Oct 072008
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

Homecoming week is here. It’s a time when alumni return, family comes to visit, parades and, of course, football. On Saturday, the CSU football team plays host to Texas Christian University (5-1, 2-0) at 1:34 p.m. The Rams (3-2, 1-0) have not beaten the Horned Frogs since the two teams first meeting in 1998 and trail the all-time series 1-4.

So far this season, CSU holds a perfect 3-0 record at Hughes Stadium and, with the addition of the final two wins of 2007, the Rams are riding a five game win streak within the friendly confines. Despite having an attendance of less than 20,000 to watch last Saturday’s 41-28 victory over UNLV, CSU head coach Steve Fairchild believes that a homecoming crowd should aide the Rams against TCU.

“Any time there’s more people (in the stands), it helps. I know the kids really appreciate playing in front of our crowd, in particular our student section,” says Fairchild during his weekly press conference on Monday. “There are times throughout the year I tell our kids it’s a privilege to go out to Hughes. Those people pay their money and give up their time to come watch you play and that’s a privilege. It’s the greatest game on the planet and we’re all lucky to be doing what we are doing.”

Even though it’s homecoming, Fairchild says there’s no extra pressure to win than any other game.

“It’s just another opportunity to play at home, which we certainly do enjoy doing, but they way our team is looking at it, it’s another conference game.”

Since former head coach Sonny Lubick took over the program in 1993, CSU is 11-4 in homecoming games. Last season, the Rams lost their homecoming in a neck-and-neck battle with San Diego State, 24-20.

But before the opening kickoff on Saturday afternoon, Fort Collins will be a hot bed of homecoming football activities starting Thursday at 7 p.m. with the Coors Light Steve Fairchild Radio Show, a weekly opportunity for fans to come and attend the live broadcast at the Stonehouse Grille in Old Town.

On Friday afternoon, the annual homecoming parade will take place from 5-6:30 p.m., a march that runs from Howes Street to the west lawn of the Lory Student Center and immediately following the parade, coach Fairchild and the football team will join fans for a bonfire and pep rally.

CSU offensive coordinator Greg Peterson says that playing at Hughes Stadium is special and to have the fans support against the No. 3 team in the conference, TCU, would be an honor.

“It’s just like we talked about a week ago after coming off Cal. We said preseason is over, it’s time to focus and go 1-0 the next weekend against UNLV and that was our first conference game and the confidence we’re gaining again, but TCU is the next one on our schedule and playing at home even makes it more special in front of our fans and alumni,” Peterson says.

Football beat reporter Matt Stephens can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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