There is no such thing as an easy game, but for the CSU Rams, playing a 2-4 football team this weekend is looking pretty good at this point.
The Rams (3-4, 0-3 MWC) are coming off of the toughest four game stretch of any team in the country, facing opponents with a combined 23-3 record, and have a four game losing streak to show for it. CSU gets a break from teams with winning records Saturday as they play host to the San Diego State Aztecs (2-4, 0-2).
CSU quarterback Grant Stucker said that even though the Rams would have preferred a few wins in their last four games, the tough stretch still improved the team.
“The better teams you play, the better you get,” the senior and first year starter said. “I think we are a better team now than when we were on our winning streak even though we’ve lost four straight. In any college game, anything can happen but we’re not playing the number eight team in the nation two weeks in a row, so that’s good.”
CSU won its first three games of the season, picking up victories against arch rival CU-Boulder, Weber State and Nevada before losing consecutive games to Brigham Young, Idaho, Utah and, most recently, Texas Christian.
Rams head coach Steve Fairchild agreed with his quarterback saying that it’s nice to have a game back at home and a chance for CSU to play better than they have been.
SDSU enters Saturday’s game coming off a loss after falling to BYU 38-28 last Saturday. CSU is perfect against the Aztec’s under Fairchild winning the pair’s match up 38-34 last season in San Diego.
Although SDSU isn’t as tough on paper as other recent opponents, the Rams still have challenges to overcome on Saturday, mainly the loss of starting running back Leonard Mason. The junior injured his ribs early in last Saturday’s 44-6 loss to TCU, and is doubtful to play against the Aztecs.
Expected to take Mason’s place on the field are junior John Mosure and true freshman Lou Greenwood. So far this season, the duo has combined for 297 yards rushing, 202 yards receiving and four touchdowns.
Fairchild said he is confident in Greenwood’s ability to step into a featured role even in his first year with the Rams.
“He and John Mosure have stepped up a little bit in practice,” Fairchild, a San Diego native, said. “There is still hope that Leonard (Mason) can play, but they have to be ready to take even more of the share of the load.”
With the Aztecs giving up over 150 yards per game rushing, Greenwood recognizes this is a prime opportunity to make a name for himself.
The Texas product explained that the playing time he’s received this season, even though it’s been limited, will benefit him on Saturday.
“Since I’ve been playing a little bit, I kind of know what to look for,” he said. “I’ve been in and made some mistakes, so I know how to fix them. I’ve been in and made some plays, so I know what that is like. I think we’ll be alright, and we’ll get a good rotation going.”
Stucker confirmed that both Mosure and Greenwood are eager to play and said that he has no worries about handing them the ball come game time.
“They have taken on the challenge, and we’ll see Saturday if they can answer the challenge,” Stucker said. “I think that this is an opportunity that they have been waiting for, so they know they need to make the most of it.”
Saturday’s game against the Aztecs is scheduled to kickoff at 2 p.m. at Hughes Stadium.
Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.