First home game brings hope for CSU football

Quarterback Garrett Grayson wants to go home, and from August to December his home is Hughes Stadium.

On Saturday afternoon, Grayson and the rest of the CSU football will get their wish when they take on the Cal Poly Mustangs for the first home game of the season.

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“We’ve played in two crazy environments the last two weeks,” Grayson said. “We are ready to get settled into our home stands, in front of the home crowd; hopefully get a win, and set the tone for the rest of the year.”

The Rams struggled in away games last season, and have gone 0-2 thus far without home-field advantage.

Colorado State starting quarterback Garret Greyson (18) warms up during practice.There have been other factors that have kept the first “W” off of the record, namely the absence of junior slot receiver, Charles Lovett who is still recovering from a knee injury.

He wants to be back out on the field just as much as his teammates need him to be, but that prospect looks grim.

“It is the first home game, but it could be the first away game; I just want to play,” Lovett says of his antsy wait in the training room. “I want to get in there and get a little sweat going.”

Sweat isn’t what is missing from the Rams gameplan. They have played two hard-fought battles, but continue to be thwarted by small imperfections.

Connections, communications, conversions are missing from the game plan. Victory is missing.

Lest coach Jim McElwain be forced to trudge through another losing season, the Rams need to pull off a win on Saturday, and the comfort of Hughes Stadium is their lantern in the dark.

“I know we are excited about playing at home, we’d love to have a real good crowd out there for these guys, but I also understand how it works,” McElwain said. “We have to put a product on the field to bring people out, and that’s my responsibility.”

From the 2011 season through last week, the Rams are 3-11 away from Hughes and 4-8 playing on Sonny Lubick Field. They also won three straight games at home at to end the 2012 season, a streak they hope to build upon.

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Saturday could be the turning point that CSU has been searching for since the Bold New Era with McElwain began.

“We have the crowd behind us this time,” safety Kevin Pierre-Louis said. “We are excited to finally play in front of our own fans.”

Grayson’s morale has decreased after going 0-2 heads into the game with 34 completions on 68 attempts, 2 interceptions and 2 touchdowns. However he remains optimistic about the change home-field advantage could bring to his offense.

“It will make everybody more comfortable,” he said. “There’s no doubt we have the weapons, I just need to go out there with confidence and play the way I know I can, I have to help them out.”

Football Beat Reporter Cali Rastrelli can be reached at sports@collegian.com. Follow her on Twitter  @c_rasta5 for live updates.