Rams Begin Cavalier Preparations

Colorado State University football coach Sonny Lubick gave his team a day off Saturday, the team's first since beginning preseason workouts Aug. 1. <P> Sunday, the team returned to the field to continue preparation for Thursday night's season opener at the University of Virginia in the Jim Thorpe Assn. Classic.

Lubick said the affects of the off day were evident during the early portions of Sunday's two-hour workout.

"We gave them the day off," said the tenth-year coach, "and at the start they were sluggish. It took them an hour to get going again."

Lubick said Sunday's workout wasn't one of the Rams' best practice sessions to date, but it improved as the team went along. He also said the team began preparing in earnest for Virginia's offensive and defensive schemes.

The Cavaliers were 5-7 last year, and following the game with Colorado State, Virginia faces perennial national power Florida State University, a fellow Atlantic Coast Conference member.

"The ACC is as good football conference. We can play with them, but we have to be keyed up and ready to go. They have good teams in that conference, but we'd like to think that we have good teams in the Mountain West Conference, too," he said.

Lubick said the team would practice Monday and Tuesday at 4 p.m., then board the team flight to Charlottesville Wednesday morning.

Not only do Colorado State and Virginia play in the season's first college football game, but the opponents are also playing the earliest game in NCAA Division IA history.

NCAA officials said the Aug. 22 Thursday night Jim Thorpe Assn. Classic
(Radio: Colorado State Sports Network;
T.V.: Fox Sports Net in selected locations) marks the earliest opener ever. Prior to this season, the earliest openers took place in 1997, when Northwestern beat Oklahoma on Aug. 23. Louisville beat New Mexico on that same date last season.

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