(KSL Sports) Coming to Salt Lake this weekend, Colorado State football coach Steve Fairchild knows his team missed a great opportunity against 24th ranked TCU.
"We need to bounce back from a very disappointing loss to TCU," Fairchild says. "[We] need to be prepared for what is going to be a very difficult game against Utah."
The Rams (3-3, 1-1 MWC) started the game well, driving 78 yards for the game's first score and a 7-0 lead. But CSU let several opportunities slip through their fingers- namely two dropped touchdown passes.
The Rams ended the game with only 11 yards rushing on 28 carries (0.4 yards/carry). TCU had six sacks and 10 tackles for loss, but the Rams were never more than a touchdown away from taking the lead.
Fairchild admits his frustration from the TCU loss, but took away one positive: his defense kept TCU in check. He says his players tackle well and they try to make their opponents earn everything they get, the reasons TCU didn't have any big plays.
He hopes the TCU loss motivates his team against another dominant defense in the Utes.
"They are as athletic as anybody we play, ranked right there with TCU in terms of how productive they are," Fairchild says. "[They have a] very good defense, very good scheme, very good coach, probably the best set of corners we'll face all year."
Fairchild says the 13th/14th ranked Utah (7-0, 2-0 MWC) is good at disguising their defense and says what makes the Ute defense so formidable is the inside rush.
"You expect the ends to create a pass rush, but when the inside guys do as well it makes their defense that much more effective," Fairchild says.
With an unsettled situation at quarterback, Fairchild knows the Utes will be focused on running back Gartrell Johnson, but if the Rams can keep the Ute defense off-balance and his defense performs like it did against TCU, he feels his team's got a chance.
The Utes and Rams kick-off Saturday, Oct. 18 at noon.