Following three straight losses, the CSU football team finds itself in the type of losing streak they vowed they would avoid this season.
Early this season CSU coach Steve Fairchild stressed the importance of making sure losses donâ€™t quickly mount.
â€œYou have to string together wins,â€ Fairchild said following a loss to CU-Boulder. â€œAnd when you have a setback, you canâ€™t string together those.â€
But CSU has now seen a promising early-season record of 3-1 turn into a 3-4 mark that leaves the Rams in serious danger of missing a bowl for the third straight season.
The remaining opponents include a one-win team from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, as well as a University of Wyoming team that has four wins but lost by 44 points to a Utah State squad which CSU beat.
Even if the Rams win those two games, they will have to upset either San Diego State University or the Air Force Academy to reach bowl eligibility.
The Rams are counting on leadership, especially out of some of their veterans to help right the ship.
The team took what they believe is a step in the right direction when they held a players-only meeting to try and prevent the season from collapsing.
â€œWe just talked,â€ senior cornerback Elijah-Blu Smith said. â€œGot everything out there just to see where guysâ€™ heads are at.â€
Smith said that they needed the players to hold each other more accountable instead of having the coaches do all the motivating and teaching.
â€œWe got out what we need to do, what we need to accomplish,â€ Smith said. â€œCalled some guys out because thatâ€™s what we need to do. I feel we got the response we needed out of practice (Tuesday).â€
Last season the Rams seemed to give up once they knew they couldnâ€™t become bowl eligible. And they ended the season in an embarrassing fashion with losses of 49-10 against Brigham Young University and 44-0 versus Wyoming.
According to Smith, there is a totally different vibe right now.
â€œThereâ€™s definitely some urgency out there,â€ Smith said. â€œâ€¦You can tell weâ€™re not giving up on anything. Thereâ€™s still so much we can accomplish.â€
Fairchild agrees that this team has a different mental makeup than last yearâ€™s did. He has lauded his teamâ€™s winning attitude all year and is confident that they will work out of their slide.
â€œI really have a good feel for this football team and these kids,â€ Fairchild said. â€œLike I have said all along, it has been a lot of fun being around these kids. They are good, and they are good players. I know we will push through this.â€
Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at email@example.com.Follow @Kevin_Lytle
- What: CSU vs. the University of Nevada-Las Vegas
- When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
- TV: The Mtn.
- Live chat: www.collegian.com
- Twitter: Use hash tag #csu_vs_unlv