Rams Hope Hot Streak Continues

Colorado State University's football team finished the 2001 regular season on a hot streak, winning four it the team's last five games, finishing second in the Mountain West Conference and earning a berth in the first-ever New Orleans Bowl Dec. 18 against the University of North Texas in the Louisiana Superdome (7 p.m. CT/7 p.m. MT-ESPN2).

"We played well down the stretch," said Head Coach Sonny Lubick. "We won four of our last five games. We're excited to be going to a bowl game.

"I think that it's a testament to our coaches and to our players. They hung together, and kept working hard. To be playing in a bowl game for the third year in a row for the first time in school history, and being in six bowls in nine seasons says something about our program. This is very, very special."

Lubick said he's excited for his players to play a game in the Superdome - where he's coached twice while an aide at the University of Miami - and visit the city of New Orleans.

"We are going to a great city, and I know that our kids are going to have a great time. We also want to go out and play well. We want our players to have fun, but they know it's a business trip, too. They are going to be playing in a fabulous building. When we walk in there next week for our orientation, they are going to be in awe."

Colorado State practiced Friday afternoon for about 75 minutes, and gradually will continue implementing the team's game plan for the game with North Texas.

"I'm like every other coach. I'm looking at the calendar, wishing we had another week to prepare. But I think it's very exciting to be playing the first game of the bowl season," said Lubick.

The Rams gained bowl eligibility by winning four of the team's final five games, losing only to BYU, which is currently ranked among the top 10 teams nationally. Colorado State accepted the invitation Nov. 28 to face North Texas in the New Orleans Bowl.

North Texas earned a spot opposite the Rams by winning the Sun Belt Conference, including five straight wins at the end of the season.

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