10th toughest schedule thus far and defensive back Vonnie Holmes has picked off a pass in every game this season.

But the Rams are focused only on themselves and getting running back Kyle Bell back on track.

“The trainers and Kyle haven’t said anything about his injury, so he’s healthy,” Lubick said. “I’d like to see him rush the ball 10 times in the first quarter if we could. Then get him out and give him a series or two series off if we could in the second. And then give him six or seven series in the second, if you could be that lucky to have the ball running it, that would be ideal.”

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