The second half of the season begins this weekend, as the Colorado State Rams (1-5, 0-2 MWC) host the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels in the 2010 Homecoming game.
The Rams have lost their last three Homecoming contests dating back to 2007, with narrow defeats to Utah (2009), TCU (2008) and San Diego State (2007). The Rebels (1-5, 1-1 MWC) represent the perfect opportunity for the Rams to end not only their Homecoming skid but their conference woes as well. Currently, the Rams MWC losing streak stands at ten games.
â€œWe look at every week as a chance to put together a game where we play more consistently in all three phases,â€ head coach Steve Fairchild said. â€œWeâ€™re continuing to try to improve and be the type of football team that I know we can be.â€
With five losses, the Rams are still technically alive for a bowl berth should the team come alive in the second half of the season. The Rams have already played two of the best teams in the conference in TCU and Air Force, who are both ranked among the top-25. Linebacker Mychal Sisson takes no solace in the schedule getting easier, saying that every game represents a new challenge.
â€œEach team is going to be hard to beat, weâ€™re going to look at (UNLV) like they are another TCU, Air Force or Utah,â€ said Sisson, whoâ€™s 34 tackles ranks him third on the team. â€œWe need to get everyone on the same page.â€
The Rebels are in their first year under head coach Bobby Hauck, who was an assistant at CU-Boulder from 1995-98. The Rebels run the spread offense â€“â€“Â though itâ€™s produced little in the way of success thus far â€“â€“ generating just under 20 points per game. Fairchild thinks that preparing for UNLV this season will be different than in seasons past, given that the Rebels have a new coach and a different system entirely.
â€œObviously we donâ€™t pay much attention to last yearâ€™s game because the staff is different. Weâ€™re basing it on what theyâ€™ve shown us this year,â€ Fairchild said. â€œNormally when we play somebody, youâ€™ve done some work in your offseason based on what theyâ€™ve done in the previous season, but thatâ€™s no good this year.â€
The Rams were without freshmen Tony Drake and Charles Favors last week at the Air Force Academy, as the two were suspended for violating team rules. Fairchild has reinstated the two for Saturdayâ€™s game.
This yearâ€™s Homecoming game will mark the end in a week full of festivity. The sports department unveiled a brand new CAM the Ram mascot this week, to go along with a new video board at Moby Arena on Thursday.
Kickoff for the UNLV game is set for noon Saturday at Hughes Stadium.
Assistant sports editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.