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Sports / Recreation

Rams football travels to CU for season opener Sept. 6

September 1, 2009

CU and CSU will square off Sunday as the only game in the country - college or NFL - being played during an exclusive national-television window, for the second straight season.

Rams vs. Buffs
Sunday, Sept. 6 - 5 p.m.
Folsom Field, Boulder

Television - Fox Sports Network (FSN)

  • Comcast Digital: Ch. 26
  • DirecTV: Ch. 683
  • DISH Network: Ch. 414

Sunday night primetime football

In April 2008, the institutions opted to move the annual battle back one day, to both accommodate a national television audience and provide some relief for emergency service personnel working the Democratic National Convention.

The 2008 game was such a success on a Sunday night that FSN and the schools opted to do it again this season. No other football game in the nation, at the NFL or college levels, is scheduled for that Sunday primetime window.

Quarterback debuts

CSU quarterback Grant Stucker (pictured at right) will become the second Rams quarterback in as many seasons to make his first career start as a senior in the opener against the Buffs.

Stucker’s good friend Billy Farris made his debut in this game a year ago, throwing for 187 yards on 27-of-37 passing, with two interceptions and a TD, a 21-yard strike to Dion Morton.

Before Farris, the last CSU QB to make his first career start was true freshman Caleb Hanie, now with the Chicago Bears, who led the Rams to a 30-7 triumph over Wyoming in Fort Collins, Oct. 22, 2004.

Stucker last started a game in November of 2004, when he was honorable-mention all-state at Ponderosa High School in Parker, Colo.

While Stucker has played in just five games and thrown only five passes, the Rams will protect him with one of the most experienced offensive lines in the nation, led by four seniors, including Lombardi Award and Rimington Trophy candidates.

Season openers

Head Coach Steve Fairchild loves to the play the Buffs in his opener every season because the date looms large on CSU’s offseason calendar for eight months during offseason conditioning, spring and fall practice.

This marks the 18th time the Rams have opened a schedule against the Buffs. The programs first met in an opener on Oct. 15, 1899, when CSU was known as Colorado Agricultural College, in Boulder.

One team still standing

Last season marked only the fourth time the Rams went to a bowl game while CU stayed home.

After dropping their opener to the Buffs in Denver on Aug. 31, CSU rebounded to win three of their next four, then closed the season with a pair of critical wins to secure bowl eligibility. Then, the Rams capitalized on that momentum to turn away Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl.

Traveling trophies

Colorado State has three Front Range rivalries that are celebrated annually with “Trophy Games.” All of the traveling trophies are presented to the victorious coach following each year’s game.

The Centennial Cup signifies the rivalry between the state’s two largest public institutions, Colorado State and the University of Colorado. The other two, the Ram-Falcon Trophy and the Bronze Boot, represent rivalries between Air Force and Wyoming respectively.

On the real stuff

With the proliferation of the ever-popular FieldTurf, and similar artificial surfaces, CSU will play only its fourth contest since the beginning of 2008 on real grass (also vs. CU in Denver, at San Diego State and the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque).The Rams have won two straight on grass.

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Contact: Zak Gilbert
E-mail: Zak.Gilbert@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-5067