After the Rams football team fell behind early in Saturday’s game in Reno, head coach Sonny Lubick admitted he was unsure if his team would be able to battle back against a Wolf Pack team that was “on a mission.”
“When we went down two touchdowns, I was beginning to have my doubts, in all honesty, for the simple reason that they were moving the ball fairly well,” Lubick said Monday at his weekly media luncheon. “Every time we were going to get the football it was going to be a long field. We had 80 yards to go almost every drive.”
Yet, the Rams responded in the second half, overcoming a 21-7 deficit and denying Nevada another upset of a ranked opponent. Bucking their trend of fast starts and slow finishes, the Rams got better as the game went on, finally outscoring an opponent in the fourth quarter for the first time since the opening game against Virginia.
“We did play a little better in the second half, so I’d like to tell you it was a bunch of great adjustments and we’re all smart and all that,” Lubick said. “We did figure out how to get to the quarterback a little bit and make him throw the ball a little quicker, but we made a few plays.”
The player who made the most plays for the Rams was receiver Chris Pittman. The junior shattered his previous career-bests of five catches and 76 yards by hauling in 10 catches for 151 yards Saturday.
Pittman was named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the performance. It was the first time a Ram receiver had caught 10 or more passes in a game since 1991.
The Rams’ 531 yards of total offense was their biggest output of the season and the first time since last year’s game against Brigham Young that CSU had more than 500 yards of offense. Running back Cecil Sapp rushed for over 100 yards for the fourth time this season, carrying 26 times for 128 yards. Quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt had the third 100-yard rushing game of his career, gaining 128 yards on 13 carries.
“Offensively we had over 500 yards. That shows the offense was getting some things done,” Lubick said. “It’s hard to tell you exactly how effective we were. It seemed like we got a lot of yards, but there were times when we didn’t get a lot done as far as points on the board and that’s probably the biggest issue that the coaches are concerned about now.”
For the second straight game, freshman quarterback Justin Holland got on the field and led a scoring drive for the Rams. Holland finished the game 7-of-12 for 108 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown pass to Pittman that got the Rams on the scoreboard for the first time.
Lubick said he enjoys the comfort he has with two quarterbacks that can get the job done, but maintained Van Pelt is the starter.
“I think all the coaches, I think our whole football team, feel very comforted with whichever quarterback is in there,” Lubick said. “So that’s the good part. It helps to have them both.”
Homecoming start time announced
Mountain West officials announced Monday that the CSU homecoming game with Wyoming Oct. 12 will begin at 1 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN Regional (ESPN +Plus) and can also be seen in Denver on KTVD-TV. CSU Athletic Director Jeffrey Hathaway also announced that all the reserved seats for the game have been sold out.
– Edited by Jon Ackerman and Josh Hardin