Football recap: Rams fall to Aggies, 31-19
Sept. 22, 2012
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Colorado State dropped its third game in a row on Saturday night, losing to the Utah State Aggies 31-19 in front of a crowd of 23,374 at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium.
Utah State (3-1) came into the night looking to avenge the loss they suffered last year at home to the Rams. After forcing a quick punt from CSU, Utah State marched out its highly-efficient offense.
Taking the ball at their own 23-yard line, the Aggies needed just eight plays and 2:26 off the clock to march 77 yards down the field--capping the drive with a 26-yard touchdown run by Kerwyn Williams.
It was the sign of a career-best night to come from the senior running back. Williams finished the game with 205 yards rushing and two touchdowns. It was the first time the Rams had allowed a 200-yard rusher since Doug Martin rushed for 200 yards in a Boise State victory at Hughes Stadium last year.
“From start to finish the offensive line did a great job opening up big holes for me,” Williams said. “I just ran through the holes they gave me.”
While CSU’s offense was not able to get much momentum going in the first half, totaling only 61 yards of total offense, Utah State continued to move the ball down the field effectively with 288 yards of offense.
After a goal-line stand forced the Aggies to settle for a short field goal late in the first quarter to give them a 10-0 lead, Utah State made sure they would not be stopped so close to the end zone on their next possession.
Facing a 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line, quarterback Chuckie Keeton found wide receiver Matt Austin in the side of the end zone for a touchdown to cap a 19-play 85-yard drive that took 7:46 off the clock.
The Rams went into halftime trailing 17-0, but emerged in the second half with renewed energy.
“We’ve come out every game and started slow like that,” sophomore quarterback Garrett Grayson said. “Then we come out in the second half and it seems like things start clicking. In the first half we just never get into a rhythm and it’s shooting ourselves in the foot.”
On Utah State’s second possession of the half, Rams redshirt-freshman safety Trent Matthews recorded his first career interception near midfield to give the Rams their best field position of the night.
CSU would convert on the good field position by connecting on a 28-yard field goal by Jared Roberts to make it a two possession game. The score was set up by an 18-yard reception by sophomore wide receiver Charles Lovett.
On the next Aggies possession, the Rams again applied pressure and intercepted Keeton’s first pass, this time by Shaq Bell. The interception was Bell’s second takeaway of the game, after earlier recovering a fumble in the end zone, and again put CSU in great field position.
Again though, the Rams were unable to find the end zone and had to settle for a 31-yard field goal by Roberts to pull within 11 points, at 17-6.
That was as close as the Rams would get, as the Aggies responded on their next drive with a 58-yard touchdown run by Williams to go ahead 24-6.
In the fourth quarter, CSU was finally able to find the end zone when Grayson found wide receiver Dominique Vinson in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown on a 4th-and-goal. The Rams, however, were unable to convert on the two-point conversion, and could not make enough stops to get back into the game.
“The good thing is I didn’t see guys quit,” Head Coach Jim McElwain said. “I did not see them throw in the towel; that is encouraging.”
Grayson finished the game with 224 yards passing and two touchdowns. Freshman running back Tommey Morris led the Rams with 76 yards rushing on eight attempts, including a career long rush of 33 yards that helped spark a Rams scoring drive.