Bobo gives Rams a re­al­ity check

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Mike Bro­hard

FORT COLLINS » While many of them are still con­sid­ered kids, the play­ers on Colorado State’s foot­ball team are treated like young men.

Their coach feels they de­serve to be spo­ken to as such.

“You’ve got to tell them the truth. Where we think we are and where we ac­tu­ally are, there’s a big gap there,” Mike Bobo said, re­fer­ring to the Rams’ 2­4 record on the sea­son. “Do I think we want to get there and we’ve got a chance to get there and we have the abil­ity in this room to get there? Yeah, but you’ve got to be hon­est with them. You have to be hon­est of what you see on tape, you have to be hon­est of things you do as a coach. The more you’re hon­est and trans­par­ent with things, the more you’re go­ing to get the trust of coach is right, we’ve got to do it this way.”

He told his team straight out — we’re a bad foot­ball team. The record dic­tates as much, and the fact they’re com­ing off a win doesn’t mean an abrupt change has taken place.

He does want them to be­lieve it can lead to a grad­ual shift, a trend the Rams can con­tinue on home­com­ing this Satur­day against New Mex­ico (2 p.m.) at Can­vas Sta­dium.

Safety Jor­dan Fo­gal took the state­ment for what it was, as well as the in­tended mes­sage.

“You can take it two ways. The truth hurts, so it’s go­ing to hurt, but you have to re­ally see what they mean by that,” Fo­gal said. “Ob­vi­ously it’s a mo­ti­va­tional tool, and we need to get our act to­gether and that’s ob­vi­ous. At the same time, we’re not a very good foot­ball team, where we should be or where we want to be. You have to look at it from both per­spec­tives, where he’s com­ing from, what he truly means and take it from there.”

That’s the key. The Rams fully be­lieve they can be a bet­ter team than they’ve showed in the first half of the sea­son. Say­ing it won’t make it change, but play­ing bet­ter can.

No guar­an­tees. Fac­ing the Lo­bos has been as close to a guar­an­tee as the Rams have had in quite awhile. CSU has won eight con­sec­u­tive meet­ings in the se­ries, but it will take some lift­ing to ex­tend it to nine.

The Lo­bos are a mixed bag this sea­son. They are scor­ing a lot of points, and they’re giv­ing up a bunch, too. Colorado State was a mix last week, scor­ing a lot of points in the first half (28), then giv­ing up even more (30) in the third quar­ter alone.

That’s not the sign of a con­sis­tent team. Which leads back to Bobo’s point, which brought a smile to the face of full­back Adam Pren­tice.

“The minute we get lack­adaisi­cal about stuff, things will start go­ing down­hill again,” Pren­tice said Tues­day. “I think we’ve al­ready had two great days of prac­tice so far, and we’ve got to keep build­ing on it and just keep im­prov­ing each and ev­ery day we have the op­por­tu­nity to.”

The way the win over San Jose State played out for the Rams was al­most help­ful. It showed that, when click­ing, they can play well. They can also give it away in an in­stant.

To the play­ers, that proved some progress has been made, but not enough. Not for a team that still in­sists all the goals of the sea­son are ahead of them, in­clud­ing vy­ing for a Moun­tain West ti­tle.

That’s go­ing to take some heavy lift­ing. It’s also go­ing to re­quire more con­sis­tent and bet­ter per­for­mances.

No time like the present, ei­ther.

“We have to play a full game,” cor­ner­back V.J. Banks said. “We al­most blew the game, and that was in the mat­ter of ba­si­cally eight min­utes. It’s a 60­minute game. We can play good for 42 like we did last week, then have six to eight where they can al­most do enough to win the game.

“We were em­bar­rassed about that quar­ter. They scored 30 in like eight min­utes. That’s em­bar­rass­ing, no mat­ter who you are.”

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