With game winning plays in the final minute of their previous two games, the CSU football team is getting a reputation for last second heroics.
The Rams(2-1) defeated the Houston Cougars (1-3) on the strength of a Klint Kubiak interception of with two seconds left in the game.
Kubiak, who had nine tackles on the day, picked off a Case Keenum pass in the corner of the North end zone, ensuring a CSU 28-25 win. Rams quarterback Billy Farris downed the ball on the final play of the game to make the victory official.
The Kubiak, a safety is still baffled about how he made the game saving play.
“I had no idea it was going there,” the senior said. “It was thrown up and I made a play. I don’t even know what was going through my mind.”
The Ram’s interception stopped the game winning drive attempt by the Cougars. Houston scored on a similar play three minutes earlier as Keenum hit wide receiver found receiver L.J. Castile on a touchdown and two point conversion. The scores pulled the Cougars within three of CSU.
Looking back, Keenum regrets going for the win, instead of attempting a field goal that would have sent the game into overtime.
“I tried to do to much and make a play,” the sophomore said. “That was stupid on my part and the kid (Kubiak) make a heck of a play.”
The Rams defense stepped up big for the Green and Gold, forcing four turnovers on the day, including three interceptions and a fumble. CSU held Houston to only three points in the first half, but gave up 22 in the second.
Defensive coordinator had no doubt his team was going to battle the Cougars to the end, explaining that he wasn’t surprised that the Rams stepped up when it mattered most.
“It’s a trademark of our guys right now,” he said. “They never stop playing and they find away. We always talk about who is going to be the playmaker and who’s going to make the big play. Boy today we had a bunch of them and that last one was huge.”
Rams head coach Steve Fairchild knew that his team was going to need a complete all around game to pull out the win.
“We talked all week long that the way we were going to win this game was by making plays in all three phases of the game,” he said. “We were going to need a collective effort and that what we did. We made enough plays offensively and made some plays defensively and when it was over we had enough.”
The victory gives the Rams thier first winning record since November of 2006.
Farris was effective for the Rams in the win, completing 24 of 33 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns, including a 71-yard strike to receiver Dion Morton on the second play of the game.
Keenum threw for 380 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in a losing effort for Houston.
Football beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org