With the CSU football team idle this weekend, many of the Rams players and coaches have big events planned for their off days, most of which involve sitting on the couch and watching pigskin on TV.
Fresh off a 23-20 victory over Sacramento State last Saturday, CSU (1-1) had a week of light workouts and conditioning before the off weekend. Most of the players seemed to have lighter spirits this week knowing they had an extra seven days of preparation before hosting the high scoring Houston Cougars on Sept. 20.
Even the always-focused Kory Sperry was able to crack a few jokes about running back Gartrell Johnson III and his ability (or lack thereof) to play the EA Sports hit video game “NCAA Football 2009.” Johnson said that he plays NCAA Football 2009 against fellow running back John Mosure quite often.
“I usually win,” said Johnson. “Sometimes we play unranked matches, and I’ll use Florida State, but I mostly like using myself in the game.”
Mosure, however, disagreed with Johnson’s statement.
“Gartrell said that? Really? No, Gartrell talks a lot of mess, but he never backs it up. We’re pretty even in Madden (NFL Football), but in NCAA I got him beat, so I don’t know where he got that information from,” Mosure said, laughing.
Either way, the two Miami natives enjoy the friendly competition on the Xbox 360 video game console.
Mosure added that he might get lucky and score some cheap airfare to fly home and surprise his family.
CSU sophomore linebacker Ricky Brewer said that this weekend he plans to head back to his home in Denver before watching this week’s national spotlight game.
“I’ll probably go back home and check out the good old Mullen (High School) boys and see how they’re doing,” said the Rams’ leading tackler. “I’ll definitely check out the Houston and Air Force game on Saturday and that Ohio State, [Southern California] game is coming on so it will be a good football weekend.”
On the coaching side, head coach Steve Fairchild and offensive coordinator Greg Peterson both look to stay focused, but will be using different methods to do so.
“Normally I’d like to get out and see my daughter at the University of Arkansas, but I’m not going to this time,” said Fairchild, who received his first career win as a head coach last Saturday. “We’ll come in as coaches and watch a little college football. That Ohio State game looks like a good one; we might have to order a pizza and watch that game.”
As always, Peterson is staying both optimistic and focused on the next game, hoping his offense can find holes in the Houston defense that gave up 499 yards to Oklahoma State last Saturday.
“[On Saturday] we get ready for Houston,” said the offensive coordinator. “I’ll tell ya what now: as a football coach, I don’t know if you ever take a day off. It’s good that we’re at a point in time where that, typically, between your second and third ball game is where your program will improve the most and so, hopefully, having a few days this week to practice, everybody gets back and is healthy, and then we ramp it up for the game week.”
Football beat writer Matt Stephens can be reached at email@example.com.