By S. Scott Rosenberg
DENVER — As much as the season-opening 31-28 overtime loss stung, the Colorado State football team has washed it from memory by this morning. At least that’s what they’re trying to do. It’s also what they need to do. “It’s going to be a big test to see how we rebound,” running back Kyle Bell said Saturday. “We just go out and build upon what we do.” The next test for Colorado State (0-1) is a visit from Pac-10 power California, and the Golden Bears showed a national audience their ability Saturday night with a 45-31 defeat of Tennessee. After the game, neither coach Sonny Lubick nor players were overly distraught about the team’s efforts. It was mistakes and mishaps that cost them the game. “I’ve said this for three years: Our guys are not going to go downhill,” Lubick said. “This is the team we are. Caleb’s going to come out next week and do the same things, hopefully a little better. “They laid it on the line, and they lost it. They’re walking out of here with their heads up. Both teams know they played their hearts out. That’s football. I would be very disappointed if we went downhill. I don’t look for that at all.” Quarterback Caleb Hanie, whose toughness Lubick referenced, was one of CSU’s stars before a forced throw in overtime was intercepted in overtime, ending their chance. Hanie said they showed glimpses
“We looked pretty sharp at points, and you can kind of see what our team is going to look like,” he said. It was pretty impressive to me to get things rolling like that.” The Rams were rolling fastest during the third quarter. They scored twice in the first five minutes, and the defense quieted the Buffaloes resurgent offense until late in the quarter.
One obvious area in need of improvement is special teams, especially with the presence of DeSean Jackson waiting to return punts Saturday. The Rams yielded 20.7 yards per punt returns, including one of 43 yards that set up the tying field goal. On kickoffs, the Rams allowed 29 per return. Against Tennessee, Jackson stunningly returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown. As a team we have a lot of stuff to work on,” Hanie said. “Stuff here and there, specials teams, defense, offense, everywhere.” Lubick also said he expects the 11 games left on the Rams’ schedule to be just as hard fought as Saturday’s was. That they lost it could serve as education. You cannot blink or you’re going to get beat,” Lubick said.
Arnold feeling good: Colorado State special teams coach Dave Arnold left a Denver hospital Saturday night after he was taken there for precautionary reasons after the game. The Rams released a statement saying Arnold was treated for dehydration and heat fatigue but slept at home Saturday night.