FORT COLLINS — After a second consecutive 3-point loss to an instate rival, the next day is spent second-guessing this and that.
Should Colorado State have kicked away at the end of the game instead of a squib kick? Should
the Rams have tried to grind it out in the fourth quarter when the running game started to pick up speed in what turned out to be a 31-28 loss to Colorado?
If, if, if ...
Colorado State head coach Sonny Lubick played it all over in his mind Sunday while watching the tape, and he’s not exactly sure he’d change much.
“After reviewing the tape, I still was just very pleased with the effort our football team gave forth,” he said. “I thought we played extremely well for a first game.
“I liked the effort, the composure of going into a hostile situation, and they gave it a very, very good effort. It’s just too bad we couldn’t have hung on a little longer.”
Besides, there is another game this Saturday at Minnesota (noon; ESPN2), which has already started to consume his thoughts.
“They’ll be fine,” Lubick said of his team. “Only time will tell. But whether we won last week or lost, we still have to play Minnesota. I don’t put too much stock in a game taking too much out of you. I don’t think one game should change your outlook, no matter how big a game it is.”
But part of the process of moving forward is repairing past mistakes, and one area of focus will be special teams, where Lubick gave his team a “C”.
Lubick’s not too worried about his return men. Dustin Osborn had one punt return for 12 yards, and kickoff returners George Hill and Robert Herbert averaged 26 yards in their four combined returns.
However, the breakdown on the punt team that led to Jimmie Kaylor getting tackled and loss of containment on the final squib kick will be under repair.
“We’ll work hard at it,” Lubick said. “We’ve got to get better at it; we’ve got to work harder and get the right guys in there. It’s all about basically coaching.”
In addition, the Rams will be in search of a new starting running back for the Minnesota game. Starter Nnamdi Ohaeri suffered a high-ankle sprain in the loss and will be out at least two weeks, possibly more.
“I don’t know when he’ll be back,” Lubick said, noting Jimmy Green was out for six weeks at the beginning of last season with a similar injury. “I haven’t talked to the doctors, so I’m hoping, but specific types seem to go longer than a week or two weeks.”
Kyle Bell rushed for a career-high 66 yards in the game after Ohaeri went down, and Green picked up some of the tough yards against Colorado. Lubick also said an ability to pass block will play into the decision, something Ohaeri was doing quite well.
“Those guys have got to step up and block, not just run the football,” Lubick said.
Decisions, decisions: Of quarterback Justin Holland’s four interceptions, Lubick questioned only one — the third one when the game was tied at 21.
Holland’s last interception was a desperation heave, his second one came when he was hit by a blitzing defender and the first one came off a nice play by CU defender Lorenzo Simms.
The lone toss in question was intended for Luke Roberts and it would have taken a perfect pass, but Lubick didn’t question the attempt.
“I like him to take those chances,” Lubick said. “I thought it took a nice play by their guy.”
Training room: Nobody else on the roster is expected to miss the Minnesota game. Cornerback Darryl Williams, who sustained a concussion, is expected to return Wednesday.