The Rams (3-3, 0-2 MWC) came into their homecoming game against the Utah Utes (4-1, 1-0 MWC) as a huge underdog, as many believed they would be beaten handily by the Utes. CSU lost 24-17 to Utah in a bitter cold day in Fort Collins, but they hung in until the end against a better opponent. Contrary to what many thought, CSU came out ready to play, on the defensive end that is.
Utah is usually an explosive offensive team, usually scoring more than 28 points per game on average; but the Utes were only able to manage three points in the first half, which came on their second drive of the game.
CSU’s only points of the first half came on their first drive of the second quarter. The drive was run heavily as Leonard Mason rushed four times for 18 yards. The big play of the drive was a 30-yard pass from Grant Stucker to Dion Morton who ran deep and across the field and found himself wide open. But the Rams got bogged down after four first downs in the drive, and couldn’t move deeper than the Utah 26.
Ben DeLine converted on the 43-yard field goal and CSU found themselves tied with the Utes 3-3 at halftime.
Things were seemingly going the Rams way, and even though their offense was struggling to put together first downs, the defense helped them hang tough. Coach Steve Fairchild tweeted at halftime, “Our defense is keeping us in this game. We’re making too many mistakes on offense.” The second half has been CSU’s bugaboo all season though, as the team seems to get tired.
To continue reading this piece and to hear about the amazing plays the Rams executed after halftime, click here.