Showdown, show done.
What a show it was. Colorado State and Colorado put together a game for the ages Saturday night in Denver which couldn’t be decided in only 60 minutes. For a second straight week, the Rams took their opponents to overtime, and for a second straight week, they lost.
It all came down to field goal kicking, and CSU’s Wyatt Bryan went 1-4 on the day, including his final attempt, a 27-yarder which was blocked in the overtime period. Colorado’s Diego Gonzalez made his 32-yarder to win the game 27-24.
CSU came out on fire. They scored 14 straight points to take the 14-0 lead in the first quarter. It looked like the Showdown would be a blowout until the Buffaloes came alive. CU scored 17 straight points, including an incredible 65-yard bomb from Sefo Liufau to Shay Fields, to take the 17-14 lead just after halftime. Byran made his only kick of the night on the ensuing drive to tie it up at 17.
In the fourth quarter, the Rams had some momentum, continually finding their way into Colorado territory, but they couldn’t capitalize and score. Quarterback Nick Stevens threw an ill-advised interception to a covered player and it turned into a pick-six for the Buffaloes.
With 8:50 to play, the Rams looked done. But, they were far from it. Stevens came out slinging the ball, hitting Rashard Higgins for a 37-yard gain and Dalyn Dawkins ran repeatedly to get within striking distance. On a crucial 4th and three, head coach Mike Bobo elected to go for it and the Rams picked up the first, setting up a Jasen Oden touchdown to tie the game and send it to overtime.
STAR OF THE GAME
Dalyn Dawkins: He lighting in a bottle Saturday night, darting, dashing for yards and a touchdown. Dawkins showed off that blazing speed when he took off through the middle of the Buffs defense untouched into the end zone for CSU’s first score of the day. On a pass out of the backfield, he turned up field for 36 yards before running out of bounds. And in the third quarter, he caught another one – a 16-yard gain on 3rd and 9 – for a crucial first down. He finished with 20 rushes for 118 yards and six receptions for 59 yards in the loss.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Kenneth Olugbode’s 60-yard pick-six was sensational and pushed the Buffs back into the lead, 24-17 with 8:50 to play.
TURNING POINT OF THE GAME
In the second quarter, the Rams missed a 52-yard field goal and on the very next play, Liufau connected with Fields on the 65-yard touchdown throw. CSU could’ve taken the 17-3 lead but the TD made it 14-10 Rams.
BY THE NUMBERS
Rashard Higgins finished with eight catches for 125 yards and one touchdown. After sitting out last week, Ram fans had to be happy seeing him full-go Saturday night.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“I was tired of stalling out and not getting ‘7’,” Bobo said of going for it on fourth down late in the fourth quarter. “I thought our defense was playing well. I know they hit a couple big plays on us but if we didn’t get it, I felt we were going to get the ball back. I felt there was enough time. I had trust in the play that we called. But I had more trust that if we didn’t get it, our defense would be able to hold them.”
Colorado State falls to 1-2 on the season and loses the Centennial Cup back to CU. “A tough pill to swallow,” as Bobo put it.
Next week, CSU takes on the University of Texas San Antonio (0-3) who lost 14-69 to No. 25 Oklahoma State Saturday.