Two key players combined for six turnovers, a key defensive
player might be out for the season and CSU’s football team fell to
2-3 on the season with a loss to Mountain West Conference rival
Utah 28-21. Despite all that, the Rams maintain that the season’s
“We’re a damn good 2-3 team,” senior linebacker Drew Wood said
after the Rams lost their conference opener. “The season is not
lost, there’s still a conference championship on the line.”
That conference championship might be harder to get without the
help of Wood’s roommate, senior linebacker Eric Pauly. Pauly, who
led the team with ten tackles, left during the second half and did
“It looks like Pauly tore his ACL tonight,” CSU head coach Sonny
Lubick said. “That’s really hard for him.”
Despite the loss of their defensive leader, it looked like the
Rams had the game all wrapped up late in the fourth quarter. CSU
entered the quarter down by a pair of touchdowns, but an intense
effort saw the Rams draw even with two touchdowns in 4 minutes, 27
“We got outplayed in the second half,” Utah head coach Urban
Meyer said. “My hat goes off to them.”
After the Rams tied it at 21, neither team seemed to be able to
break the deadlock as both punted the ball back and fourth to each
other. That was until the Rams senior quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt
completed a 28-yard pass to senior wide receiver Chris Pittman.
This found the Rams on the Utes’ 35-yard-line, with the momentum
in their favor. Another first down brought them to the 24-yard line
with just over two minutes remaining.
All that was left to do was run the clock out and kick a field
goal. The Rams were stuffed in their first two run attempts leaving
them with third and long. That’s when it happened.
Running back Marcus Houston took the ball on a sweep to the left
and got nowhere. He managed to break a tackle and fight for another
couple of yards. That’s when he met Utah’s junior free safety
A crunching tackle made the ball fly out of Houston’s arms and
into the air. Utah senior defensive back Arnold Parker snagged the
ball on the Utes 20-yard line and took it down the sideline 80
yards for the game-winning score.
“It’s a tough loss, a conference loss,” Houston said. “We have
to come back next week and work hard. We have to come back hungry
Houston had two fumbles on the day but only one of his resulted
in a touchdown. Van Pelt was the cause of four turnovers pitching
two away and being intercepted twice.
Van Pelt’s first fumble came at the Rams’ 2-yard line. On a
questionable option call Van Pelt was stuffed at the line of
scrimmage and decided to pitch the ball. Unfortunately for the
Rams, the ball fell a few feet behind Houston and came to a stop in
CSU’s end zone.
All it took was junior linebacker Corey Dodds to land on it and
Utah was up 7-0.
Utah scored again after recovering another Van Pelt wild pitch.
This time on the Utes’ 41-yard line, Van Pelt was smothered running
the option. Van Pelt decided to pitch it and he watched as the ball
fell into the hands of Utah’s senior defensive lineman Lewis
Powell. Four minutes and 19 seconds later Utah was up 14-0.
A change was in order for the Rams who brought in sophomore
quarterback Justin Holland. Holland came in and took the ball down
the field 80 yards capping it off with a 4-yard touchdown pass to
sophomore wide receiver David Anderson.
Holland, who came out in the second half for Van Pelt to return,
said he has faith in Van Pelt as the starter and he thinks the Rams
still have a shot at the conference championship.
“(Losing this game) was a freak accident,” Holland said. “We
know we’re not a 2-3 team; I don’t think we’ve played to our
The Rams return to play Saturday against Fresno State at 1 p.m.
The game will be played at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes stadium and
is CSU’s homecoming game.