After all, they were opening against three BCS conference teams (including top-ranked Southern Cal) who just happen to be a combined 9-0 the first three weeks. Some thought that Montana State, the Rams week #4 opponent, offered the first chance at a win.
While Rams fans didn't want to believe it then, those people were proven right, and as the Bobcats come to Hughes Stadium, CSU is indeed looking for win number one.
On paper, it looks good for the Rams against the Division I AA Bobcats. Still, CSU has a lot of improving to do before anything good can happen.
Most importantly, CSU has got to reverse the turnover margin issues that have plagued the Rams for three weeks. They sit at a minus-8, having turned the ball over 11 times while registering just three takeaways. And of course, in order to win a game, CSU will at some point have to take the lead. The Rams have not held a lead in a game this season, and counting last season's San Francisco Bowl, the total stands at 240 minutes and counting. Colorado State's last lead came in the final regular-season game of 2003 at UNLV when HB Joel Dreessen's three-yard touchdown throw from QB Justin Holland and K Jeff Babcock's ensuing point-after kick gave the team the lead (and the bowl-clinching win) with 53 seconds remaining in the game.
There have been some bright spots, and things CSU will look to build on against the Bobcats. Holland leads the Mountain West Conference in passing, 311.3 yards per game and is 19th nationally in total offense, 296.7 yards per game. The defense was solid at Colorado after a dismal start, and the game with nationally-ranked Minnesota was competitive in the second half before the Rams crumbled.
The game with Montana State is the second of a three-game homestand for the Rams, and a win would be a big boost for a team that will head into MWC play the following week against BYU. CSU was, and still is, expected to be a factor in the conference race. Colorado State has won or shared six conference titles during Sonny Lubick's previous 11 seasons at the helm. The Rams finished third a year ago after winning the Mountain West Conference title in 2002. During Lubick's tenure, Colorado State has never went back-to-back seasons without at least claiming a share of the league title.
For the second season in a row, Colorado State will play six home games at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium. It is the ninth time since the facility opened in 1968 that Colorado State will play six home games, and the fourth time in coach Sonny Lubick's 12 seasons at the helm.