Aug 262010
 
Authors: Joel Hafnor

Eight days.

That’s all the time that stands between now and the Cinch Jeans Rocky Mountain Showdown. Colorado State has spent the past week fine-tuning their offensive and defensive game plan to take on archrivals CU-Boulder at Invesco Stadium at Mile High.

It’s a process head coach Steve Fairchild doesn’t feel is close to being complete.
“We’re nowhere near game-ready offensively. We’ve got a lot to fix here in one week,” said Fairchild after Thursday’s practice. “We just don’t have that game edge that really good teams start to flash about now.”

Though Fairchild hasn’t been particularly impressed with his offensive unit as a whole, he has been encouraged by the performance of his wide receivers corps.

“(The wide receivers) have been practicing good,” Fairchild said. “I really like what Byron (Steele) and Marquis (Law) are doing.”

Among the impressive wide receivers has been local product Matt Yemm, who played quarterback at Fort Collins High School before committing to CSU. Yemm continued his impressive play on Thursday, when he and starting quarterback Pete Thomas connected on a 45-yard touchdown.

“Both Yemm and Liggett are solid, you know what you’re going to get out of those guys,” Fairchild said. “Both of them are going to play.”

Along with executing the playbook to the best of their ability, the Rams have been working to prepare themselves for what surely will be a capacity-crowd next Saturday afternoon.

On Wednesday, the team practiced in the Indoor Practice Facility, located on Plum Street north of the Student Recreation Center.
Worried about the volume players will experience in the north end zone at Invesco, Fairchild had a recording of live crowd cheers blasted while players took reps.
“(The volume) might affect us. At least this way, we know we’ve practiced it,” Fairchild said.
The team spent Thursday evening practicing at Hughes Stadium behind closed doors. Along with playing in a real stadium, the practice gave players a chance to rehearse the routine of game day.
“We need to play big here during the regular season, so (the coaches) want us to bring that mentality here at practice,” said junior running back Raymond Carter.
With just over one week before the season opens, players are beginning to gear themselves up for the Showdown.
Junior defensive back Elijah-Blu Smith has been in the program for four years and famously obliterated CU-Boulder wide receiver Scotty McKnight in last year’s Rocky Mountain Showdown.
“This rivalry means so much for the state, so much for the school. It’s way bigger than us,” he said.
Assistant Sports Editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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