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Colorado State welcomes back coach for opener

August 24, 2018

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado State Rams won’t be enjoying a cupcake schedule this season.

The Rams open against Mountain West Conference foe Hawaii on Saturday night, followed by a trip to the Denver Broncos’ stadium for the Rocky Mountain Showdown with Colorado on Aug. 31.

The Rams then host the Arkansas Razorbacks on Sept. 8 and visit the Florida Gators on Sept. 15.

“It’s scary when you look at it, but it’s exciting,” coach Mike Bobo said. “It’s who we want to be. You want to be there, you’ve got to play good teams and that’s about playing Week Zero again, got to put Colorado State on national TV with our game against Hawaii.

“We’re excited about the Rocky Mountain Showdown, we’d like to go there and play well. Then we have Arkansas coming to our campus, our city, an SEC team. I think everybody’s excited about that,” Bobo said. “To go play University of Florida, one of the top programs in the country year in and year out, our kids are excited.”

The Rams could take their lumps early but will certainly be well-tested by the time they host Illinois State before playing the rest of their conference slate.

“We’re excited about the schedule.” Bobo said. “Is it daunting? Is it challenging? Can it beat you up, as a football team? I’m a little bit nervous about that, but that was one of the key parts for us I believe trying to move that Hawaii game to Week Zero. Now we get two bye weeks during the season, which I think that’s beneficial for us.”

At least the Rams won’t have to go through with contingency plans to have someone else call the offensive plays now that Bobo is back at work following a 10-day hospitalization while being treated for numbness in his feet.

Bobo returned to practice Wednesday , a day after being released from a Denver hospital, and said he’ll coach the Rams in the opener — likely from the coaches’ booth instead of the sideline because of his limited mobility. He wore a protective boot on his right foot.

“I really can’t put into words how excited I am to be back,” said Bobo, who reviewed practice film during his hospital stay.

Bobo, 44, had his right knee replaced in the spring but he said doctors have ruled that out as a cause of his peripheral neuropathy.

LONG TIME: This will be the Warriors’ first trip to Fort Collins since 2014. Hawaii is trying to snap a streak of seven consecutive non-winning seasons and a six-game skid in Fort Collins, where they last won in 1988.

NEW QBS: The Rams’ starting quarterback is KJ Carta-Samuels, a graduate transfer who saw action in 25 games over four seasons at Washington. He’s thrown for 310 yards and three TDs in his career. He’ll lead an offense that will be hard-pressed to match last season’s nearly 500 yards a game after losing front-line players at QB, RB, WR and TE and which features three new offensive linemen.

Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich is taking a page — or pages — from former Warriors coach June Jones and going back to the run-and-shoot offense. Rolovich listed sophomore Cole McDonald and freshman Chevan Cordeiro as co-starters at QB.

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