LARAMIE – Trey McBride looked like he had seen a ghost. The CSU Rams wearing a blank, stunned gaze, eyes bleeding down their cheeks, ended tight-lipped outside the fieldhouse adjacent to War Memorial Stadium.
Inside, a few minutes ago, you couldn’t remember the snoring, screams of anger coming from inside the Rams locker room. Fury from the loss of a border war. Disappointment, boiling defeats from three consecutive Mountain West Conferences.
“I’m not disappointed. Absolutely,” offered Fort Morgan’s classy senior McBride after CSU’s 31-17 loss in Wyoming. “They do a great job getting me around, doing whatever they can to get me the ball.
“I have to score from the front. If they’re going to double-cover me in the red zone, I have to score from the half-field line. So, that’s it. It’s what it is. But I’m absolutely disappointed.” I am not.”
This is not quantity. This is quality. Correct? McBride took the catch (65) to Mountain West in Saturday’s defeat. He made nine more wins against the Cowboys. His 15 targets topped the CSU roster.
So how come he’s only made one touchdown – One – Through nine games for a Rams offense that struggles like crazy to come out of the red zone with six points?
If you had a 260-pound, NFL-caliber tight end, a beating ram with soft hands, wouldn’t you try to exploit that weapon in the part of the field where it helps you the most?
“We try to get the ball to the tray in every way possible,” said Rams coach Steve Adazzio, as his team fell 2–3 in league play, 3–6 on aggregate.
“We throw the ball to him. We throw the ball to him. Maybe next time, we get him to Wildcat and take the ball to him.”
Unless it’s out of shotgun at the 2-yard line, daz, go for it. get creative. gone wild. What do you have to lose at this point? I mean, other than more games?
“You’re not going to throw a ball at me with three guys,” McBride said.
Both the player and the coach credited Wyoming’s coverage on Saturday, especially the inside 20. And we know: If McBride isn’t first in line on an opponent’s scouting report, he’s no less than No. 2 behind hurt David Bailey (88 Rush, 19 carries).
Cowboys, on the other hand, do not feature defensive backs at 2-deep taller than 6-1. And have you noticed what McBride does to dance partners who get too close? This is the male among boys. While holding the rock with the other, the man slams them on the ground with one hand.
Addazio said Saturday’s four trips to the inside 20 of the Rams “must score the touchdown,” two of which got to the end zone. “We didn’t score the touchdown.”
Mind you, the red zone thing isn’t the primary reason cowboys run, collectively, CSU over the edge to snatch that shiny, refurbished bronze boot from the clutches of Ram.
It was tackle. It fits.
If a CSU defender stopped a Wyoming runner within four yards of the box, it was a happy accident. 3 rushing defense of the Mountain West, a crew that landed 54 in Iowa, 21 in Toledo, and 63 in New Mexico, for 385 rushing yards, a single game high for the 5-4 Cowboys.
In an old-school street fight, as Dazs said earlier last week, Wyoming turned up with a lead pipe and a mean streak. The Rams went to the war memorial already limping—tempo-setting linebacker Deacon Jackson tried to give it up before heading back to the bench—and left in a crawl.
“We prepared for it,” said CSU security Logan Stewart. “It’s when you give up yards in the half (running 253), it’s hard to win any football game.”
Especially one where there is a trophy on the line. Air Force ahead at Canvas Stadium is a chance to salvage what’s left of the schedule, but the Rams of Dazs are rapidly running out of things on which their collective hats have been hung. Or to give hope to his fans.
In-game adjustments? CSU has been bowled out 82-63 in the second quarter of this season and 69-33 in the third. run game? Not when you’re down several scores on the road. Nearby crowd? Not that the quarterback is as mobile as Wyoming’s Levi Williams, who clocked 116 yards on just 12 tots.
Rivalry wins? no anymore. Not after seeing that brown and golden storm in the field, dancing away on a November night.
“Disastrous,” said Addazio, switching from the sound of his news conference to the sound of his locker room. “If you think I’m going to forget it, you don’t know me very well. I’ll never forget it.”
If only he could remember his tight end, who is 6-foot-4 and also holds the record half for Fort Morgan High School boys’ basketball career.
Chalk it up. hand it over to risk
“I’m ready,” No. 85 said of Wildcat, forcing a smile. “I’m ready and ready. Sure.”
When the cameras were on, McBride tried to put on a happy face. The child’s eyes said something else. So did the scoreboard.