The Idaho Vandals (4-1, 1-0) beat the Colorado State Rams (3-2, 0-1) at the Kibbie Dome 31-29. The Rams were outscored by 12 in the second half, including two quick touchdowns to start the half by the Vandals. The Rams missed a two point conversion with 1:49 left that would have tied the game.
The Rams were a yard short on the John Mosure 2 point rushing attempt out of a wildcat formation. They had a point after attempt blocked in the second quarter which forced them to make up that extra point.
All day the Vandal receivers were giving CSU trouble. Max Komar had 12 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown. 6'6" Eric Greenwood had 6 catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. On the day QB Nathan Enderle threw for a season high 333 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. The running game was held in check with only 70 yards on the day, leading back DeMaundray Woolridge had 61 yards and a touchdown.
Rams QB Grant Stucker had 297 yards in the air with four touchdowns and an interception. The interception came with 1:14 to go on the first play of the Rams desperation drive while down 29-31. Throughout the day the Rams moved the ball, collecting 436 yards. Leonard Mason lead the Rams rushing attack with 85 yards and a 4.7 average per carry. Rashaun Greer came back with 7 catches for 125 yards, but he did have a tough dropped ball that he would say he should have caught. Plus, Gran Stucker had a few over throws that would have been touchdowns in the first half.
This next section is a thumbs up, thumbs down look at the Rams effort. For those of you who don't know who Fum McGraw is click his name for a little history.
Fum Would Be Proud of the Rams running backs. They ran hard all night and ending up breaking tackles, something we had not really seen since Gartrell Johnson left. Even Lou Greenwood got in on the action when he broke about 4 or 5 tackles on a pass to the flats for a first down. Mason ran hard all night and got what I thought was a 1st down on a 4th and 1 conversion in the 4th quarter. The referees however did not spot it as such and the Rams turned it over. They ran for 139 yards and a 4.3 average per carry on the day.
Fum Would Be Upset at the play calling. I am not sure I thought I would ever say that with this staff. However they allowed the Vandals to pick apart the zone defense all game long with no big changes in scheme. They threw a few different blitzes at Enderle but kept the cover 2 on all night.
Another issue was on the Vandals first touchdown, Greenwood was clearly out of bounds, came back in and caught the ball and knocked the pylon over with his feet. There was no challenge by Steve Fairchild. There was a mysterious yellow flag the ref threw that the ESPN U crew never mentioned so possibly it was pass interference, but you have to challenge that play. Klint Kubiak saw him go out and plead his case to no avail.
The last play call I am going to harp on was the two point conversion late in the game out of the John Mosure wildcat formation. They have never thrown it out of this formation and Mosure rarely if ever hands it off. So in the most important play of the game they took the ball out of the QB's hands who they trust the most to lead the offense and put in a package that screams run only. Mosure was gang tackled and stopped well short of the end zone. Run Stucker on a keeper if that's what you want to do, that has some element of surprise at least.
Fum McGraw Motivating Player of the Game is freshman Lee Greenwood. His stats were not eye popping, 1 rush for 3 yards, 4 catches for 74 yards and 1 touchdown. However he was breaking tackles, had a one handed catch, he picked up a few blitzes similar to ones he missed a couple weeks ago against Nevada. The Rams have a playmaker on their hands for the next few years.