Thursday night a CSU specialty

The 80 wins that the CSU football program has garnered since the arrival of head coach Sonny Lubick in 1993 has definitely helped the Rams appear on the national radar. Three straight bowl game appearances - six in the past eight years - hasn't hurt CSU's national reputation either.

And the ambitious non-conference schedule this year is an attempt to capture even more big-time exposure.

But these Thursday night games, which the Rams play this week and next, are the biggest attribute to CSU's appearance in the national spotlight. Thursday against BYU will be appearance No. 11 for the Rams on the ESPN special.

So if anyone knows how to prepare for a short week like this, its CSU. Coaches around the nation who's teams have been slotted for the Thursday night game frequently call on Lubick for advice as to how to get their team ready. Lubick says it's easier for the home team.

"It's much more difficult on the road," he said. "We'll have our practice like normal Wednesday, while they are traveling. It's seems to be an advantage for the home team."

How important is playing at home on a Thursday? CSU is a perfect 5-0 at home under Lubick in Thursday night games. It's 0-4 on the road on the same night.

With two Thursday night games back-to-back, it's a good thing for CSU to have the first one at home. After this short week preparing for the BYU game, the Rams will have a full week to get ready for Air Force in Colorado Springs. Albeit at home, the Falcons, who play Wyoming on Saturday, will face a short week.

But before CSU gets to its second in-state rivalry game, it's focusing on exacting some revenge on BYU, which smacked around the Rams last year for 694 total yards and a 56-34 win. However, that team, which carried an unblemished record nearly the entire year, lost some key components and is reeling this year.

At 3-4 overall, the Cougars have lost their first two conference games of the season, to Air Force and UNLV - games in which BYU was outscored 76-12. So while the Cougars are still looking for their first Mountain West win, the Rams know they can't overlook anyone, especially while still looking for a way to put a team away convincingly.

"They've got good players and a good program. We are going to have to be ready to play," Lubick said.

Thursday is just the third time the Rams will have played at home this year. Only four other teams nationally have played two or fewer home games through the first eight of this season.

"We've been through a tough stretch and have come through it pretty well," Lubick said.

Inside the Rams Top Stories