September 12, 2011

Monday Morning Quarterback: UNC

Colorado State tallied another mark in the win column Saturday with a 33-14 victory over in-state rival Northern Colorado. It's time again to reflect on the good and bad of a game that saw its fair share of positives and negatives for the Rams.

What worked:

• Rushing the football - Raymond Carter met the 100 yard plateau and rushed for two touchdowns, while backup Derek Good saw his first carries of the year, going for 81 yards, good enough for a staggering 9 yard average. In total, Colorado State averaged nearly six yards on the ground on its way to 242 yards rushing on the afternoon.

• Spreading the rock - Quarterback Pete Thomas connected with eleven different receivers on his 28 completions. While a go-to playmaker has yet to emerge, the Rams no doubt like to see so many young playmakers step up as they continue to gain confidence and experience.

• Defense - The Rams didn't allow any first half points, and defensive coordinator Larry Kerr has to be feeling good about where his unit is headed. Interceptions and sacks were hard to come by in previous seasons, but CSU continued to pressure the UNC quarterbacks and added two interceptions on Saturday.

What didn't work:

• Ball security - CSU had four fumbles, including two by starting tight end Crockett Gillmore after receptions. Luckily for them, they recovered all four miscues. But, Pete Thomas tossed three interceptions to go along with his lone touchdown. Not exactly encouraging news when facing a struggling FCS opponent. This team needs to protect the ball more consistently if it expects to beat tougher opponents.

• Staying healthy - Mr. Do-everything captain Mychal Sisson fractured his ankle on a punt return, but the team is hopeful that the All-conference linebacker can return before the season's end. No need to state how devastating this injury means from a production, leadership, or moral standpoint - CSU clearly lost a lot in its senior outside linebacker. Adding to that were serious lower body injuries to defensive tackle Scott Carter and fullbacks Austin Gillmore and Jake Levin. Filling the voids at OLB and fullback will be top priorities heading into the Rocky Mountain Showdown Saturday morning.

• Consistency - The Rams played one of their better halves in recent memory, leading 28-0 after two quarters. The second half was a different story, as UNC won the scoring battle 14-5, Thomas threw two of his three INTs, and Quentin Hildreth summed up Colorado State's focus (or lack thereof) with a wacky 66 yard TD run in which he broke free from a massive dog-pile virtually unnoticed.

Play of the game:

On Northern Colorado's opening drive, CSU safety Ivory Herd picked off a Dylan Orms pass on a 3rd and long play, which gave the Rams offense great field position in Bears' territory and set the tone for the rest of the half for Colorado State.

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