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Colorado State vs. Air Force final score: Rams dominate Falcons in Homecoming victory

Nick Stevens was red hot for Colorado State and threw three touchdowns as the Rams defeated Air Force 38-23.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It was homecoming in Fort Collins this weekend, and the Colorado State Rams did not disappoint their sellout crowd as they defeated the Air Force Falcons 38-23 Saturday afternoon. Quarterback Nick Stevens, who has been up and down this season, was spectacular on the day as he completed 23 of 30 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. It was a much needed win for the Rams, as they were winless in Mountain West play under first year head coach Mike Bobo coming into the game.

Colorado State came out from the opening of the game with a much different attitude than the team that currently stands with a 2-4 record overall. They were efficient in the passing game and Stevens was accurate throughout the game. Stevens would hit tight end Steven Walker from 23 yards out midway through the first quarter to give the Rams a quick 7-0 lead. Air Force would respond with a 60 yard scamper by fullback Shayne Davern, but a missed extra point by Drew Oehrle, who seemingly has lost his job since he did not kick again the rest of the game, would make the score 7-6. Stevens and the Rams would respond quickly however, and Stevens would hit Joe Hansley on a wide receiver screen and watch the shifty slot receiver scamper 14 yards into the end zone for a 14-6 lead to end the first quarter.

Both teams would not be able to do much in the second quarter until Stevens made his one mistake of the day when he threw an interception to Weston Steelhammer that would give the Falcons some momentum. Five plays after the interception, Air Force running back Jacobi Owens would take a pitch and run into the end zone from 12 yards out to cut the lead to 14-13 Colorado State with a little over three minutes in the half. It was at that point that Stevens would put together his best drive of the game, and when Hansley would turn Steelhammer around and get free deep for a 44 yard touchdown pass, all momentum had shifted squarely into the Colorado State side.

That momentum would turn into a tidal wave for the Rams in the third quarter, as Colorado State would start to get physical and pound the ball right down the heart of the Falcons defense. Jasen Oden Jr.(11 carries for 89 yards) would run for two touchdowns in the quarter and the Rams defense would intercept Karson Roberts, helping Colorado State dominate the third quarter and expand the lead to 35-13. Air Force would also see Davern go down with an injury in the quarter and his replacement would fumble on a key fourth and one situation.

Colorado State needed this victory in the worst way possible. The positive for the Rams is that they have now played Utah State, Boise State and Air Force in their first three league games and have a 1-2 record. The Rams should be favored in the rest of their games, and can get on a roll after the big win over their in-state rivals today. The Rams host San Diego State on Halloween after an upcoming bye week.

For Air Force, it is another bad example of this team not playing well on the road. All three losses have come on the road, and none of them have really been all that close. The team makes way too many mistakes away from Colorado Springs, and with three more games on the road this season, a bowl berth could come down to getting a least one win on the road since Air Force, which now stands at 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the league, has to host red hot and league leading Utah State in November. Next week, the Falcons will host Fresno State at noon.