FORT COLLINS - In front of a sellout crowd, Wyoming spoiled Colorado State's hopes of claiming the Bronze Boot for a fourth consecutive season. The Cowboys downed the Rams 38-17 in the first Mountain West matchup for both teams.
Wyoming got on the board first with a Cooper Rothe 35-yard field goal. After both teams punted on their next possessions, CSU put together their first scoring drive of the night. Quarterback Collin Hill completed three passes of at least 22 yards to Olabisi Johnson, Michael Gallup and Robert Ruiz.
The drive concluded with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Nolan Peralta in the back of the end zone, with the Cowboys defense being fooled by a fake double end-around in the backfield.
CSU's next possession led to pay dirt as well. On third down, Hill hit Dalyn Dawkins for 30 yards. Then Detrich Clark, who has quickly emerged as the x-factor on offense for the Rams, outran the Wyoming defense for a 35-yard touchdown.
But the 14-3 CSU lead didn't last long.
On a drive where Brian Hill became Wyoming's all-time leading rusher, the Cowboys marched 84 yards on just seven plays, making it 14-10.
Marvin Kinsey gave the ball right back to the Cowboys offense after he fumbled on the first play of CSU's next drive. The Cowboys then used a flea-flicker off a reverse as Josh Allen connected with Tanner Gentry. Wyoming regained the lead, 17-14.
The Cowboys benefitted from another Rams turnover when nose tackle Chase Appleby picked off Collin Hill and rumbled 55 yards for a touchdown. CSU trimmed the lead to 24-17 before halftime when Wyatt Bryan made a 36-yard field goal.
Brian Hill continued his dominance in the third quarter. With about four minutes to go, the junior snuck his way through the middle of the CSU defense on his way to a 49-yard gain. He finished off the drive with a 1-yard rushing touchdown, making it a two-score game again at 31-17.
Wyoming put the game all but out of reach with seven seconds to go in the third when Allen rushed for an 18-yard touchdown on a third and long.
No points were scored in the fourth quarter. More notably, the Rams were shut out in the second half.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Michael Gallup led CSU receivers with 75 yards on four catches.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Chase Appleby's interception return for a touchdown really turned the tide in this game. The Rams offense was inside Wyoming territory and the Cowboys had just a three-point lead at the time.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“We have seven more games left and as a leader, I’ll be darned if I let this affect us and continue to keep us down because this is my last year as a senior and a CSU Ram. I’m not going to let this team go out and just kind of finish the year off. We’re going to go out and compete and play to the best of our abilities because we love football. We’re not going to just take a backseat and feel sorry for ourselves.” - Nolan Peralta
Brian Hill's 49-yard run in the third quarter and 1-yard touchdown run on the next play made it a 31-17 game. While just a two-score lead at the time, the touchdown drive was clearly deflating for CSU.
BY THE NUMBERS
0 - Points for the Rams in the second half
111 - The net rushing yards for the Rams, a far cry from the 269 of Wyoming
481 - Total yards of offense for CSU, and yet the Rams managed just 17 points
It's never good to be blown out by both of your rivals in the same season. The Rams fell to 2-3 and have work to do in a hurry if they still have bowl game aspirations.
CSU hosts Utah State next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.