Thursday, December 2, 2021

Best of the West College Football Top 25: Steve Addazio kept his promise. CSU Rams’ special teams really are special in 2021.

Remember the disaster that disguised itself as the Boise State vs. CSU game last November? Despite being stud Ryan Stonehouse, the 2020 Rams’ special teams were a Front Range joke.

Well, nobody else is laughing.

Many hands raised the flag to help the Rams (3-3, 2-0 conference), who will visit Utah (4-2, 2-1) on Friday in a major swing match in Mountain West, win three games. their last four.

Quarterback Todd Centeio’s hand and Rams run are most often in pretty healthy sync. The two most notable NFL players from CSU, tight end Trey McBride (49 catches) and quarterback Scott Patchan (5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles) lived up to the hype. And, yes, it doesn’t hurt that reserve defenders in the states of San Jose and New Mexico have nothing to write about.

But we will tip the coach of Steve Addazio on this issue too. Daz has pledged that CSU Special Teams will be significantly improved in 2021, his first full season at the helm. And in the middle of the regular season, they more than kept their promise.

Placekicker Cayden Camper, a native of Pueblo, is heading out this weekend, leading all NCAA divisions in goals scored (17) and attempts (21). He is on the verge of emptying his high school mark for goals scored in one season – 24 goals scored by Jeff Babcock in 2002.

Stonehouse is doing Stonehouse’s stuff in its fifth tackle season, currently ranking 2nd in the country for yards per boat average (50.2). Returning punt Thomas Pannunzio leads MW and is 13th in the country for average yards per run (12.4).

Even analytics enthusiasts love Daz’s dedicated teams. FootballOutsiders.com uses a formula to combine the performance of all facets of special teams into a single ranking, and the results are usually in line with eye exam results. In 2020, CSU was ranked 127th in the national ranking for games against FBS opponents. As of early Sunday, 21-year-old Special Teams were ranked 26th, just behind Auburn and Virginia Institute of Technology.

The Rams ‘special teams’ improvement is just one reason they also made one of the biggest leaps in The Denver Post’s The Denver Post’s Top 25 Western College Football Rankings, published Monday on DenverPost.com.

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