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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Do or die

By Tom Quinn

The Colorado State Rams, who are desperate for a win after dropping four consecutive conference contests for the first time under Sonny Lubick, are coming to Salt Lake City with one goal: to play smart football.

“We need to stop making stupid mental mistakes,” said scout-team quarterback Jameson Gann. “We’ve been making stupid mistakes all season. That’s what killed us in the game against Air Force.”

For those who don’t know, CSU is still reeling after blowing a 21-3 halftime lead in an embarrassing loss to the Falcons on Oct. 12. Simply put, the Rams have not been the same since that second-half meltdown.

“We’ve been beating ourselves the last few weeks,” Gann said. “It seems like every time we do something good, we ruin it by doing something stupid right after.”

With a 4-5 record and only three games remaining on their schedule, the Rams are in a do-or-die situation. They need at least two more wins in order to have any hope of making a bowl appearance, and the team as a whole is hell-bent on getting their first tomorrow against the Utes.

“A win at Utah would be huge for us,” says Gann. “Winning on Saturday would do a lot for us mentally and go a long way toward helping us get bowl-eligible.”

Although any team with six wins is technically qualified to participate in the postseason, six wins might not be enough to secure a bowl berth in 2006. The Rams know that 7-5 looks much better to bowl selection committees, a fact that makes CSU all the more dangerous.

“We’re backed up into a corner right now,” Gann said. “We need to start winning if we want to stay alive.”

As the quarterback of CSU’s scout team, Gann has been running the Utes’ offense all week long in an effort to prepare the Rams’ starting defense for Saturday’s contest. Although he has tremendous respect for Utah’s offensive talent, Gann is confident that the Rams’ defense will match up well against the Utes.

“I think that our defense can handle Utah’s offense,” Gann said. “They like to do a lot of the same things that UNLV does, and we beat UNLV pretty handily.”

While comparing the Utes to the Rebels might seem like a stretch, Gann might be closer to the mark than most Utah fans are willing to admit. The Utes have been agonizingly inconsistent all season long, and there is no denying that the team that showed up to play Boise State and Wyoming looked to be on a par with UNLV in terms of mediocrity.

If Gann’s attitude is any indication, the Rams are very serious about leaving Salt Lake City with a win. They are fighting to keep their season alive, which could make them the most motivated team that the Utes have faced this season.

Utah, meanwhile, is fresh off a bye week. If the Utes come out slowly or make any of the mistakes CSU is so determined to avoid, they will be embarrassed by a team that has nothing to lose.

Daily Utah Chronicle

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