After a disappointing loss at the hands of in state rival CU-Boulder last Saturday, the Rams now turn their attention to the University of Nevada.
The Rams look to improve in several areas from last week, especially offensively. The team struggled to move the ball thanks in large part to an ineffective running game.
CSU coach Steve Fairchild and the rest of the Rams coaching staff have been working all week to get the running game where it needs to be.
â€œWeâ€™re just being more detailed with our backfield and more technically sound at tight end,â€ Fairchild said. â€œI think these guys as they play together will start fitting some of those runs better than we did last Saturday.â€
Running backs coach Anthony Hill attributes the lack of production on the ground to miscues in execution.
â€œJust being assignment sound is the main thing,â€ Hill said. â€œWe missed a couple seams we could have hit. If everybody does their job we will be alright.
A majority of the carries went to junior Raymond Carter on Saturday, but it was true freshman Tony Drake who showed significant flashes of brilliance.
Drake only had a pair of carries against CU, but gained 32 yards, including a 20-yard gain.
â€œHe makes it hard for us not to (give him more carries),â€ Hill said. â€œThatâ€™s what I told him. Everything you do ought to be forcing our hand to find ways to get you the ball more and more.â€
The Rams will head to Reno, Nev. this weekend in what will be the first collegiate road game for the seven true freshmen who are likely to see playing time on Saturday. Going into a hostile environment will represent another obstacle in the development of quarterback Pete Thomas.
Fairchild does not know how the freshman will react to a likely-sold out MacKay Stadium.
â€œYou never know until they go through it, but I was pleased with what (the seven true freshmen) did down in Denver,â€ Fairchild said. â€œTheyâ€™re good football players. I expect theyâ€™ll do well.â€
The Wolf Pack return 15 starters after an 8-5 record in 2009 and are on the cusp of a Top 25 ranking in the AP Polls.
Nevada is coming off a convincing 49-24 win over Eastern Washington in week one. Senior quarterback Colin Kaepernick passed for 306 yards and scored 4 total touchdowns in the win.
Kaepernick is the definition of a dual-threat quarterback, eclipsing the 3,000-yard mark in his career for both passing and rushing yards.
His body of work has him ranked among the most prolific running quarterbacks in NCAA history.
CSU won the meeting between the two teams last season and has a 9-1 all time record against Nevada.
The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU with kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MST.
Football Beat Reporter Cris Tiller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org._