Black and gold don’t mix in Fort Collins

At Thursday’s practice, something looked oddly out of place.

As normal, the quarterbacks were wearing black jerseys, a sign they were off limits to hit. They were also wearing the gold game pants the team wore last year.

Is it making sense yet?

Make no doubt Colorado State coach Jim McElwain doesn’t want it in his defenses mind they can’t hit somebody wearing that color scheme come Sept. 1.

“You said it, I didn’t,” he quipped.

So Friday, the quarterbacks came out in orange jerseys, so no, that wasn’t Payton Manning on the field, it was still Garrett Grayson sporting the orange with 18 on his chest.

McElwain said it hit him a few days ago, that the team should be using its school colors, not random ones. He understands the red for injured players (a universal mark), but black or anything else doesn’t add up.

“So, here’s the deal. We have two color schemes,” McElwain said. “We have green and gold, and we’ve got alfalfa green and pumpkin orange. So reaching into the past, rather than have red or black or whatever, we’re using school colors.”

The pants the team wears to practice in are actually last year’s game pants. The Rams will sport new uniforms this season, but McElwain felt it didn’t make any sense to get new practice pants when they could save money and use the game-worn ones.

Besides, it gave him a few dollars in the budget to purchase the “pumpkin orange” threads for his quarterbacks.

“He told us the other day, but I thought he was talking he got some new jerseys for the season that were orange like our Aggie Day things,” Grayson said. “So I didn’t know until today, we came into the locker room and they were there.

“I think that’s the reason they changed it up; we looked a little bit too close to their colors.”

Student tickets — The school is urging students to pick up their special-priced tickets for the Colorado game before the rush comes when school starts Aug. 20. Up until Aug. 24, students can purchase tickets for $35 (including a service fee), and can also purchase guest tickets for $65 up until that date. After the 24th, the ticket prices go up.

Colorado State has 10,000 tickets to sell for the student section.

Stripped shirts — It was common to see referee’s out at CSU practices in the spring, but they haven’t been as common this fall. It isn’t because McElwain doesn’t want them around.

“We’ve tried. This is a tough time of year for a lot of guys, and it’s not like we’re forking out a big budget for them,” he said. “It isn’t from choice. We’re trying to get as many officials out as we can who need work and want work, and we’ve circulated that message, and the guys that have really been out to help us, I really appreciate what they’re doing to help us get better.”

It was obvious why he wanted them. The Rams were flagged 82 times in 2011 — 16 more than their foes — many of them falling in the lack-of-discipline department.

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