Colorado State’s offense left a lot of questions after Saturday’s loss against Minnesota, but the defense certainly passed their test. Similar to the UM match up, the Buffs bring an offense capable of doing damage, but that does not deter the confidence of the Rams.
“They’re similar to the past two offenses we just faced, they like to use a lot of routes, a lot of route concepts, spacing routes and that’s going to get your eyes moving in different directions,” senior safety Kevin Pierre-Louis said. “I’m used to their offense, I’ve played them for like three years now so I know exactly what to look for.”
CU’s offense, lead by junior quarterback Sefo Liufau, is averaging 34 points per game and can do damage in the air and on the ground. The Buffs have 324 passing yards and over 600 rushing yards in two games this season.
Rams head coach Mike Bobo knows his team may very well have to lean on it’s defense once again.
“I’ve been preaching since I got here to those defensive guys that we’re young … and the majority of our seniors are on defense, we need them to lead, we need them to set the example, and if we want to get where we want to go they have to play well,” Bobo said.
Through two games this season, the Rams defense has allowed an average of 18 points game.
“I was very pleased with the defense,” Bobo said of his team’s effort against Minnesota. “The effort, the physicality, we were a lot more disciplined defensively in our communication and getting lined up, playing proper technique … playing fast, playing physical, playing with heart, and it was a good thing to see.”
As Bobo mentioned, a lot of the members on defense are veteran players on the team, and by now the Rocky Mountain Showdown means even more to those players. Winning the third Showdown in the past four years would be a great feather in the cap of the CSU seniors.
“I want to give the fans something great, they deserve bragging rights in this state,” Pierre-Louis said. “It means a lot to me to go to CSU and to know that we have been referred to as the little brother for a long time and that we have a chance to put an end to it so it means a lot.”
A win Saturday would also give the Rams a win over a Power 5 team for the fourth consecutive season, which would be the second longest streak of the nation amongst non-Power 5 schools. For Pierre-Louis, the winning formula is a familiar one.
“We need to play just like we’ve been playing,” Pierre-Louis said. “Playing aggressive, physical and fast, if we do that we will be successful.”
Pierre-Louis is a Del Rio, Texas native, but still feels the extra passion and energy going into rivalry week. As for Bobo, a man plenty familiar with rivalry games in the SEC, he too seems to have picked up on the importance of the game.
“Our fan base is passionate about it and I’m sure there’s is too,” Bobo said. “It should be a good great game, you’ve got two teams that are 1-1 and are fighting and clawing, I expect a hard fought game between the two teams.”
Collegian Football Reporter Geoff Huebner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Huebnermedia93