The Colorado State Rams beat the Idaho Vandals 36-34 at home on a last second field goal by Ben Deline. The Rams had not won a game since the third week of last year against FCS school Weber State. Ben Deline almost doomed the Rams to another loss with a missed PAT that would have tied the game with six minutes remaining. The Rams defense stepped up and stopped the Vandals on the next drive. The Rams took over on their 16 yard line and drove 66 yards in 2:38 to set up the game winning 35 yard filed goal.
The Rams were facing an uphill battle in the first half as they found them selves down 13-0 with 4:32 left in the half. The Rams had a 7 play 78 yard drive to get their first touchdown of the day on a Raymond Carter run. After a very untimely Idaho fumble in their own territory the Rams took the bull by the horns and went 33 yards on 3 plays for the go ahead touchdown. The Rams had doubled their touchdown output in a span of 40 seconds.
In the second half the scoring kicked up with the Vadals scoring 21 points and the Rams with 22. The Rams offense finally stepped up as their second half drives ended in a punt, field goal, touchdown, field goal, touchdown, field goal. Most of those drives being 60 yards or more.
The Ram defense stepped up big with an early turnover on downs and the big forced fumble right before the half. Late in the game they held the Vandals to a 6 play 17 yard drive to get the ball back to set up Ben Deline's game winner.
Let's talk about how the Rams did what they did after The Jump...
Let's start with the freshman quarterback who played like a seasoned vet. Pete Thomas had 386 yards completing 29 of 37 passes, three touchdowns, an average of 10.4 yards a pass, and one interception that came early in the game. He threw deep out routes, seem routes, to the flats, and the deep ball. The kid can make any throw on the field you ask him to. All this came against a pretty good Vandal defense who managed 5 sacks, most of which were coverage sacks that left Thomas with no where to go in the air or with his legs. 386 yards and three touchdowns, it's fair to say the Thomas might be a fan favorite in Fort Collins for quite some time.
The man of the day, who needed it as bad as anyone in FBS, Raymond Carter! 224 all purpose yards and three touchdowns! 104 rushing yards and one rushing score along with his four catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. A long rush of 37 yards and long catch of 72 yards. The play maker showed his skills today that everyone thought he would out of high school when he was a highly rated running back. He definatly caught the Vandals defense off guard when he came out on his seem routes as he beat his defenders easily and allowed Thomas to drop in a perfect pass on the run for two scores. The offensive line finally created some holes and he didn't miss them. John Mosure did not either with his 6.5 yards per carry.
Now to the man who got that monkey off his back, Steve Fairchild. A little rumblings were starting about your job and you squashed those this week. That was one of the better coached games since I have been at CSU. Fairchild found mismatches with Carter in the back field. Ten different players caught a pass as the Vandal defense didn't know who to hone in on. I liked the 51 yard field goal attempt early, showed confidence in the kicker which he needed at the end. He put in a hurry up offense at random times to make sure the Vandals didn't change their defensive package and it helped the Rams get some momentum on offense. 78 yards touchdown, 80 yards touchdown, 64 yards touchdown, 66 yards field goal, those are some solid drives that took a team effort and Steve Fairchild is the one who got them to work together.
The defense gets their cheers too. Stopping the Vandals on their first drive on 4th and short set the tone for the game. They did give up 34 points but caused the two turnovers and had big stops in the second half. Idaho came out in the second half and got two touchdowns on their first drive and it looked like the Rams defense of old that would just crumble. Then a stout three and out after a Rams touchdown kept the game in reach. Then the big stop where Idaho really just needed to run out 6 minutes of clock. Mychal Sisson might have been the happiest Ram as he ran over to the jumping student section after the game. He knew what it feels like to win a bowl game and he sure hated that losing streak like I am sure most of them did. It always seems harder on your star players though.
If this seems like a pretty homer article, it is. After a 12 game losing streak I think the Rams deserve one in their honor.