Sep 062010
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

DENVER –– I am a very opinionated person.

Pepsi is better than Coke; first dates are nothing more than job interviews; people always let you down; and at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is family and God.

I have a distinctive voice that always says what my brain is thinking, rarely with a filter. Often, that gets me into trouble, whether it’s with co-workers, family members or girlfriends — and I really don’t care.

I don’t go out of my way to offend people, but if what I say happens to hurt your feelings, well that sucks.

Does that make me a jerk? I don’t think so, but I was raised under the illusion that honesty is a good thing.

Having said all that, I find myself in a very unfamiliar place — without a real opinion on the 2010 Rocky Mountain Showdown.

Since Colorado State’s loss on Saturday, I’ve received constant phone calls and texts from friends and co-workers and even questions in person from people I don’t know asking, “Matt, what did you think about the game?”

Frustrated by this question, mainly because it has me so confused and makes me feel as if I’m losing my identity, I hereby declare this column my final answer on the subject. If ever again you ask me my thoughts on the 2010 Rocky Mountain Showdown, you give me the right to slap you –– unless, of course, you’re a faculty or staff member.

So if you really follow this team, there isn’t much to tell. The only things that were surprising was how poorly the offensive line blocked for the running game and how relatively well the same front five protected quarterback Pete Thomas, as in practice, those roles were reversed.

Thomas didn’t look terrible under center. A true freshman thrown into the mix for the first game of his career on such a big stage, there wasn’t anything I could complain about.

It was obvious that coach Steve Fairchild kept a pretty tight leash on his quarterback, especially with how Thomas completed four of his first five passes for only 11 yards. Once the Rams started to extend the field with the passing game, I thought Thomas looked alright, and wide receivers Byron Steele, T.J. Borcky and Marquise Law actually looked really good.

The only thing Thomas needs to work on is not telegraphing his passes, as that’s exactly why he threw his third interception, intended for Matt Yemm. The first pick: Well, that route should never be an option with your shortest receiver, and the second, Jalil Brown made one of the best defensive plays you’ll see all season.

And you have to admire Thomas for seeing the pocket collapse, tucking the ball and taking off when a lane was available. You may call him not sliding idiotic, I call it toughness.

As long as the Rams can establish a running game, this team will be just fine.

On the defensive side: no complaints at all.

Don’t be the ignorant crybaby who points to the defense as the reason for the loss, allowing 24 points.

Three of CU-Boulder’s four scoring drives traveled 50 yards or less due to a failed fourth down conversion, an interception and a poor punt. That’s 17 points where the Buffaloes only had to travel half the field to score, is that something that’s the defense’s fault?

The first touchdown pass CU quarterback Tyler Hansen threw to Travon Patterson was just a great play and the second to Scotty McKnight was blown coverage. That’s football: doesn’t matter if you’re Alabama or New Mexico, on some plays you’re going to look bad, even if you’re not.

The Rams’ secondary looked solid overall; Ricky Brewer showed he’s back in game-form, and both sacks CSU got on Hansen were by freshmen — once again, I’m not going to complain.

My only strong opinion about this game is that I feel CU freshman cornerback Paul Vigo should be suspended for what looked to be an obviously malicious hit on Momo Thomas during the Rams’ last punt return.

I know some of this may sound bland, but that’s how Saturday’s game went. It wasn’t good; it wasn’t really bad; it was just there. The loss was a rough one, but it wasn’t a shocker.

So there you have it. My thoughts on a game that gave me no real opinion. The season isn’t doomed; let’s move on to Nevada.

Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens can be reached at

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