Four consecutive weeks of tough opponents got off to a slow start for the CSU Rams Saturday afternoon.
The Rams (3-3, 1-1) fell to the TCU Horned Frogs 13-7, ending the Rams five-game home winning streak.
CSU failed to score on 12 of 13 drives during the day, including three drives in the last seven minutes of the game.
CSU coach Steve Fairchild was pleased with how his team responded to the challenge of facing one of the top teams in the Mountain West Conference, but gave credit to TCU’s defense for playing tough.
“This defense is going to make you look silly at times,” the first-year Rams head coach said. “It’s going to be a rough go when ever you face them. I liked what we did and the way we set ourselves up, but we just didn’t make enough plays down field to get it done.”
CSU began the game by taking their opening possession 78 yards for a touchdown. Gartrell Johnson ran the ball in from four yards out to give the Rams a 7-0 lead. CSU failed to score for the remaining 55 minutes in the game.
Wide receiver Dion Morton explained he was confident that the Rams were in good shape after the team’s first possession.
“I figured we could have done a little better with the rest of the drives after that,” the junior said. “We had some penalties and some missed plays that hurt us. You can’t really come away with good drives when you have mistakes like that.”
CSU’s defense played well, holding the Horned frogs to two rushing touchdowns and 317 yards of total offence.
Safety Mike Pagnotta liked that the Rams never quit, but explained that CSU had more than a few chances to pull off an upset victory.
“This is a game we were capable of winning,” the senior said. “We left some plays out there that would have put us in position to win. But they are a good team and I take my hat off to them.”
Rams starting quarterback Billy Farris was pulled from the game midway through the third quarter after completing only five passes for 67 yards. Fairchild replaced the senior Klay Kubiak. The redshirt freshman threw for 121 yards, an interception and was sacked five times.
The loss puts the Rams at .500 going into match up with the undefeated University of Utah next Saturday. Fairchild explained that he wanted to be better than 3-3 at the midpoint of the season.
“I’d like to be a lot better than that, but there is still a lot of football left and a lot of attainable goals out there for us,” he said. “So we’ll try our best not to make this two losses and get back to work preparing to play a very good Utah team.”
Football beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at email@example.com
href=http://www.collegiansports.com/>Click here for Sports Blog