Welcome to the third edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” During the offseason I will be featuring some of the most important games of the 2017 Mountain West Season. This week it will be the Battle for the Bronze Boot featuring Colorado State and Wyoming.
Dawkins had a great game. Weather like this makes it nearly impossible to throw the ball, Dawkins and fellow running back Izzy Matthews carried the load on offense for the Rams. Dawkins easily had the best state line of any player in this game, he carried the ball 29 times for 154 yards. Dawkins was a workhorse for the Rams, he put the teams on his shoulders and managed to take excellent care of the ball in blizzard-like conditions.
As I rewatched this game, I was shocked that there was only one turnover. In games like this, ball security and field position are critical because scoring is much more difficult. A Josh Allen fumble was the only turnover of the game. Both teams did an excellent job taking care of the ball and maximizing their possessions.
Wyatt Bryan and Cooper Rothe were a combined five for five on field goal attempts. In games like this, you often times and live and die by your kicker. Bryan and Rothe did a great job kicking in such difficult conditions. Colorado State had an issue with a fumbled snap, but you can’t blame that on the kicker.
It’s hard to pick on the quarterbacks in a game like this, but Nick Stevens did not do enough to lead the Rams to a victory. Stevens was 8/14 passing for 110 yards, but really hurt the Rams was Stevens’ lack of impact on the running game. Allen’s ability to extend plays with his legs late in the game helped to secure the victory for the Cowboys. Stevens had 7 rushed for 17 yards, while his counterpart Josh Allen had 12 carries for 60 yards. Allen was the play maker his team needed late in the game, Stevens wasn’t and that proved to be the difference.
It was terrible, awful, difficult to watch. It was beautiful, fun, and entertaining. All of those emotions describe how I felt during different portions of this game (especially the second half). In these types of games it is hard to know if the better team really won the game. But the Cowboys were able to use the weather and their home field to secure a 16-13 victory.
While it wasn’t a football masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, the weather made the game an entertaining and unique viewing experience. The game was extremely important at the time because the victory still has a chance to represent the Mountain division in the conference championship game.
Stay tuned, next week I will cover the West division showdown between SDSU and Fresno State.