Second half woes doom Rams

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Oct 312004
 
Authors: Jon Pilsner

For the first six minutes of the third quarter, the CSU football

team had its own version of a Halloween nightmare.

New Mexico scored 13 unanswered points to start the second half,

all on drives of less than 22 yards, as the Lobos downed the Rams

26-17 before a sparse crowd of 24,573 Saturday at Sonny Lubick

Field at Hughes Stadium.

The Lobos, who were down 7-3 at half, converted two Ram fumbles

and a punt return into 13 points on their first three drives of the

third quarter, each one starting from inside the CSU

20-yard-line.

“The defense kept us in it,” said junior wide receiver David

Anderson. “But you can’t expect the D to stop them every time they

start on your own 15-yard-line.”

The Rams (3-5, 2-2 Mountain West Conference) three times

operated scoring drives of 70 yards or more, but multiple times,

the offense struggled to gain yardage and get first downs.

“The biggest thing is that we were so inconsistent on offense,”

CSU head coach Sonny Lubick said. “We hurt ourselves.”

The Rams started quickly, scoring on their opening drive of the

game. Freshman quarterback Caleb Hanie laced a 37-yard touchdown

pass to Dustin Osborn, giving CSU a 7-0 lead. Hanie started the

game 3-of-3, completing passes under pressure to Anderson and Kory

Sperry.

However, the Rams struggled to get the running game going all

game, rushing for a total of 35 yards on 34 attempts. Jimmy Green

led the Rams with 60 yards on 23 rushes, only averaging 2.4 yards

per carry.

“The offense as a whole was flat,” Green said. “I don’t know how

to explain (the struggles with the running game). I put a lot on

me, I have to run harder.”

DonTrell Moore again ran well against the Rams, gaining 154

yards on 29 carries. However, he only scored one touchdown.

“DonTrell (Moore) looked good,” said UNM head coach Rocky Long.

“But I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t score more

points.”

The Ram defense again played well, holding UNM (5-4, 3-2 MWC) to

291 yards of total offense. It was the first game this year the

Rams held an opponent to under 300 offensive yards in the game.

However, they were unable to force a turnover, and UNM often worked

with a short field.

Suddenly, finding themselves down, the Rams offense found their

footing near the end of the third quarter, driving 92 yards and

scoring a touchdown on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Hanie to John

Walker. Hanie went 5-of-5 on the drive for 76 yards.

However, UNM dealt the Rams a deathblow at the beginning of the

fourth quarter. UNM quarterback Kole McKamey hit Hank Baskett for a

69-yard touchdown completion, giving UNM a 23-14 lead.

The Rams would not challenge the Lobos again.

“I know our guys, this hurts them a bit,” Lubick said. “The fact

is we’ve got a young team playing as hard as they can.”

The Rams, who now must win out to become bowl eligible, face MWC

leader and No. 8 ranked Utah next week in Salt Lake City.

BIT KICK BY BABCOCK: In the first quarter, CSU senior punter

Jeff Babcock kicked a school record 89-yard punt. The previous

record was 88 yards, kicked by Andy Tejeda in 1988.

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