#8 Colorado State Takes to the Skies for the Final Time
Fort Collins, CO- With head coach Flip Naumburg back in action and with two weeks’ rest after the exhausting five-game road trip to California and Utah, the Colorado State Rams will travel to Michigan where they will play #1 Michigan Wolverines and #7 University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. After this trip, all games the Rams play will take place in Colorado since both the RMLC and MCLA championships will be in-state.
It won’t be easy, to say the least, but it will be the Rams’ chance to prove they can play with the big boys with a successful trip. They went 3-2 on their Spring Break trip, with the two losses going in favor of #2 Chapman and #4 Brigham Young. “We are excited about this challenging road-trip to take on the #1 and #7 teams in the country,” said assistant coach Alex Smith. “The trip to California was really drawn out, so getting two extremely good teams back-to-back will test us a lot. Our team is excited to get out and play again and we feel like we’re getting better all the time.” Colorado State will play Michigan first on the trip. The game will be played on Saturday, April 4th at 8 p.m. in Ann Arbor. Michigan is the defending champions after they defeated Chapman in the MCLA Championship game, 14-11, and are coming into this game ranked 1st in the nation. The Rams will make a statement to the rest of the MCLA with a victory over the defending champs, and they have history on their side. In regular season matches, Colorado State is 4-2 against Michigan. The Wolverines won the last game played between the two MCLA powerhouses, but it took them two overtimes to finally put it away by a score of 10-9. “Michigan is an excellent team in their own building,” said Smith. “They finally got the monkey off their back with their national championship last year and it doesn’t seem like there’s been much let-up. They are very well-coached and disciplined and it will take a great game by us to steal one from them. Face-offs and clearing will be the biggest challenges for us.” It will be a short turnaround for the Rams as they face 7th ranked Minnesota-Duluth at 12 p.m. on Sunday, but they also have history on their side against the Bulldogs. Colorado State has won all three of the games they played. However, it should be noted that Minnesota-Duluth has come a long way since their first matchup in 2004, where the Rams humiliated the Bulldogs 22-4. In their two most recent games in 2007 and 2008, there has been a combined point differential of a mere 3 goals, and this year they come into the game as the higher ranked team. I really respect what Coach Rob Graff has done with the Minnesota-Duluth program,” reflected Smith. “They have come a long way since I’ve been around the league and it’s great that they have stepped it up into the national spotlight. We’ve had some very close games with them over the past couple of years and our teams seem to match up really well together. It will be imperative that we recover from the evening game with Michigan and be ready to go early against Duluth on Sunday.”