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Colorado State needs win just as badly as Eagles
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    If Georgia Southern coach Chris Hatcher had his druthers he would much prefer be spending his Saturday anyplace other than Fort Collins, Colo.
    Hatcher’s first Georgia Southern football team concludes its regular season at Colorado State (1-9) in desperate need of a win to get a shot at the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
    The Eagles (7-3, 4-3) believe they would have a legitimate shot at getting into the playoff field with an eighth win. The lure of a $200,000 payoff, as reported by Colorado newspapers, has Georgia Southern facing what Hatcher said was one of the better teams the Eagles will face this year.
    “It’s a must win for us,” said Hatcher. “We wish we were playing a lesser opponent because we need one more win.
    “It doesn’t really matter who we play,” said Hatcher. “Our guys have to get fired up and play their best football or this will be the last game of our season, and the last game for our seniors.”
    The Eagles (7-3) had a chance last Saturday to secure an automatic berth in the playoffs by winning the Southern Conference title. Instead, a last second field goal went awry, allowing Furman to post a 24-22 win that put Georgia Southern’s playoff hopes in jeopardy.
    Georgia Southern and the Rams’ kickoff at 2 p.m. The game will actually start at noon Mountain Standard Time, and if it can be considered to be a break the weather will be pleasant. The outlook is sunny skies with temperatures in the low 60s.
    The Rams are desperate for a win, too. Coach Sonny Lubick’s team has lost 16 of its last 17 games, but almost without exception has played everyone close.
    Last week, for example, they lost to New Mexico, 26-23, on a field goal on the final play of the game. That loss followed a trend started in the opener when the Rams lost to arch-rival Colorado, 31-28, in overtime.
    Then came a six-point loss to California which at one time was ranked No. 2 in the country. Of CSU’s nine losses, seven have come against bowl eligible teams.
    “When you start watching them on film if you didn’t know their record you would think this was a bowl type team,” said Hatcher. “They are very well coached, and their guys play extremely hard. Their linebackers are as big as most defensive linemen we face.”
    Lubick, who is in his 15th season at Colorado State, said his team’s inability to make a big play in the clutch has haunted it all season. He agreed with Hatcher’s assessment about his team playing hard.
    “I feel good about this team,” said Lubick. “I think we’ll play hard, but we’re to the point where we have to play perfect football to win.
    “I think it’ll be a heckuva football game. It’s not so much about them as it is us…whether we want to do it.”
    The anchor of the Rams’ defense is middle linebacker Jeff Horinek, a 6-foot-3, 238 pound junior who lines up behind nose guard Erik Sandie, a 6-foot-2, 289 pound senior.
    Colorado State averages 360 yards per game, 204 passing and quarterback Caleb Hanie has some talented receivers. Split end Johnny Walker was the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week this week for his seven catch, 177 yard game against New Mexico.
    “As luck would have it we play a pretty good darned football team,” said Lubick. “They have a quarterback that gives everyone trouble.
    “He’s a small man’s version of (Tim) Tebow,” said Lubick of the Eagles’ Jayson Foster. “He’s tricky with the ball, and he’ll be as quick as anyone we’ve seen this season.”