Colorado State has been outscored 82-24 by their two biggest rivals this year.
The University of Colorado dominated the Rocky Mountain Showdown to the tune of a 44-7 win over CSU. Wyoming strolled across the border and stunned CSU 38-17 in the last Border War at Hughes Stadium.
Heading into the Wyoming game CSU was riding high off a loss. The Rams battled Minnesota in a 31-24 loss, but came away feeling like they were prepared to take the next step.
It looked like CSU was on track to take the next step and head into homecoming week full steam ahead when up 14-3 in the second quarter against Wyoming. Two turnovers, a missed field goal and a shanked punt later, the train didn’t fall of the tracks, but the tracks need to be repaired.
With a matchup with Utah State (2-3, 0-2 MW) looming, head coach Mike Bobo is searching. He is searching for leaders, searching for players who make plays.
Coming into the Border War, CSU looked to have their core. Coming into Utah State, the core is being reevaluated.
“There comes a time when you just can’t pat everybody on the back and say, ‘everything is going to be ok,’” Bobo said. “You have got to be willing to address things and call people out. Not necessarily in a negative way, but holding people accountable to get things done.”
By not holding any more hands, Bobo is hoping that his team’s leaders will step up.
At a time where the season is like a measuring scale ready to tip either way, Bobo wants the Rams to establish some concrete leadership.
“I’m always a firm believer that the difference between a good team and a great team, is player led over coach led,” Bobo said during Monday’s press conference. “We are not even a good football team right now. There have been moments of good football plays, but we are not a good football team to this point.”
The troubling thing for Bobo isn’t that the team is not being player led at the moment; it is the way they have performed.
“What is disheartening is we’re 2-3,” Bobo said. “You sit here and try to say this is the reason, that is the reason. The bottom line is we’re not executing well offensively, we’re not making enough plays defensively and we’re not winning special teams. We are either drawing or not winning, and we have got to figure out ways to do that.”
It is easy to look at the two first half turnovers for CSU and see that as the turning point. Bobo doesn’t think so. Bobo said there was a lot football still to be played and the team could have mounted a comeback, they just didn’t.
The blame for the Border War loss doesn’t fall on a single person, or a single play. The entire team needs to play better if the Rams want to compete against Utah State, including the head coach.
“Ultimately that burden falls on me as the head coach,” Bobo said. “I have to do a better job of putting guys in a position to lead, where they can hold people accountable, and then we still got to go to work. We have to improve, (we’re) 2-3, there is a lot of football left to be played and we have a better opportunity this Saturday.”
Collegian sports editor Chad Deutschman can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ChadDeutschman