#95 Colorado State Football Preview

Colorado State Rams

Overall rank: #95
#5 Mountain West Conference

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2010 Record: (3-9, 2-6)
2010 Bowl: None
Coach: Steve Fairchild (13-24 at Colorado State, 13-24 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Pat Meyer
Defensive Coordinator: Larry Kerr

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Chris Nwoke, RB, 357 yards
Passing: Pete Thomas, QB, 2,662 yards
Receiving: Lou Greenwood, WR, 2,662 yards
Tackles: Mychal Sisson, LB, 95
Sacks: Mychal Sisson, LB, 4.5
Interceptions: 4 players with 1

Other Key Returnees: WT, Paul Madsen, WG, Jake Gdowski, C, Weston Richburg, DE Broderick Sargent, CB, Elijah Blu-Smith, P, Pete Kontodiakos, K, Ben DeLine

Key Losses: NT, Guy Miller, RB, Leonard Mason, WR, Tyson Liggett, WR, Byron Steele, OLB, Ricky Brewer

Sophomore Quarterback Pete Thomas was the only true freshman to start every game last season at the quarterback position and came out of the blocks with tremendous accuracy with a 64.7 percent completion rate. The key is going to be the development of the supporting cast. If Thomas Coffman, an incoming freshman this fall, lives up to his billing then the Rams offense should be much improved from 2010.

The Rams will be anchored by four returning starters on the offensive line. This blend of experience and youth, with Thomas at quarterback, along with the evolution of playmakers like Greenwood at receiver should make Colorado State much more dynamic on offense after struggling mightily last season. The defense led by Mychal Sisson, who is just simply a playmaker no matter what the situation, should get better by not being on the field quite so much in 2011. The kicking unit returns extensive experience at punter and placekicker, which should help a ton in the field position game for the Rams.

The inability to create turnovers plagued Colorado State all season. They caused just four turnovers. Thus, they had a very difficult time getting off the field on third down which is critical to a defense to have significant success. With the inexperience on the defensive line, with Broderick Sargent the only returning starter at defensive end, the Rams will need a big surge in development from these guys this fall. On offense, Colorado State needs more big time playmakers to step up especially at running back. If Chris Nwoke can have nearly a 1,000 yard season then the Rams should make it back to a bowl game in 2011.

The Bottom Line:
The 2011 Colorado State Rams, coming off of back to back three win seasons, have a very conducive schedule toward returning toward bowl eligibility. Non-conference games against Northern Colorado, San Jose State, UTEP, and Utah State should allow for early success and the chance to build momentum for Mountain West conference play. Steve Fairchild has done a sound job in recruiting; now it’s time for their efforts in the recruiting to payoff for Colorado State in year four with a return trip to a bowl game.
Anything less than a bowl game could make for an interesting offseason come the winter of 2011 in Fort Collins.

Projected Bowl: none

2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 113.0 (114th in nation, 7th in conference)
Passing Offense: 221.8 (60, 4)
Total Offense: 334.8 (87, 6)
Scoring Offense: 16.5 (114, 8)
Rushing Defense: 197.9 (102, 5)
Pass Defense: 225.9 (74, 8)
Total Defense: 423.8 (92, 6)
Scoring Defense: 34.7 (86, 6)
Turnover Margin: -0.67 (105, 8)
Sacks: 1.75 (79, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 3.67 (118, 9)

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