Sep 202011
 
Authors: Kevin Lytle

There is no time for the CSU football team to dwell on its disappointing loss to CU-Boulder on Saturday.

The Rams face another tough road test Saturday when they face a Utah State team that was minutes away from upsetting South Eastern Conference powerhouse Auburn on the road.

Not moving past the loss to CU could put CSU in a tailspin it can ill-afford.

“You have to string together wins, and when you have a setback, you can’t string together those,” coach Steve Fairchild said. “You’ve got to get back and maybe get one or two in a row, maybe three in a row, and if you drop one, you’ve got to find a way to get back to winning ways.”

But to get back to winning ways, CSU will need to fix some of the problems that cost them against CU –– most notably, missed tackles.

In two key sequences Saturday, the defense missed key tackles that allowed drives to continue and turn into scores for CU.

The first came late in the first half when quarterback Tyler Hansen had a long scramble for a first down. According to defensive coordinator Larry Kerr, the defense missed three tackles on that sequence.

The second came on the 10-minute drive that virtually ended the game when Rodney Stewart got loose on a swing pass.

Kerr was reluctant to put a number on the missed tackles, but did say it wasn’t very good.

There is now going to be an extra emphasis on tackling during the week to ensure that Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton, a very active runner, doesn’t get loose on Saturday.

“Obviously we do some drills and that sort of thing,” Fairchild said on tackling during practices. “That is something we might have to do a little bit of because we’ve got no chance defensively if you don’t tackle. You’re not going to get them off the field if you miss tackles.”

And once again the defense might have to deal with some reshuffling due to injuries.

Starting defensive end Broderick Sargent went down for the year with a knee injury after the first game. Linebacker Mychal Sisson broke his ankle in the second game and isn’t expected back until very late in the season, if at all.

And on Saturday, starting defensive tackle Nuku Latu suffered a knee injury, although it doesn’t appear to be as serious as Sargent’s. According to Kerr, Latu is “questionable” for Saturday.
Despite the injuries, the defense is determined to rebound.

“That was very embarrassing for us (last week),” defensive end Nordly Capi said. “All of us want to bring redemption back to the defense and hopefully stop Utah State this week.”

Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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