Back to Basics

Oct 262008
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

The CSU Rams accomplished something they hadn’t done in more than 370 days Saturday night — win a road game.

The Ram’s (4-4, 2-2 MWC) defeated San Diego State University (1-7, 0-4 MWC) in front of a mixed crowd of CSU and Aztec fans populating Qualcom Stadium in San Diego.

Safety Jake Galusha intercepted a pass from SDSU quarterback Ryan Lindley with just more than a minute left in the game, stopping the Aztecs’ game winning drive attempt and securing a CSU victory, 38-34.

Rams head coach Steve Fairchild was impressed that his defense stepped up when it mattered most.

“What I am most proud of this week is this: We won the game defensively,” the first year head coach said. “We were on the field at the end of the game on defense and kept fighting, and they found a way to make that play and turn the ball over.”

CSU’s defense held the Aztecs’ offense to a single field goal in the fourth quarter after giving up 24 points in first three. SDSU also scored on a kick return at the beginning of the third quarter.

Lindley was proud of the way the Aztecs played even though they came out with a loss. The redshirt freshman explained that he had no choice but to try and make a play when he threw the game losing interception.

“I didn’t misread,” he said “I just kind of forced it in there. I mean, we were taking a shot. With the momentum I felt excited and I thought we could have made something happen.”

CSU broke out of an offensive slump during the game, posting 507 yards of total offense. Quarterback Billy Farris turned in his best performance of the season for the Rams, throwing for 296 yards and three touchdowns, including the game winning strike to tight end Kory Sperry at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Senior running back Gartrell Johnson continued to put up impressive numbers for the Rams, rumbling for 130 yards. Wide receiver Dion Morton was effective on the ground as well, racking up 61 yards and two touchdowns, all on reverse runs.

Fairchild explained that even though he was pleased with the win, CSU still struggled in certain areas. The San Diego native was disappointed in the performance of the run defense.

Coming into the match up, the Aztecs had one of the nation’s worst rushing offenses, averaging only 50 yards per game on the ground. They had 226 yards Saturday.

“I didn’t think their rushing stats going in were close to what they got tonight,” Fairchild said. “Obviously we have to look at it. A little of it was tackling, a little of it was alignment. Give them some credit, they blocked us, but we’ll work on that.”

SDSU lineman Mike Schmidt said that the Aztecs were confident they could run on the Rams.

“Going into the game we had a good game plan to run against them (CSU),” the senior said. “As an offensive line we took that as a challenge. You have to give credit to our running backs.”

Atiyyah Henderson led SDSU offensively, rolling for 177 yards rushing and two touchdowns including a 72-yard scamper at the end of the third quarter that tied the game 31-31.

With the win, CSU returns to .500 on the season and jumps to fifth place in the Mountain West Conference.

Up next for the Rams is a showdown with Brigham Young University (7-1, 3-1 MWC) at Hughes Stadium on Saturday. Fairchild explained that he would let his team soak in this victory before switching their focus to the Cougars.

“I’ll let them enjoy this one a bit,” he said. “We’ll get back to work on BYU tomorrow.”

Football beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at

By the Numbers-

746- Yards rushing by Gartrell Johnson this season, third in the MWC

27- Tackles by Jake Galusha in his last two games

5- Touchdowns by Kory Sperry this season. Three came against SDSU Saturday

1- Win against teams with a .500 or better record this season in five tries


Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

Colorado State 3 7 21 7 38

San Diego State 7 10 14 3 34


RUSHING No. Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg.

Johnson, Gartrell 26 137 7 130 0 25 5.0

Morton, Dion 3 61 0 61 2 25 20.3

PASSING Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD Long Sack

Farris, Billy 25-34-0 296 3 48 0


Sperry, Kory 5 61 3 20

Johnson, Gartrell 5 28 0 9

Greer, Rashaun 4 78 0 48

Morton, Dion 4 43 0 14


RUSHING No. Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg.

Henderson, Atiyyah 25 178 1 177 2 72 7.1

Campbell, Tyler 5 23 1 22 0 8 4.4

PASSING Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD Long Sack

Lindley, Ryan 24-33-1 166 1 33 0


Brown, Vincent 11 40 1 10

Mougey, Darren 5 41 0 17

MWC Scoreboard







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