The Rams season opening win over CU-Boulder at Folsom Field seems like a long time ago.
After jumping out to a 3-0 start, CSU (3-3, 0-2 MWC) has dropped three in a row after its heartbreaking 24-17 loss against Utah.
With such high emotions at the beginning of the season, the Rams now find themselves searching for an emotional boost to pull them out of this three-game rut.
“You can go from 3-0, being on top of the world, to losing three in a row real quick,” said senior cornerback Nick Oppenneer. “We were on such a high winning in Folsom. It’s been tough, but good teams find a way to come back, and we will.”
The road back doesn’t get any easier as the team travels to Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday to face No. 9 TCU.
The game will conclude the grueling, opening stretch of MWC play against the three best teams in the conference from a year ago — BYU, Utah and TCU.
“We’ve known for a while that this is the bear part of our schedule,” quarterback Grant Stucker said.
Up 17-3 midway through the third quarter, the Rams were in control to knock off the Utes, but unfortunately, the team left Hughes Stadium with another close defeat and wondering when it will defeat the best teams in the MWC.
Head coach Steve Fairchild said he thought his team “was ready to take this step,” and win over Utah.
“The next step for us is beating one of these top teams. We’re sitting there on the ladder until we do it,” Fairchild said. “The burden of proof is on us.”
Amid the loss, Fairchild said the team is heading in the right direction after a winning record last season capped off by a bowl game victory and with its win over CU-Boulder.
“We’ve got support from our administration. We’re opening up facilities. We’re heading in the right direction,” Fairchild said.
Receiver Dion Morton, who caught five passes for 106 yards and a touchdown against Utah, admits the team has gone through some emotional swings thus far this season but knows how close the Rams are to knocking off one of these upper echelon MWC teams.
“I really can’t put a finger on it, to be honest with you, about what the feeling is around here,” Morton told the Collegian. “It’s a lot more confident feeling. We know where we want to be, it’s just the fact of doing it.”
Stucker, who threw three interceptions against Utah, said the team will move on and be prepared to face TCU on Saturday.
“I will guarantee you that we’ll come out tomorrow and turn our eyes toward TCU and work as hard as we can to get an edge,” Stucker said after the game Saturday. “We’ve really been preaching to keep our heads up if things go bad and they obviously have.”