The Colorado State Rams spent the off season learning a new 3-4 defense to take advantage of a plethora of solid linebackers and big defensive linemen. Those linemen will get a big test as the Rams seek their first Mountain West Conference win of the season on Saturday against the Air Force Falcons offensive line.
Air Force's front five has made something of a specialty out of cut blocking, a legal move in college football that allows players at the line of scrimmage within seven yards of the center to block below the waist. It's a technique that leaves defenders tired quickly and can open quick running lanes. That could be bad news for the Rams run defense -- which is already allowing 159 yards per game -- against an Air Force team that has one of the best runners in the nation, Cody Getz.
CSU defensive line coach sees the game as a teaching situation for his still evolving defensive unit:
"But the thing I've told the D-line this week is: Regardless of the situation and outcome of the game, we're going to come out of this game better because they are teaching us, basically, that we need to continue to get our pads down. It's been an issue for us on the defensive line — that we get our pads too high as the play progresses."
Last season, the Rams allowed the Falcons to literally run all over them, with Air Force picking up 344 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.