Colorado State has started the season 2-4, and 0-2 in the Mountain West, and a significant part of that has been the offenses inability to put up big numbers against tough defenses.
In their four losses this season, the Rams are averaging just 18 points per game. Head coach Mike Bobo isn’t hiding the fact that his offense is still searching for consistency.
“No question, I’d say were really kind of a mixed bag right now,” Bobo said referring to his offense.
Bobo, as head coach and the play caller for the offense makes no bones about his role in a sometimes-sputtering offense.
“In all areas we’re not being consistent enough,” Bobo said. “…That’s me included, as a play caller on offense, (I’ve) got to call better plays to give us a chance to be more successful.”
The Rams welcome the Air Force Falcons (3-2, 2-0 MW) into Hughes Stadium this upcoming Saturday, and they will need to work out some kinks offensively if they want to find that consistency and have a positive outcome.
Coming into the game, the Falcons rank in the top 50 in the nation in scoring defense, rushing defense, and total yards per game (300.6).
For an offense that is already struggling to find ways to create explosive plays, Saturday will likely be another grueling test.
“If you look at explosive plays of ten plus yards, we’ve made a lot of those, but the ones that are 20 and 30, we haven’t made a lot in the past few weeks,” Bobo said.
He even joked about starting his star wide receiver, Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins at quarterback to squeeze some big plays out of his team.
“We might start Rashard at quarterback this week … pull out the wildcat, do something,” Bobo joked.
It doesn’t matter what offense it is, as Bobo points out, “It’s hard for any play caller when you’re not getting explosive plays.”
These big plays do not always need to come in the form of a 50-yard bomb to a receiver in the end zone either.
“Explosive does not have to be a pass scheme, it can be fitting up on the right guys on the run against the right look … it’s doing the little things that gets you explosive plays,” Bobo said.
Senior running back Jason Oden, Jr. has been a productive player so far for the Rams this season. On 106 carries, Oden, Jr. has 434 yards and two touchdowns. He is aware that the offense has not had enough big plays and that he plays a part in that.
“When you watch film it’s not three or four guys doing something wrong, it’s one guy missing a block or me not reading my holes right or passes not being accurate, receivers not getting great depth with their routes, it’s just the little things,” Oden, Jr. said.
Air Force also has the fifth ranked rushing offense in the nation, averaging 320.8 yards per game, which will surely take away a few possessions from the Rams come Saturday.
“We definitely have to execute our game plan because of the way they run their offense, we are going to have limited possessions,” quarterback Nick Stevens said. “We are not going to get the ball as much because that clock’s going to be running when they are running the ball.”
In order to try to move the ball consistently and put points up on the board on Saturday Bobo is tightening the leash on his offense a little bit.
“I said it last week, we’re honing down a little bit and we’re honing down a little more this week,” Bobo said. “I feel good about the plan right now but ultimately we’ve got to go out and execute on Saturday.”
This weekend will also be the homecoming game for the Rams, who hope the home crowd will do their part on Saturday as well.
“The home crowd is huge,” senior offensive lineman Sam Carlson said. “Home field advantage is everything. When they get up and down on third down for the defense it’s great, and it’s good for us when they are quiet out there for us, so it’s huge and we need them for sure.”
Collegian Football Reporter Geoff Huebner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Huebnermedia93.