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Rams lose steam after fast start, get overpowered by Utah State 44-24

Colorado State was up 17-0 early. 37 points later, the Aggies were in full control. Both sides of the ball struggle in conference opening loss

After a fast start gave the Rams a 17-0 lead in Logan, it all fell apart. The defense gave up 37 unanswered points and over 600 yards, the offense had its worst outing of the year, and Utah State cruised to a win. Let’s break down what happened and what’s to come.

Scoring Timeline

1st Quarter

11:27 - 30 yard FG from Jordan Noyes

Colorado State 3, Utah State 0

10:36 - 79 yard punt return TD from Tory Horton (Noyes PAT)

Colorado State 10, Utah State 0

9:34 - 22 yard TD run from Vann Schield (Noyes PAT)

Colorado State 17, Utah State 0

0:20 - 43 yard FG from Elliott Nimrod

Colorado State 17, Utah State 3

2nd Quarter

6:10 - 22 yard TD run from Davon Booth (Nimrod PAT)

Colorado State 17, Utah State 10

3:50 - 24 yard TD pass from Cooper Legas to Jalen Royals (Nimrod PAT)

Colorado State 17, Utah State 17

3rd Quarter

13:49 - 76 yard TD pass from Cooper Legas to Terrell Vaughn (Nimrod PAT)

Colorado State 17, Utah State 24

11:53 - 51 yard TD pass from Cooper Legas to Jalen Royals (Nimrod PAT)

Colorado State 17, Utah State 31

4th Quarter

11:38 - 19 yard TD pass from Cooper Legas to Micah Davis (PAT failed)

Colorado State 17, Utah State 37

8:55 - 10 yard TD run from Kobe Johnson (Noyes PAT)

Colorado State 24, Utah State 37

4:58 - 48 yard TD run from Davon Booth (Nimrod PAT)

Colorado State 24, Utah State 44

By the Numbers

639 total yards for Utah State

The Rams secondary was torched for the majority of the night, giving up the most total yards since 2018, when CSU actually gave up 639 total yards to Nevada. Three different Aggie receivers had over 100 receiving yards and a touchdown, and running back Davon Booth also had a huge day with 141 rush yards and two scores. The defense did some things well, like forcing four turnovers and sacking Cooper Legas six times, but the overall theme of the day was clear; after the first quarter, Utah State did whatever they wanted offensively.

Another 3 sack day for Mohamed Kamara

Despite Kamara getting an injury in the third quarter, he had ANOTHER 3 sack game. He’s up to 9.5 on the season, by far the best in the conference. As long as he isn’t out for a prolonged period of time, his campaign for Mountain West defensive player of the year continues to rise.

4 turnovers for BFN

This was the worst performance of Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi’s young career, no question. Three interceptions is tied for his single game high, and it’s also the first game that’s finished without him throwing a touchdown. He’ll surely rebound, it was tough sledding for all of the offense after Tory Horton left the game, but his performance was a large part of the loss.

Eye Test

The Offense

Even when the Rams were up 17-0 early, the offense looked out of sync. The passing game was as inefficient as it has been all year. The running game was a non factor, other than the two touchdown runs, and the offensive line played fine overall, but still had the usual penalty issues.

The Defense

There was no resistance for most of the game, with the total yard number being the clear indicator of how rough of a day it was for the defense. With injuries piling up, the corners were particularly exposed, hence the three Aggie receivers that had triple digit outputs. TJ Crandall and Dom Jones’s interceptions were silver linings. While the DLine had issues slowing the run game down, they made plenty of plays. We already discussed Kamara’s dominance, but freshman Marshon Oxley also had a strip sack. Justin Sanchez (14 tackles) and Chase Wilson (8 tackles, sack) were both solid in their roles, but the stats don’t remove the stench of one of the weakest defensive performances from the green and gold in quite some time.

The Special Teams

The specialists may have had the best day of anyone. Tory Horton’s punt return was the highlight of the day for Colorado State. Louis Brown IV wasn’t too effective in his kick return duties. Jordan Noyes hit all four of his kicks, one field goal and three extra points. Paddy Turner continued his great season with over 300 yards of punt yardage, two punts inside the 20 yard line, a 65 yarder, and a low punt that ricocheted off an Aggie player to give the Rams the ball in their opponents territory.

Going Forward

The Rams are entering the hardest part of their schedule, starting with Boise State in Fort Collins. They then play UNLV on the road, Air Force at home, Wyoming in Laramie, and San Diego State at home. There’s a world where Colorado State is 2-8 at the end of this stretch. But they also have the opportunity to regroup, win some games they maybe shouldn’t, and make some noise in the Mountain West. BFN will play better. The defense and running backs will heal up. And hopefully, CSU will get back into the win column.

What were your takeaways from the game? Let us know in the comments down below!