2009 MWC Football Countdown: Colorado State Preview
Aug. 28, 2009
With less than one week remaining before the start of the 2009 gridiron season, TheMWC.com presents The Mountain West Conference 2009 Football Countdown. The series, which features a daily preview of each of the league's football programs, began Tuesday, August 25, and will run nine consecutive days through Wednesday, Sept. 2. The teams will be unveiled in reverse order of the MWC preseason media poll, continuing today with No. 6 pick Colorado State.
August 25: Wyoming
August 26: San Diego State
August 27: New Mexico
August 28: Colorado State
August 29: UNLV
August 30: Air Force
August 31: Utah
September 1: BYU
September 2: TCU
Colorado State Rams
Second-year head coach Steve Fairchild will be looking to build on the momentum from a promising 2008 campaign that culminated in the program's first postseason appearance in three years. For the second straight year, Colorado State enters the season without an experienced quarterback. Fortunately, the Rams' rookie signal caller will be working with an offense that boasts seven returning starters in 2009, including four seniors on an offensive line. That quartet has more experience than any other team in the nation, with a combined 125 starts over the past three years. The bulk of the rebuilding will take place on the defensive side of the ball where five starters are back, including just one on the line (senior DT James Morehead).
2008 Postseason: New Mexico Bowl (def. Fresno State, 40-35)
2009 MWC Preseason Pick: 6th
Starters Returning: 14 (7 Off., 5 Def., 2 Spec.)
Starters Lost: 13 (4 Off., 7 Def., 2 Spec.)
WATCH LIST CANDIDATES
Rashaun Greer, Sr., WR - Biletnikoff Award
Shelley Smith, Sr., OL - Rotary Lombardi Award
Tim Walter, Sr., C - Rimington Trophy
NEWS FROM CAMP:
The starting QB job will be decided between junior college transfer Jon Eastman or senior Grant Stucker. Eastman missed the last two days of camp due to a finger injury but returned to action on August 20. Sophomore Klay Kubiak, who is most likely unavailable for the season opener against Colorado, is the third candidate at this position.
The Rams must replace a pair of former 1,000-yard rushers in Gartrell Johnson and Kyle Bell. Two players making a strong bid for playing time in 2009 are true freshmen RB Lou Greenwood (Conroe, Texas) and Chris Nwoke (Highlands Ranch, Colo).
Senior WR Rashaun Greer, the first CSU 1,000-yard receiver since David Anderson in 2005, is back after leading the team with 1,114 yards on 63 catches in 2008.
True freshman Pete Kontodiakos (Tarpon Springs, Fla.), a consensus All-American last season, has been named the starting punter for the Rams, replacing departed all-MWC punter Anthony Hartz, who led the league with a 44.1 average as a junior in 2008.