No, Saturday night’s 42-21 win over Duquesne was not always aesthetic. But the Warriors are 4-1, the eighth time in the program’s history they have won at least four of their first five games. The Warriors need to win three of their remaining eight regular-season games to clinch a berth in the Dec. 22 Hawaii Bowl.
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This season, the Warriors have received surprising boosts. In the opener, rush end Kaimana Padello induced CSU linemen to commit three holding penalties. The next week, Jeffrey Keene blocked a punt and defensive end Manly Williams played a strong game in his first career start. Against Duquesne, linebackers Scheyenne Sanitoa, and Kana‘i Picano each had a sack.
Defensive coordinator Corey Batoon said there have been a lot of players getting their first significant playing time.
“Then again, five games into it, you’re not new anymore,” Batoon said, adding stepping up is “part of football. Guys go down and, it’s got to be the next man up. We talk about that all the time. You’re one play away from being a starter.”
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Head coach Nick Rolovich said the Warriors’ surge from a 14-0 deficit might prove inspiration in the future.
“I don’t think we did all the little things right,” Rolovich said. “I’m glad we were able to get out of there with the win. The lesson is we can do better. We can do things better. We can act better. We can practice better. There’s always room for improvement.”