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Statistics reveal a lot about a game, but the only one that really matters when the clock hits zero is who wins and who loses.
So as the Rams regroup from Saturday’s 22-17 victory over CU-Boulder, they will look to improve on their mistakes as well as look at the positives of their performance in pulling out the victory.
“Don’t ever get caught up in the numbers,” said CSU coach Jim McElwain. “The number that counts is how you win, did you win the game? We could have had 700 yards of offense and lost, who cares right? So figure out a way to win the game, and I think they did.”
CU–Boulder coach Jon Embree realized the mistakes his team made, citing its lackluster running game as a major problem for setting up the passing game for quarterback Jordan Webb.
“(CSU) found a way to get it done and win the game and congratulations to them,” Embree said, whose team was out-rushed 125-58 in the game. “We weren’t effective running the ball. We better get that fixed. It has been too many games of us not running the ball so we will get that figured out.”
While out-working CU–Boulder in the running game was key to the Rams’ success in the game, taking advantage of the Buffs’ other mistakes as well helped CSU pull out its first victory in the Rocky Mountain Showdown in the last three years.
The Rams’ only two touchdowns of the game were aided by a muffed punt by Boulder at its own 20 yard line and a personal foul called on CU–Boulder’s Parker Orms for his shot to the head on Lou Greenwood, which extended a drive that turned into seven points for the Rams.
While capitalizing on Boulder’s unforced mental errors was key for CSU, it was also able to force the Buffs into difficult situations throughout the second half.
CSU was able to move Webb out of the pocket and give him less time to throw the ball due to different defensive blitzing packages, which turned out to be one of the deciding factors of the game.
“They changed it quite a bit,” Webb said of the pressure packages the Rams brought in the second half. “They started going way more one high, bringing a little more pressure and we just didn’t handle it well.”
The Rams now look ahead to the defending FCS Division–I champion North Dakota State on Saturday.
“The last time I checked, Alabama and these guys were Division–I National Champions,” McElwain said. “What everybody has to understand is, we won a game. Lets get excited about it for this bus trip on the way home, correct all the mistakes and then move forward.”
Football Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.