Q&A: Rams press conference before Rocky Mountain Showdown

Geoff Huebner

The 2015 installment of the Rocky Mountain Showdown will take place Saturday, Sept. 19 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High when the Colorado State Rams and the Colorado Buffaloes face off in Denver. Saturday’s game is the final opportunity of the season for the Rams to get a win over a Power-5 conference opponent for the fourth consecutive season.

Coming off of a heartbreaking loss to Minnesota, head coach Mike Bobo and company are determined to do whatever it takes this week to win the Showdown for the third time in the past four years. Here are some highlights from Monday’s press conference with Bobo, senior defensive lineman Joe Kawulok and senior wide receiver Joe Hansley:

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Q: What does the quarterback situation look like for practice this week leading up to the CU game?

Bobo: Both guys are going to come in and work. Nick Stevens is going to work with the first team today and we’ll give Coleman (Key) some first team reps like he has had in the past. (I) plan on getting him in on a series. A lot will be dependent on how they practice. … We’re going to get both guys ready like we have in every game and at the end of the day, at any position we’re going to play the guy that gives us the best chance to win the ball game.

Q: There have been a lot of turnovers in the first two games, is that a concern going into the Showdown?

 Bobo: Yeah, and the only way I know how to correct that is to keep working on the fundamentals of ball security, running back to quarterback exchange and then the fundamentals of progressions in routes, and your feet telling you where to go with the ball. If you tell a guy, ‘hey we can’t turn the ball over’, then they are afraid to pull the trigger. The quarterback has to (be) confident, see it, throw it and your feet tell you to do it.

Q: How much did you learn about your team in the Minnesota game?

Bobo: It was a test and (I) talked about it being a fight. We knew what they were going to try to do and it was going to be a lot of blows back and forth but we were not going to tap out. … And they did exactly that and then we just had to finish in overtime, (we) really didn’t give ourselves a chance in overtime with a turnover on the first play.

Q: Coming from the SEC, you are familiar with rivalry games. Are you and the team feeling ready for this one?

Bobo: I’m excited about it, playing in the Florida/Georgia game for so many years, which we played in Jacksonville where the crowd was split 50-50, I always thought that was a neat thing. … I know how excited everybody is for this game because everywhere I’ve been across the state since I took the job, it’s always about the CU game and our fan base is passionate about it, and I’m sure there’s is too. It should be a good game.

Q: Is there a little bit more emotion for the CU game being an in-state guy?

Kuwolak: Yeah, definitely for a rivalry game that’s always huge it just happens that it’s this week … it’s real important to me and I think it is to everyone on the team we’re just looking to go out there and get a win.

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Q: Does Rivalry week mean anything extra to you in your senior year?

Joe Hansley: There’s always that little extra oomph when it’s CU week, but we’re just going to prepare like it’s any other week, like it’s any other game. … This is a big week and it’s rivalry week and you really have got to go out and do whatever you’ve got to do to win.

Collegian Football Reporter Geoff Huebner can be reached at sports@collegian.com and on Twitter @Huebnermedia93.