By Natalie Meisler
Fort Collins - Colorado State has a bigger problem than No. 10 Cal's explosive offense. If ticket sales don't pick up before Saturday's noon kickoff, Hughes Stadium will have 5,000 empty seats. An even bigger concern for the athletic department is season-ticket sales stagnating at 8,800. With Cal, only the second Pac-10 school to visit Fort Collins in the past 15 years, and area Mountain West rivals Wyoming and Air Force coming to Hughes, CSU had arguably its best home schedule in years. "The team needs fans now more than ever," CSU second-year athletic director Paul Kowalczyk said. "They are coming back from a tough loss (in overtime to Colorado); this is a top-10 team coming in. What more could college football fans want?" CSU, on an eight-game losing streak, typically sees a ticket surge in August, but that didn't happen this year.
"Our fans are waiting to see if we win or if we're going to be better," Kowalczyk said. "Hopefully they won't wait too long." Although the school, the city and local businesses started mutual game-day promotions, Kowalczyk said: "We've got to win some games. That matters more than anything."
CSU cornerback Joey Rucks received a letter of reprimand from the MWC office for remarks he made about the officiating Saturday. After the game, Rucks said: "The ref said I pushed (a CU receiver) out of bounds. Was I supposed to push him inbounds? It was called after the play was called incomplete. If it was pass interference, he would have called it right away." CSU coach Sonny Lubick repeated at his Monday news conference remark that the pass interference call late in the game "could go 50-50," Lubick said. "Now I'll probably get a letter, too."
The CU-CSU broadcast was the second most-watched college football game ever on FSN-Rocky Mountain, with a 9.4 rating (131,000 households) in the Denver market, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers. The 2004 CU-CSU game holds the network record with a 11.3 rating.