Colorado State football will host Nevada Saturday in what will be the first game played under the lights in the new on-campus stadium. Saturday’s Homecoming matchup with the Wolfpack will also be CSU’s first game played in Fort Collins in over a month.
After starting the 2017 season with a pair of home wins over Oregon State and Abilene Christian, the Rams travelled over one thousand miles in a three-game road stretch at Alabama, Hawaii and Utah State.
Currently sitting at 4-2, both players and coaches are excited to play four of the next six games at Sonny Lubick Field and have the opportunity to compete for a Mountain West Championship.
“I think it’s a great feeling for us,” senior center Jake Bennett said. “We haven’t been here since Abilene Christian…So, I think it’s great just to kind of get back in that groove. I mean with Hawaii we were leaving on a Thursday and back on Sunday at noon. That next week it was kind of like we weren’t really back in the rhythm. I think this week we are getting back into our daily, weekly routine like we usually do.”
“Oh my god, it feels like we’ve never been home,” senior guard Trae Moxley added. “I’m really excited to see the stadium get packed on Saturday, it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s a late game so it will be a lot of fun.”
Along with giving the the players some extra opportunities to sleep in their own beds, strategically the Rams are looking forward to having home field advantage in the majority of the contests down the stretch.
CSU is currently 2-0 in the on-campus stadium, but over the last few years the Rams have had a ton of success at home in general. CSU was 5-1 at Hughes Stadium last season. Since 2013, the green and gold have gone 20-6 in all home games.
With an undefeated record in conference play and victories at Hawaii and Utah State, CSU has an opportunity to control its own destiny in the Mountain West. Getting to play the majority of those games at home will give CSU an advantage over MW foes. Still, head coach Mike Bobo knows the team cannot get too comfortable.
“I’m excited for our guys to play at home,” Bobo said. “That 2-0 start does not guarantee anything this week. We’ve got to do it again for a new defense, a new offense and new special teams. I know that if we don’t prepare and work the way we should week in and week out, then we’ve got a good chance at getting beat on Saturday.”
Bobo’s squad will look to move to 3-0 in the MW when they square off with Nevada on Saturday. Coming off their first victory of the season, a 14-point win over Hawaii in Reno last weekend, Nevada showed promise on both sides of the football for the first time this season.
“They were clicking on offense, able to run and throw the ball,” Bobo said. “I thought they had some great play calls offensively.”
In the victory, quarterback Ty Gangi completed 25-of-32 pass attempts for 278 yards and four touchdowns and also added a score on the ground as well. On the ground, Kelton Moore was not able to find the end zone, but the sophomore running back totaled 19 carries for 216 yards.
“The thing that impresses me on tape when you watch these guys in their games is they play extremely hard,” Bobo said. “They’re playing with effort and that is a credit to their coaching staff. It’s hard when you lose ballgames, to continue to get your guys to show up every week and play. That’s what they did this past Saturday and won the ballgame.”
The Nevada game is scheduled to kickoff at 8:15 p.m. in the on-campus stadium. The the Rams’ third home game of the 2017 season will be viewable for a national audience on ESPN2.
Collegian Sports Director Justin Michael can be reached by email at email@example.com or Twitter @JustinTMichael.