Countdown to Kickoff Day 73: Tai Marks

Tai Marks • Offensive Line • Freshman • Santa Ana, CA

So far: Marks chose CSU over offers from pretty much every Mountain West school and Liberty Biberty. He played high school ball for the storied Mater Dei football program, which I say is a good thing. The Rams have another Mater Dei lineman in the 2021 class (George Miki-Han), so hopefully this is the beginning of a Mater Dei pipeline.

All-MWC punter Ryan Stonehouse also went to Mater Dei. Keep ’em coming Coach Dazzle!

What’s next: Marks projects as a guard or a center, and I don’t see much opportunity for a true freshman to break into the starting lineup in the interior of the line. I’m guessing Marks will see some action in three to four games and stay eligible for a redshirt.

Brewery nearest to Santa Ana, California: The Good Beer Company

This place opened in 2014, which makes it relatively old for a craft brewery.

Lowest Yelp Review for Good Beer Company:

Everything about this review cracked me up. First, have you ever had a conversation with your friends and said, “Hey guys, do you know what I’m craving right now? Beer. I’m craving beer.” Next, Allyson V and her friends have to go online to figure out where they can go to satiate this beer craving of theirs. Who are these people?

They go to the brewery and they’re spilling shit all over the place and are offended that the bartender has the audacity to be “annoyed” by their “accidental spills”. “I don’t understand how he could be upset about something that is out of anyone’s control,” she says. What the fuck are you talking about Allyson V? Spilling your drink is 100% under your control, you psycho.

The review is kind of weird, but I think I figured it out: Allyson V is actually 12 years old and posted this review as a lark. A 12 year old would say something like “Me and my friends are craving beer!” A 12 year old would think being drunk and drinking beers includes spilling shit all over the place. Allyson V is 12.

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era, #46
The Marshall Meltdown

  • Final Score: Colorado State 28, Marshall 31
  • Line: Colorado State -3
  • Venue: Dreamstyle Stadium

The Mountain West’s bowl games suck, so this match-up is about as good as we can hope for. Flights to ABQ are fairly cheap or you can drive it, the weather is superior to Boise’s, the game was against a good program that we’ve never played before, and the Rams don’t freaking lose at… what’s it called now… *checks notes*… Dreamstyle Stadium.

A friend and I went down to Albuquerque. First thing we did was hit a casino. The casinos there don’t allow you to drink alcohol on the casino floor, which is absurd. If you want a drink, you have to color up your chips, leave your table, and walk over to a bar on the side of the casino. You can just imagine some dumb-ass puritan politicians being like, “this is a good compromise”.

We stayed at the team hotel and the location was clutch as it was right across the street from Ojos Locos, which is basically Tex-Mex Hooters. The hotel was also occupied by the Arizona Wildcats basketball team and watching Deandre Ayton walk through doorways was fun.

The night before the game all the players, coaching staff, and their families were hanging out in the hotel lobby. It was a good time, but my friend and I were craving beer and didn’t want to pay $8 for a Coors Light from the hotel bar. Instead, we snuck in more reasonably priced Coors Lights from the nearby liquor store because that’s how you responsibly cure a beer craving. And we didn’t spill anything, Allyson V.

Enough about that, now to the game. I’ll start with a specific highlight as it was a thing of beauty that we don’t see much of:

Think back over the last five years and try to remember how many times our safties gave help over the top, arrived on time, and made a play on the ball. Someone should frame this GIF and put it in a museum.

Poor Nick Stevens was under duress all game. Marshall ended up with 5 sacks and 6 QB hurries. For context, CSU had given up 8 sacks all season to that point. This was due in large part to the DEFENSIVE GENIUS OF CHUCK HEATER. Heater was putting seven guys at the line of scrimmage, typically dropping three or four of them back into coverage but our offensive line had no clue where the pressure was going to come from.

As good as the Marshall front seven was, their defensive backs were green-colored traffic cones, which allowed the Rams to keep the game close any time Stevens got time to throw.

Fast forward to the end of the 4th quarter, CSU ball, down 31-28. The Rams had come back from a 31-14 deficit and we were feeling good because no matter how long the odds, the Rams don’t lose at Dreamstyle Stadium.

Drive starts out with this highlight reel third down conversion to Michael Gallup:

Hot damn, we got this game in the bag!

Next plays: Incomplete, incomplete, and we have a third down again. Steven drops back to pass, Gallup gets behind the defense, Stevens loads it up to throw, IT’S HAPPENING!…

Wait, what? That’s not supposed to happen. This was the third time in the game that Stevens missed Gallup deep, but this one was obviously the most important.

4th down. Defensive Savant Chuck Heater dials up some pressure off the edge:

Game over.

This is also where the Marshall Meltdown starts. Ben Knox comes off the field wanting to fight someone, teammates… coaches… I don’t know, but the dude was steamed. Fans in the stands start getting into yelling matches with the coaches, which is never a good thing. Also, here’s a safety tip: if you follow the Rams to a road game or a bowl game, be careful what you say about specific players. There’s a very good chance that the Ram fan sitting next to you is related to one of the players and they don’t take kindly to those comments. Lesson learned!

I think this game was the tipping point for a lot of the CSU fan base. There was already negativity towards the Bobo Regime, which is normal for any coach, but this game is when the negativity hit critical mass.

Besides the awful game and the Rams inability to win trophies, two things happened off the field that pushed it past the point of no return:

1. Two days earlier it was announced that Coach Bobo had signed a lucrative contract extension and the fans were less than thrilled.

2. Our $500,000 offensive line coach Bobo’s buddy offensive coordinator bailed on the program two weeks before the New Mexico Bowl and it was more than disappointing to see his disciples get their asses whipped by Defensive Mastermind Chuck Heater. What the hell were we paying for?

Anyway, I can’t find a full version of the game. The most complete thing I could find was this compilation of Marshall highlights, which is worth watching if you want to marvel at Chuck Heater’s genius:

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