The Colorado State Rams (3-4, 1-2 MW) football team is coming off of a bye week and a big conference win the week before that. The win two weeks ago marks the first MW win for the Rams, and is only the second time in the past ten match ups that they have beaten the Air Force Falcons.
The team needs to carry that momentum into this week against a dangerous San Diego State (5-3, 4-0 MW) squad, the only team in the Mountain West with an unblemished conference record.
“The Air Force win was a good confidence boost for the offense,” senior wide receiver Joe Hansley said. “We did what we knew we could do and what we should have been doing the rest of the season, anytime you go out and win a game like that it’s going to give you confidence.”
Bobo is looking for that confidence to show up in the form of excitement throughout the whole week heading into another big game.
“I hope that we walk into this place excited at the opportunity we have, playing another good team in the conference, a big game at home and we’re rested and rejuvenated and energized when we hit the field,” Bobo said.
The bye week not only allowed the team to get a little extra rest but gave them an opportunity to start looking at the Aztecs early as well.
“We got a jump-start on San Diego State and hopefully we will come back today ready to practice,” Bobo said on Monday.
The game on Saturday – which also happens to be Halloween – could potentially be one of the biggest games of the year for the Rams. It will take a full four quarters of attention to detail and a gritty performance from the team if they want to get the win and stay on track.
“One good play or one bad play is not going to determine the game, you’ve got to continue to play each play for 60 minutes and do your job,” Bobo said.
SDSU is a physical football team that tends to dominate teams at the line of scrimmage. The challenge of a 60-minute battle up front has some of the players for the Rams excited, junior linebacker Deonte Clyburn in particular.
“They’re physical, we’re physical, so it will be a great game,” Clyburn said. “They will be bringing the game to us, giving us the opportunity to stop the run and play our game, so this week I have big expectations and a lot of excitement for our defensive-seven up front.”
The offense wasn’t the only unit of the team to gain confidence in last week’s win over Air Force. The defense of the Rams has always been a confident bunch this season, but after holding a capable Air Force offense to just 23 points (Falcons average 32.6 per game), the defense will likely be firing on all cylinders again this weekend.
“It was a confidence boost without a doubt,” Clyburn said. “As a defense we’ve been trying to find our identity and I think that game really let us know who we are. We are a physical defense, we like to run and that’s what (defensive coordinator) coach Summers coaches.”
Saturday night presents an opportunity for the Rams to show what they can do on both sides of the ball, the players of the Rams and fans alike hope that it will be their team tricking the Aztecs and taking home all of the treats.
“It’s huge, it’s a huge game and a great opportunity at home and that’s going to extend into our preparation this whole week,” senior offensive lineman Sam Carlson said. “We’re taking practice one day at a time and treating every day like it’s a game, we’ve got to come out and win everyday and like coach says, ‘earn the right to win on Saturday.’”
Collegian Football Reporter Geoff Huebner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Huebnermedia93.