Oct 11, 2014; Reno, NV, USA; Colorado State Rams quarterback Garrett Grayson (18) right hands off to his running back Dee Hart in the first quarter of their football game with the Nevada Wolf Pack at MacKay Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado State Rams won their seventh straight game on Saturday night with a 38-31 win over San Jose State. One sure sign of a team that has turned the corner is when people start criticizing a win because it was not impressive enough.
The Rams did make it closer than it need to be but let’s keep some things in perspective before we go too far off the deep end. Three years ago the Rams were headed for a 4-8 mark and had no direction under former coach, Steve Fairchild. Now we are critiquing a team that is 8-1 and headed for an 11-1 regular season finish; we should be celebrating Jim McElwain and his program.
The win over the Spartans was not perfect and there are things for the Rams to work on but they proved they could win a game with the running game, something they had not done before yesterday.
Running back Dee Hart ran for four touchdowns and was the best player on the field for most of the night. The Rams have won games by throwing the ball, they’ve won games where their defense had to be stellar, they beat Boston College by coming from behind on the road and now they’ve won with the running game.
If there’s one overriding thing that defines the Rams it is the fact that they know how to win, and they can beat you doing a variety of things. On a night when quarterback Garrett Grayson was slowed with a groin injury, the Rams relied on Hart and a shorter passing game.
The defense struggled most of the night to slow the Spartans, especially in the second half, but they made plays when they had to. They came away with a red zone interception when the Spartans looked like they were going into tie the game. The offense turned that turnover into a touchdown and a two score lead.
Late in the game when the Spartans recovered an onside kick and had a chance to send the game into overtime with a touchdown, the Rams held the Spartans without a first down.
Great teams don’t play great all the time, but they play great when the game is on the line and that’s what the Rams did on Saturday night.
When the Associated Press top 25 is released sometime on Sunday, the Rams should be somewhere around 22 or 23 and they are only going to move up from there.
The Rams are back; what a long, strange trip it has been!