Football: Nevada to host Colorado State Saturday
The Colorado State Rams are not going to sneak up on the Nevada Wolf Pack on Saturday night.
“This game has definitely been in our heads since last year,” said Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick, referring to a 35-20 Nevada loss to the Rams last season in Fort Collins, Colo. “Last year we just played terribly.”
Ault this week called last season’s loss at Colorado State the low point of the 2009 season.
“It was unbelievable,” Ault said. “That was the worst we executed all year. We were down 14-0 at the half and now we haven’t scored a point over the first six quarters of the season. It was just ugly.”
Well, the Pack turned the ball over five times in the loss to the Rams. Three of the turnovers belonged to Kaepernick (two interceptions, one fumble) alone. The Pack offense had seven false start penalties. An Ault-coached offense has rarely executed so poorly in his 26 seasons as head coach.
“Our players came out (of the game last year) with a lot of second thoughts about where we were in this program,” Ault said.
Welcome to the Revenge Bowl.
“When you perform as badly as we did, you definitely want to come out and redeem yourself,” Kaepernick said.
To make matters worse, the loss at Colorado State looked uglier with each passing week last year. The Rams have yet to win another game and will bring a 10-game losing streak to Mackay Stadium Saturday night (7:30 p.m., 630-AM, ESPNU-TV).
Since the Rams beat the Pack a year ago, Colorado State has gone 0-10 (they lost their season opener last week to Colorado, 24-3) and the Wolf Pack has gone 9-3.
“Last year they just physically kicked our butts,” Ault said. “That’s the way they always play.”
Colorado State, which owns a 9-1 edge in the all-time series, attacked the Pack last year from the opening kickoff to the final gun.
“They blitzed us on almost every play,” Kaepernick said. “And when they did that, we tried to call the perfect play.”
The game at Colorado State last year might have come at the wrong time for the Pack. The Pack had lost an emotional season opener at Notre Dame (35-0) and had two weeks to think about it because of a bye week.
“We practiced hard those two weeks but we probably needed a game right away after that Notre Dame game, to be honest,” Ault said. “Maybe the very next day.”
The Wolf Pack, which whipped Eastern Washington 49-24 last week, is hoping for its first 2-0 start to a season since 1995.
“Our guys know they will be in a physical game,” Ault said. “You know, they always play well against us.”
The Rams will bring a very young team into Mackay on Saturday night. Colorado State played seven true freshmen in the loss to Colorado, including quarterback Pete Thomas and running back Tony Drake. Thomas was the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Colorado State in the season opener since 1945.
The youngster had an up and down debut, completing 24-of-33 passes for 196 yards and also getting intercepted three times. But he also didn’t get much help on offense from his teammates. The Rams ran for just 49 yards on 25 carries.
The Rams struggled to find any offense against Colorado. They had just 245 yards of total offense and were a combined 1-of-14 on third and fourth down.
Ault, though, doesn’t want to hear about how young the Rams are this season.
“We’re not worried about their quarterback and his experience level,” Ault said. “It’s about our defense and how well we execute. Last week we didn’t tackle well and we didn’t play with enough effort. That’s what we’re worried about.”
He then repeated a statement he said the week before the Eastern Washington game last week.
“It’s not about what they do,” Ault said. “It’s about what we do.”