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Fraternizing with the Enemy: notes on the CSU Rams

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Justin M Guerriero, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Justin M Guerriero

    Justin M Guerriero Well-Known Member Club Member

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    As I had mentioned a few days ago, here's the full transcript of questions and answers between myself and Chad Deutschman, the Rocky Mountain Collegiate's (CSU's student newspaper) sports editor.

    In this new weekly segment entitled "Fraternizing with the Enemy," the CUI talks to the opposing school's student newspaper to get some information about the team that the Buffs will take on in this week's Rocky Mountain Showdown. This week, Head Sports Editor Justin Guerriero talked to Chad Deutschman of the Rocky Mountain Collegiate to find out about the 2016 Rams team.

    Note: This content was originally reported by the CU Independent.

    Contact CU Independent Head Sports Editor Justin Guerriero at justin.guerriero@colorado.edu and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo.

    Contact Rocky Mountain Collegiate Sports Editor Chad Deutschman at chaddeutschman8@gmail.com.


    Justin Guerriero: CU's defense has arguably the best depth since head coach Mike MacIntyre took the helm of the program before the 2013 season. Last season, the defense recorded 14 interceptions, which was the most by a Buffaloes' defense in a decade. With the Buffs' top five 2015 tackles leaders returning for this season, how will CSU put up points against Colorado's experienced defensive unit?

    Chad Deutschman: While the Buffs may be returning a ton of talent on the defensive end, the Rams bring an offensive line that is nothing to scoff at. Led by redshirt junior Jake Bennett, the CSU offensive line should give the CU defense some fits. Factor in returning backs in Dalyn Dawkins, who ran for 118 yards on 20 carries and found the end zone once against the Buffs last year, Izzy Matthews, who didn't have a chance to see the field against CU, and freshman Marvin Kinsey Jr., the Rams running game could potentially have a three-headed monster and should be sound enough to move the ball against CU and put up some points.

    JG: Wide receiver Nelson Spruce (graduated last season) was the bane of many a team's existence last year. Quarterback Sefo Liufau loved to throw to him. In fact, he averaged 11.8 receptions per game last season. With him gone, Liufau will likely have to spread the ball around the field more so than before. Will Spruce's departure be beneficial (in not having to commit multiple defenders to cover him) or will it hurt the Rams (in that CU's pass offense might not be as predictable)?

    CD: If you're asking me, Nelson Spruce being gone will be a God-send for this CSU team. Consisting of an entirely new secondary, with the exception of cornerback Tyree Simmons, it's a good thing that Spruce is off pursuing the NFL (as a Ram I might add) so they don't have to cover him. Spruce didn't hurt CSU too bad last season (six catches for 63 yards) but that was also a very experienced secondary trying to contain him. This year's team, I believe, would not see the same success against such a good player. Not having to cover Spruce will only help this young secondary.

    JG: Last season, the Buffs' offensive line struggled to give the quarterback ample time to throw the ball, albeit due to injuries and inexperienced fill-ins. What does the Rams' front defensive seven look like? Will they win the battle at the line of scrimmage and put continuous pressure on Liufau?

    CD: Overall, Colorado State has a really young defense, in terms of experience. The entire defensive line will consist of all new starters, and the Rams are switching back to a 3-4 defensive scheme under defensive coordinator Marty English. Linebacker Corey James is off in the NFL and a big piece of the Rams defense this year was expected to be linebacker Deonte Clyburn, but he is out for the season with a blood clot. The CSU front seven is inexperienced, just like the secondary, but fellow linebacker Kevin Davis returns for his senior season after leading the team in tackles last year and a bulldog of a player in Josh Watson will come in and make an immediate impact at linebacker. The best player on the d-line is probably true-freshman Christian Colon, but don't sleep on him because he's a freshman...he can play. The Rams were able to put pressure on Liufau last year; I don't expect to see that same pressure but it shouldn't be too much of a drop-off. There are some good players on the CSU front seven.

    JG: What is the Rams' biggest offensive strength heading into this year? Who are the guys that the Buffs defensive 11 will have to keep a watchful eye on?

    CD: Head coach Mike Bobo hasn't said who his starting quarterback will be, but Nick Stevens is the heavy favorite to return to his starting job. Expect him to take a step forward in his second year at the helm. Dalyn Dawkins returns as a centerpiece in the Rams' backfield and will be joined by Izzy Matthews. The two combine to create a versatile backfield that every opponent will have to gameplay heavily for, not just the Buffs. Losing Rashard Higgins and Joe Hansley will hurt the CSU offense this year, but juco transfer Michael Gallup has been making plays in camp and should see a good amount of playing time. CSU will probably rotate a lot of players in and out at wide receiver until they find a reliable group.

    JG: Before last year's Showdown, Cam the Ram tragically passed away before the game began. Will this year's Rams team have a chip on their shoulder? Is the desire to avenge last year's loss (both of Cam and the game) fueling this team?

    CD: RIP Cam. This year's Ram team has a lot to prove. I wouldn't say they have a chip on their shoulder, but they are glad they play CU first this year as opposed to the third game last year. They are hungry to prove that just because they are inexperienced doesn't mean they aren't ready.

    JG: This year, there has been a lot of hype around the Buffaloes. "This will finally be the year we return to relevance" is something I keep hearing from fans, players and coaches alike. Suffering a first week loss to CSU would be devastating. Can the Rams pop the Buffs' bubble of confidence? What are your predictions for the game?

    CD: Weren't the Buffs picked to finish last in Pac-12 again this year? Maybe ahead of Oregon State and Cal? Not sure that's the return to relevance CU fans really want. All jokes aside, if I'm using my head and not my heart, I think a Colorado State victory might be tough to achieve this year. It pains me to say it, but Buffs 31 Rams 20. I hope you're happy.

    JG: To be honest, there are CU fans out there that don't consider the Rocky Mountain Showdown to be a real rivalry. These people are mainly the old guard of Buffs alumni/fans that would rather be rivals to Nebraska or Oklahoma, like the good ol' days. But the last decade of awful CU football has brought many back down to Earth, though. What does this rivalry mean to CSU, the players and the fans? Are CU and CSU really that different? The Buffs for now can hold their early 90s successes over the heads of CSU. But both teams currently are fighting for higher recognition from the college football world. Is CSU ready to be considered a good football school?

    CD: As much as some CU fans want to keep playing the "little brother" card on CSU, that ship has sailed. The Rams would have the same struggles the Buffs have had if they were in the Pac-12, and the Buffs would be a good, not great, Mountain West team, just like the Rams. At this point, the rivalry means more to fans than it does the players. Most players on both teams aren't from Colorado, they didn't grow up with the rivalry, but anyone who thinks the Rocky Mountain Showdown isn't a rivalry is stuck in the past. The two programs are in very similar states. Both are trying to improve. The Buffs may be farther along in the process, but the gap is closing fast.

    For more on campus life, sports, politics and the arts, visit cuindependent.com
     
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  2. buff4bcs1985

    buff4bcs1985 Hail to the King

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    I think Chad is Camero Van Pelt...
     
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  3. Uncle Ken

    Uncle Ken Orr no morr Club Member

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    my sense is that the gap is widening
     
  4. dio

    dio Admin Club Member Junta Member

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    That guy is kind of a douche and also epitomizes why CSU fans can be so annoying.
     
  5. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    Little bro, our ship is sailing in the Pac 12. Yours is in the mwc. Laughable
     
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  6. Highlander

    Highlander Club Member Club Member

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    He went from talking analytically about the 2016 Rams team to talking through his passion and love for the program with no transition. It is clearly clouding his judgment.
     
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  7. TSchekler

    TSchekler Darth's Hero Club Member

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    The gap is now closing? I think the gap was completely shut during the McElwain/Embree days and, as UK said, the gap is now definitely widening.
     
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  8. Uncle Ken

    Uncle Ken Orr no morr Club Member

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    Quoting my self, bitches!

    I was on my phone when I typed that, but wanted to expand a little.

    Nothing says that college teams have to retreat to historic norms. However, I'd suggest that those norms can't be ignored either.

    As has been pointed out on this board in the past:

    1. CU has historically fielded good football teams. We've experienced an historic low for this last decade. Even during that time, we've demonstrated parity with CSU.

    2. CSU has enjoyed one of their rare high points over the course of this last decade. And their high matched well with our low.

    3. As resources increasingly favor P5 conference teams, we anticipate the P5/G5 gap will widen. There's no reason to believe that CU and CSU won't be caught up in those trends (I'm assuming that CSU doesn't end up in a P5). It's funny, that the interviewee suggests that too much of a big deal is made out of the implications of conference expansion. I think he's taking a short view on that.

    I'm not sure why somebody would think the gap is closing. I'd suggest it has closed, but won't sustain. We'll see.
     
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  9. Buffsrock85

    Buffsrock85 Well-Known Member

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    Lol CU is an all time great and CSU is and always will be an after thought. I'm 30, I'm not some "old guard" either. My favorite part of the CSU game is when it's done so I don't have to listen to their fans anymore. I hate the game and wish it didn't happen.
     
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  10. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    I love the pageantry that surrounds games likes this. I love the emotion from both sides. I love that it means football season.

    I hate the game being at Mile High. I hate the opponent being a G5 opponent that is a lose/lose for CU.
     
  11. Buffsrock85

    Buffsrock85 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, mile high is the worst. This is college and would be SO MUCH BETTER at Folsom. It drives me crazy that we give away home games to play a MWC school in Denver. WHY??
     
  12. TSchekler

    TSchekler Darth's Hero Club Member

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    Thanks, Bohn
     
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  13. BuffLuKe

    BuffLuKe Club Member Club Member

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    Well, when their stadium is done, any talk of having the games on campus through the contract or is it stuck in Denver?
     
  14. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    It's a myth that we are giving away home games to play CSU in Denver. We still get six games in Folsom every year.
     
  15. GoBuffs08

    GoBuffs08 Well-Known Member

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    Unpossible. We are all 35 here.
     
  16. JWP303

    JWP303 Active Member

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    When this series was at its peak back in the BVP/Joel Klatt days - and Invesco was sold out - I'd argue that the setting at Mile High is unrivaled by any game on campus. Having seen it done both ways - the Mile High experience was much more electric than the games at Folsom - the real issue IMO is that these teams have fallen so far that the atmosphere has been severely lacking in recent years.
     
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  17. dio

    dio Admin Club Member Junta Member

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    This was fun

     
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  18. NWD Buff

    NWD Buff Club Sandwich Club Member

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    I respectfully could not disagree more.
     
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  19. onealcd

    onealcd Club Member Club Member

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    Meh, I would rather tailgate on CU campus than on federal. That is mostly what I miss.
     
  20. Highlander

    Highlander Club Member Club Member

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    Only 5 games in Boulder in 2011 http://www.cubuffs.com/schedule.aspx?schedule=8

    The problem is many of the "big boys" play 7 and even 8 games at home. Having this game in Denver or as a 1 for 1 keeps that from happening if we want to schedule true nationally marque match ups that will most certainly be 1 for 1.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
  21. Uncle Ken

    Uncle Ken Orr no morr Club Member

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    I'm with stupid (the quoted stupid, in this case).
     
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  22. Uncle Ken

    Uncle Ken Orr no morr Club Member

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    I'm lukewarm to the series, generally, but that was such a phenomenal moment.
     
  23. JWP303

    JWP303 Active Member

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    JJ Billllllinnngingsley - Kittredge Buckingham alum! That was great - but IMO still didn't top the 2003 game - Klatt's debut - with 70,000+ in attendance.

    That's fair - everyone has a different routine/gameday experience - and no doubt from a seating/viewing standpoint Folsom would be better. I just think that when both teams are relevant and the game is on national TV - you can't rival the atmosphere of having 30-40k of opposing fans together.

    Fair. But I think the walk-in to the stadium at Mile High is probably one of the most fun aspects.
     
  24. TSchekler

    TSchekler Darth's Hero Club Member

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    One of the best memories of any CU game I have.
     
  25. NWD Buff

    NWD Buff Club Sandwich Club Member

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    I find it sad (literally, not snark) that there is basically an entire generation that has not experienced Folsom at its finest. Seriously, I think of games like '86 kNU, the Jeff George p***y game, the OU "asterisk" game, 62-36, the list goes on and on. Nothing that happens at an RMS game in a bland pro stadium will ever come close to the atmosphere of those games.

    When The Rise becomes real, you will see.
     
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  26. Alfred91

    Alfred91 Club Member Club Member

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    That game marked the end for Sonny.

    His hubris caught up to him, trying to give Marcus Houston the game-winning TD in Folsom.

    Holy **** that was an awesome moment.
     
  27. JWP303

    JWP303 Active Member

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    I don't think the two things are mutually exclusive as you suggest. Obviously the on-campus experience is what makes college football great - and I'd never argue against Folsom field on gameday. It's a religious experience. But it's not the same as having 76k fans split down the middle - it's not better or worse, it's just different.

    Now, in recent years as the crowds have dwindled the Mile High experience has been really lacking - but then again, so has the Folsom experience. In a perfect world I'd like to see the series stay at Mile High with the occasional home & home to break it up.
     
  28. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    If the series were to continue in a similar format to what it currently is, a 1 home, 1 away, 1 neutral would be nice.
     
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  29. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

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    Two home and one wherever CSU wants their game.
     
  30. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    Obviously even better and a format that is more in line with our peers around the nation, but that wouldn't be inline with the similar format qualifier I added.
     

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