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October 23, 2021 

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In the wake of Colorado State's crushing 26-24 loss at Utah State Friday night, most of the attention -- justifiably and understandably -- is focused on the Rams' unsuccessful field-goal attempt in the chaotic final seconds. If you're here, you know the circumstances and the narrative, so I'll just jump right in.

 

I might be in the minority and I might be wrong. But I would bet that somebody fouled up and yelled the Rams' rush field goal code word in the final seconds. The Rams had just gotten a first down. They could have spiked the ball, stopping the clock, and been able to attempt the potentially game-winning field goal under less chaotic conditions.

 

The candidates for yelling that?

 

A coach. (After all, there are only 28 coaches on the sideline -- and more in the press box booth.)

 

A player.

 

An assistant student manager.

 

Somebody. Somebody not empowered to make the call. Somebody who apparently thought it was fourth down and a spike would have been a de facto game-ending gaffe.

 

Teams practice -- or should practice -- the maneuver. Surely, the Rams must have. The issue of whether the head coach or the special teams coach is supposed to make the call is moot. Steve Addazio's special teams coach is Steve Addazio.  


The word can be something like, "JERICHO! JERICHO!"   

 

The Rams' kicker was placed in a terrible situation. On top of the usual game-deciding pressure, he had to wait as the disorder and confusion unfolded around him and knew they were cutting it close as the clock kept ticking. 


What too few are conceding, though, is that despite the inexcusable disorder, the Rams got off the field-goal attempt. If it had gone through, instead of going slightly wide, this would all be moot and Rams' fans would be justifiably celebrating a heartening, stirring  comeback victory. There might have been a few remarks about making the game-winning gambit more difficult than it needed to be. But the mood would be upbeat.     

 

Below are Addazio's pertinent post-game comments in Logan, as compiled by Kevin Lytle of the Fort Collins Coloradoan. You'll note that Addazio makes it sound as if the field-goal team ended up on the field by running out on their own and following the first to hurry on the field; and that the offense figured out they needed to get the hell off the field. 

 

I'm not sure I buy that.

 

Guys don't just run on the field.

 

Whether Addazio was protecting someone or he actually didn't yet know how it played out is beside the point.

 

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Harry Truman was right about where the buck stops.


With the head coach.

 

Addazio paid lip service to that concept, but didn't embrace it wholeheartedly enough. Rather, it at least came off as Addazio was blaming the players for the chaos. 

  

That was unfortunate.   

 

This team could be a terrific story. And it still can be. Even after the dreadful start with losses to FCS South Dakota State and one of the dregs of the Power 5, Vanderbilt, the Rams have showed heart. Todd Centeio has become the leader Addazio hoped he would be. Boston College transfer David Bailey has become productive in the running game. Even CSU fans -- while critical of the staff's sometimes headshake-inducing moves and decisions -- have stuck with the Rams to a praiseworthy degree.        

 

But this one hurt. The head coach needs to not let it fester.    

 

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terry@terryfrei.com

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