Rams hope to win in Ohio

Sep 162010
Authors: Joel Hafnor

There’s no such thing as an easy opponent when you’ve lost 11 games in a row, but a date with the Miami RedHawks on Saturday afternoon might serve as the closest thing for the Colorado State football team.

In 2009, Miami finished with a record of 1-11, scoring just more than 15 points per game. The RedHawks struggled mightily in their rushing attack, averaging only 70 yards on the ground per game. Conversely, Miami allowed its opponents to gouge them for 187 yards per game on the ground.

For a CSU team that didn’t force one punt a week ago at Nevada and failed to crack the end zone for a second straight week, taking the RedHawks lightly is not an option.

“(The RedHawks) play both a four-man front and a three-four scheme,” head coach Steve Fairchild said after Wednesday’s practice. “They’re hard to get ready for in that regard.”

Both sides of the Rams’ football team are licking their wounds after being dismantled at the hands of Nevada 51-6 last week. But it will be the more experienced defensive unit who will be looked upon to reestablish a winning atmosphere.

“Everybody needs to be humble, stick to their assignments and everything else will come,” said sophomore cornerback Momo Thomas. “I don’t sense a negative energy around here, everybody is doing what they need to do.”

The Rams defense will need to keep an especially close eye on senior running back Thomas Merriweather, who broke out to the tune of 113 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the Miami’s 28-21 victory over Eastern Michigan last Saturday.

Last year’s leading tackler Mychal Sisson is up for the challenge.

“Every game is important from here on out,” Sisson said. “We didn’t have enough discipline (last week). We need to go hard every play and get our assignments down.”

Sisson, who was limited in the Nevada game by a knee injury, is expected to be back at full strength for Saturday’s bout.

The CSU offensive enters this week as the lowest scoring team in the country, averaging 4.5 points a game in its first two games. Pete Thomas, who is one of only three starting true freshmen quarterbacks in the country, understands the importance of this game.

“It would be huge to get a win on the road this week and come back for our first home game with a win under our belt,” Thomas said. “We can’t just give up, that’s not what winners do.”

Thomas added: “I think I’ve done alright, but obviously it hasn’t shown on the field. We’re 0-2. Our offense hasn’t put the ball in the end zone. I have to take full responsibility for that.”

Assistant Sports Editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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