2-0 might not be as impressive as it sounds.
The CSU Rams may have an undefeated season going, but they will be the first to admit that they have many things to work on, especially offensively.
Rams quarterback Grant Stucker said that CSU has yet to put together a complete game and that offensive “let downs” have really hurt the team. Stucker focused specifically on Saturday’s 24-23 win over the Weber State Wildcats.
“We were preaching all week about not having a let down,” Stucker, a senior, said. “I don’t think we did initially. We came out ready to play, scoring on the first drive, but then the let down came. It wasn’t something anyone was really expecting, because we came out fired up. We have to be able to play a complete game.”
The Rams came out of the gate quickly against the Wildcats, jumping out to a 17-6 lead midway through the second quarter, but stalled from there. In the final 38 minutes of the game, the Rams scored only seven points, struggling to put together consistent drives.
Head coach Steve Fairchild was pleased with how his offense started the game, but was critical from there.
“I thought we were good in the first half,” the second-year head coach said. “We scored on three out of four possessions but then we made a few errors offensively and they kept moving the ball. A lot of the things we did didn’t give us the best chance to win.
“We’re fortunate to get that win.”
The same thing happened in CSU’s first contest of the season against the CU-Boulder Buffaloes. After jumping out to a 20-3 lead, the Ram’s offense again stumbled in the second half, producing only a single field goal the rest of the game.
Tight end Eric Peitz, who caught his first career college touchdown in Saturday’s win for what ended up being the game-winner, said that he is thankful to be 2-0, but there is a lot of room for offensive improvement.
“We made some mental errors out there, dropping passes that are close and with penalties,” the junior said. “We have to eliminate those. When we are on a roll, we can roll up and down the field. When we make those little tiny errors, that’s what trips us up all the time.”
All hope is not lost for the Rams offense though. Even with their inconsistency, CSU is still averaging 23.5 points per game. In addition, the Rams next opponent, the Nevada Wolf Pack, gave up 35 points in their first outing of the season.
Peitz is confident that any problems with the Rams offense can be fixed in practice and in the coming weeks.
“We have to be more disciplined and more focused in practice,” the Nebraska native said. “We have to have a goal in mind that there is nothing that is going to stop us from scoring a touchdown.”
Stucker agreed and added that even though it hasn’t been easy, the Rams are unbeaten and that has to count for something.
“It wasn’t pretty but it’s 2-0 and wins are wins,” said the Ponderosa High School graduate. “I couldn’t be happier to be 2-0 as a starter and I just hope we can keep this momentum going and carry on to next week and the following.”
Assistant sports editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org