Border War? More like a one-sided beat-down on this November Saturday.

The Colorado State Rams Football team were prepared to play their hated rival to the north, coming out on fire and never relenting. The Rams took a 23-0 lead over the Wyoming Cowboys by scoring on their first four drives while the home team fumbled, punted three times and then fumbled again.

In the second half, CSU put another field goal on the board – this one 31 yards – to push their lead to 26-0. Colorado State ran the ball relentlessly to finish off the win 26-7 and head back south of the border to the friendly confines of Fort Collins with the Bronze Boot.

Credit: Rich Kurtzman, BSN Denver
Credit: Rich Kurtzman, BSN Denver

RUNDOWN

Colorado State came out determined on Saturday afternoon, marching 72 yards on their first drive to take the 7-0 lead over their rivals, the Wyoming Cowboys. After Dalyn Dawkins ran the ball down into the red zone, Izzy Matthews capped off the drive by diving over the top for a touchdown. On the Cowboys second play from scrimmage, Deonte Clyburn stripped the ball and Trent Matthews recovered; the Rams scored a 33-yard field goal off the turnover and led 10-0 early.

CSU started in Wyoming territory again on their third drive, moving 46 yards in four plays including Matthews tough 9-yard touchdown run. After another punt forced by the Rams defense, CSU’s offense scored when Nick Stevens dove over the goal line for a touchdown. The first positive for Wyoming occurred when they blocked the extra point and trailed 23-0 at halftime.

In the second half, CSU put another field goal on the board and led 26-0 until Brian Hill scored a touchdown with 2:25 to play and make it 26-7.

STAR OF THE GAME

Izzy Matthews was undoubtedly one of the game’s stars on Saturday. Matthews, a true freshman, really came to play with Jasen Oden injured and unable to go. Matthews scored the Rams first touchdown of the day by going over the top of the pile and then scored again on a tough-nosed run to push Colorado State ahead 17-0. He finished with 15 carries for 55 yards.

IMG_7640

Another star was Dalyn Dawkins: He rushed for 140 yards on 25 carries for a strong 5.6 yards per carry average. It was Dawkins second 100-yard game of the season and a career-high for the speedy back.

PLAY OF THE GAME

Matthews’ determined 9-yard rushing touchdown was the play of the game. He was determined to score and ran through multiple defenders on his way to the end zone which put the Rams up 17-0.

TURNING POINT

When Brian Hill fumbled on the Cowboys second play of the day, it was an early momentum changer. Colorado State was already ahead 7-0 when Hill fumbled, then the Rams scored a field goal to push their lead to 10-0. Hill’s fumble not only turned into three points for CSU, it set the tone for the Wyoming offense which turned the ball over twice and punted three times in the first half alone.

BY THE NUMBERS

Colorado State rushed the ball for 230 total yards on the day compared to only 130 for Wyoming.

Turnovers: The Cowboys turned the ball over four times while Colorado State turned it over only once. That gave CSU a +3 in the turnover department, an area they’ve been lacking in all year long.

Penalties: CSU had 10 penalties called on them for 102 yards, still far too much to be considered a disciplined team.

Kivon Cartwright led all receivers with four receptions for 56 yards while Rashard Higgins caught four passes for 49 yards.

The Rams went 3-11 on third down conversion opportunities but held the Cowboys to 1-8 on their tries.

LASTING IMPACT

The victory for Colorado State is huge. This was a must-win game and it keeps the Rams in bowl contention. CSU improves to 4-5 on the season and 2-3 in the Mountain West with three winable games left on the schedule.

WHAT’S NEXT

Next up for Colorado State is their last home game of the year against the UNLV Rebels. The Rebels were 2-6 at the time of this piece being published. That game kicks off at 5 p.m. MT on Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium on Saturday Nov. 14.