Welcome to the 81st edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’m still overloading on sports. We have a lot to cover. Let’s get into it…
Let us begin with some thoughts on Colorado State’s important win over Nevada.
The Rams were absolutely dominant through most of the first three quarters while building up a 31-3 lead. Garrett Grayson threw three touchdowns without any turnovers. Rashard Higgins did what Rashard Higgins does. The sophomore went off for almost 200 yards receiving with two touchdowns. He looks like the best offensive player in the Mountain West.
And the defense played strong and physical– particularly the secondary– while shutting down a potent Wolfpack offense.
Nevada, of course, made things very, very interesting and uncomfortable for CSU fans in the fourth quarter. After Dee Hart scored to give the Rams a 28 point lead, Nevada came back with three unanswered touchdowns to make it a seven point game. The Wolfpack had the ball late and a game-tying touchdown appeared imminent until DeAndre Ellington sealed the win for the Rams with an interception in the end zone.
This was another big win for CSU.
Yes, they almost choked away that 31-3 lead, but it’s important to remember that Nevada is actually a pretty good team. Pretty good teams are rarely blown out by four touchdowns at home. Nevada had a decent little resume heading into this one. They nearly beat #16 Arizona in Tucson, they easily beat Washington State in Reno, and they almost beat the same Boise State team that handled CSU with ease.
So while that comeback/chokejob wasn’t pretty (or particularly fun), it’s not like the Rams were falling apart against Tulsa or UC Davis. Cody Fajardo is a baller and he was bound to make some things happen at some point.
An injury-avoiding conference road win is never, ever, ever, ever a bad thing. So I came away from this one with nothing but positive thoughts. (I also had a good time with a lot of you on Twitter, as I threw out some fairly absurd and possibly not sober Tweets throughout the game. That was fun.) Anyway…
At the halfway post of the 2014 season, the Colorado State Rams are 5-1.
So we can now make that 9-2 in their last 11 games going back to last season. (Or 11-3 in their last 14 or 12-4 in their last 16. Go ahead and focus on whichever one you find most impressive.)
Of course, big wins like this and Boston College can turn out to be far less important if the Rams are unable to build on them as the season progresses. That brings us to this week’s Homecoming matchup under the ‘A’ vs. Utah State. In my CSU season preview I identified this as the most important game on the Rams’ schedule. That remains true, and one could certainly make the argument that there is actually even more on the line than I envisioned in late August. Because I certainly didn’t expect this team to be 5-1.
Utah State entered the year as most people’s co-favorites to win the Mountain West alongside Boise State. They shutout the Rams in Logan last year and won the Mountain Division. This year, they’ve played a more difficult schedule than the Rams and are 4-2. Chuckie Keeton, who generated a little bit of preseason Heisman buzz is out for the year after another devastating knee injury. After slipping up at Arkansas State (that’s still a head-scratcher), they went on the road and beat #18 BYU and followed that up with an easy home win over Air Force. Those two wins came sans Keeton.
So yeah, this is a big game.
Which means you should really get your ass to Fort Collins on Saturday and support this team. It’s a damn good time to be a Colorado State fan. We haven’t been able to say that much in the past decade so take advantage of it, people. Not only is this team pretty good, but they’re entertaining. Even if you don’t like or understand football just sit there and watch #82 because he’s probably about to do something awesome.
Attendance has been a problem for Colorado State athletics. That’s no secret. Legitimate reasons for lower turnouts are plentiful. But, at some point, that needs to change. Winning changes everything. At least it’s supposed to.
Colorado State fans are a guarded bunch. We’re not particularly anxious to get our hopes up over a football team. In recent years, we’ve seen quite the combination of unmet expectations, heartache, let downs, and just an overall crappy product. I understand all of this as well as anyone.
And I’m not sitting here trying to tell you that Colorado State is one of the best teams in the country. But, folks, they’re 5-1. That’s good! The season is half over and their winning percentage is .833. They’re coming off a 2013 bowl victory. They’re undoubtedly the best college football team in the state of Colorado. They received votes in both national polls and a win on Saturday just might mean cracking the top-25 for the first time since prior to the 2003 season. They have serious Mountain West Championship aspirations.
And they play a very good Utah State team on Saturday in a game that could go a long way in determining who wins the Mountain West. The forecast says sunny and low-70s. Kickoff is at 5 pm. It’s nationally televised (kinda). The Rams are about 5 point favorites. It’s Homecoming weekend. What’s not to like?
Yeah, I’ll see y’all on Saturday.
The late CSU game on Saturday night led to a really quick turnaround before…
The Broncos played in New York for one of their two early games of 2014. I wanted to discuss this game a little bit here, but apparently don’t have the time. So I’ll just say what I always say in this space. Everything is fine. All is well. Winning by 14 points on the road in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! is cool with me.
Sure, the Jets suck. But this one could have been a sneaky trap game and the Broncos took care of business. Nothin’ wrong with that. Pretty simple really.
In fact, Julius Thomas thinks “It’s so easy.”
And to complete a great week for football in Colorado, let’s not forget CU. They did their part by not playing. Good job, guys!
Even with all of the football happenings, the biggest Colorado sports news of the week came from the front office of the Colorado Rockies when General Manger People Dan O’vett and Bill GeiDowd both resigned on Wednesday morning.
This happened six days ago, so my thoughts aren’t exactly timely. (That’ll happen when you post on a weekly basis). Here are a couple anyway:
The Rockies organization is a mess. Change is good. At this point any front office change has to be considered a good thing. That said, the real problem is the guy who owns the team and he isn’t going anywhere. And because of Monfort’s stubborn loyalty towards O’Dowd, resigning is the only way O’Dowd was ever going to leave.
Naturally, Monfort immediately filled the position with an internal candidate. Very, very “Rockies” of him. Jeff Bridich seems like a bright young executive and for all we know, he could be the perfect replacement. But it would have been nice for Monfort to at least poke around the baseball world outside of his own organization.
So I think Rockies fans should proceed with some cautious optimism. I can’t get overly excited, but this is progress. And progress is good.
Instead of the weekly departments, I just have a bunch of Vines…
Vines are taking over the sports highlight/sports humor world these days. We’ll start with my absolute favorite Vine in months. So much going on here:
I know I say this kind of thing a lot, but that Vine had me in tears for a solid five minutes. So much going on. The reaction from numero 42 just slays me. It’s part What the hell did I do? and part Did I just get punched in the face?. Also notice Charlie Strong coming in and saying Wooaaahhhh as a reminder that if you’re that punching unsuspecting teammates right in the face mask, you should probably take it down a notch.
This one is a distant second, but also had me laughing pretty hard. Don’t know what the hell is going on, but look at this guy’s sweet dance!
Also, here’s a “Man Getting Hit By Football.”
Not funny but awfully innovative and cool:
Madison Bumgarner added a beer to his celebration when the Giants advanced to the NLCS.
I think he wasted 55 ounces this time.
And finally, I’ll just leave you with this guy doing this:
I could watch that all day. Damn, you know it’s a busy week when I can’t even find time to comment on the MLB Postseason. Every game is incredible. This postseason is making a run to be considered the best event in all of sports
Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See you at Hughes on Saturday. Then again right here next week.
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football in the groin.