Halftime Notes: Rams struggle in first half

Donning the orange and green alternate Ag Day uniforms, CSU football got off to a slow start against Illinois State Saturday. Despite facing an FCS opponent, the Rams trail 14-6 at the break and have looked flat on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, the Rams found the end zone when quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels connected with wide receiver Olabisi Johnson to cap off a 14-play, 80-yard drive in the first quarter. The touchdown was Johnson’s fourth of the season, and it came four years after scoring his first career touchdown on Ag Day in 2014.

Other than the one scoring drive though, CSU has failed to create any kind of rhythm on offense. In the first two quarters, sophomore punter Ryan Stonehouse was called on to punt four times for an average of 54.8 yards per punt.

While head football coach Mike Bobo would like to see his offense come to life, Stonehouse’s solid play is a positive sign after last week’s special teams debacle at Florida.

On the defensive side of things, the Rams have not been able to create any pressure, which has allowed Illinois State to control the pace of play. ISU running back James Robinson has led the way for the Redbirds’ offense, carrying the football 10 times for 81 yards and one touchdown in the half. Markel Smith had a nice half for Illinois State as well, with 11 carries for 50 yards and one touchdown.

Score: 14-6 (Illinois State)

Total Yards: CSU (97), ISU (277)

First Downs: CSU (9), ISU (15)

Time of Possession: CSU (12:52), ISU (17:08)