In the first half of their five games this season, Boise State has outscored opponents 118-16. For CSU to contend Saturday, getting out of the gate quick is a must.
â€œA fast start is huge,â€ said senior captain and offensive tackle Paul Madsen. â€œYou get points on the board and psychologically it helps everybody.â€
In order for CSU to gainconfidence, the offense must score early and often to keep the BSU defense on its heels. To do so, the Rams will need a balanced attack while playing mistake-free football.
â€œYou just canâ€™t overthink the whole situation. Theyâ€™re players just like us, they just donâ€™t make as many mistakes,â€ said running back Chris Nwoke.
CSU comes off a bye-week that gave them an extra week to prepare for undefeated BSU. After a heartbreaking loss to San Jose State, the Rams have yet to play a game when the passing game and rushing attack work together.
â€œIn order for us to have a chance to win weâ€™re going to have to put our running game and passing game together,â€ said quarterback Pete Thomas.
Coach Steve Fairchild agrees with Thomas, and he likes the progression he has seen in the passing game recently.
â€œI think for the fourth week in a row we are practicing like a Division-I team throwing the football,â€ Fairchild said.
However, the offense knows moving the ball against a stout BSU defense is no small task. CSU hasnâ€™t seen a defense nearly as talented as the Boiseâ€™s in the 2011 campaign.
â€œTheyâ€™ve got one of the best d-lines in the country, their whole defense starts with them,â€ Thomas said. â€œThey play fast, theyâ€™re big, theyâ€™re physical, they get pressure on the quarterback, they stop the run real well, and their corners man-up the receivers.â€
Recently when highly ranked teams have come to Hughes Stadium, the Rams have been able to hang around better than the public would expect. But that hasnâ€™t equated to any upset wins.
â€œIn the past when big names have come in like Utah and TCU, I donâ€™t think theyâ€™ve prepared well enough for us,â€ Madsen said.
Madsen and the rest of the team like the underdog tag that has been associated with the Rams over the course of the week, because a team that is so heavily favored can easily overlook its opponent.
At the end of the day, if CSU is able to come out on top it would be the biggest win in program history.
â€œIf we win a game like this itâ€™s a signature win,â€ Fairchild said. â€œItâ€™s one of those you remember for the rest of your life.â€
Football Beat Reporter Travis Todd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
Where: Hughes Stadium.
Join the conversation: Live chat with us at www.collegian.com and use hash tag #bsu_vs_csu on Twitter.
Fans are encouraged to wear white as part of the â€œwhite-out cancerâ€ event.