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September 13, 2010

Monday Morning Quarterback: Nevada

Like a bad hangover the Colorado State Rams are going to do everything they can do to flush away a 51-6 loss at the hands of Nevada on Saturday night. While most Ram fans would like to do the same, we will go looking for some positives, as well as examine what didn't work and what we learned, Saturday in our weekly feature - Monday morning quarterback.

What worked
Special teams proved special: Good news - Freshman Tony Drakeled the team in all-purpose yards. Bad news - He gained all of those yards on kickoff returns and actually handled the ball more than anyone other than quarterback Pete Thomas. Still, Drake averaged 26 yards per return, including one 47-yard return. Ben DeLinemade both of his field goals and didn't allow a kickoff return yard.

Third quarter effort: After accounting for just 91 total yards in the first half of game Saturday night, the Rams came out and put together back-to-back 12 play drives that accounted for 98 yards and three points. When a team is down 34-3, players understand winning is pretty unlikely and can tank. Colorado State's offense certainly didn't do that in the third quarter on Saturday.

Welcome the new guys - part II: For the second week on a row, the Rams got big contributions from their freshmen. Shaq Bellled the team in stops with 10 tackles. Nordly Capihad the team's only tackle for a loss. Chris Nwokeran for 19 yards and Pete Thomas continued his steady play by passing for 194 yards, despite being sacked five times.

What didn't work
631: In a display more fitting of a Playstation game than something in real life, Nevada's offense cut through the Colorado State defense like a hot knife through butter. The numbers were disturbing - Nevada picked up 376 yards rushing, 255 yards passing, and 84 percent third-down success rate.

No third down conversions in the first half: Not much else to say here. Colorado State did not achieve a first down in any of its third or fourth down attempts - seven in all.

Dismal defensive effort: Not to harp on it, but the Nevada Wolf Pack did not punt once, did not lose possession on downs once and ended every possession with at least three points, with the exception of the final drive of the game.

What we learned
Perhaps this week taught us this Colorado State football team has further to go than we originally thought.

After last weekend's game, it was easy to say the Rams dropped a game to a Big 12 opponent and there is no shame in that. A loss to Nevada would be nothing to feel overly bad about, either. However, the fact of the matter is, this is a team that is two games into the season without a touchdown and sporting a defense that literally never stopped its opponent last week.

The reality of this team is that Colorado State's offensive line is not playing up to its capability, there are very, very few gamebreakers in the skill positions and the Ram defense is simply not very good right now.

The Rams seem to have made the decision to go young, take their lumps and develop as a team as the young guys get older, stronger, faster and better. It could be a long season and the 11-game losing streak being endured by the program right now could grow substantially.

Simply put - it could get a lot worse before it gets better...


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