CSU running back Marcus Houston gave one interview Saturday with
guard Albert Bimper standing behind him rubbing his shoulders.
Quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt was out of the locker room before the
media was allowed in.
Van Pelt and Houston combined for six turnovers in the Rams
28-21 loss to Utah in the Mountain West Conference opener for both
With less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and
the score tied at 21, Utah free safety Morgan Scalley forced
Houston to fumble right into the hands of cornerback Arnold Parker,
who ran 80 yards for the winning touchdown.
“We can’t come out and look at all the personal stats each and
every week, but everybody tries to hold themselves accountable,”
Houston said. “Unfortunately, there was a critical error toward the
end of the game on my part, so I had to take responsibility for
The Rams turned the ball over on their first four and last two
possessions of the game, which the Utes turned into 21 points.
“I was surprised by all of Colorado State’s fumbles,” said Utah
head coach Urban Meyer, a former assistant at CSU. “That is very
unusual for a (CSU head coach) Sonny Lubick team.”
However, CSU had seven more first downs, 85 more yards total
offense and 4:32 more possession time than Utah.
“I felt like we were dominating their defense for the most part,
we just kept stumbling,” said CSU tight end Matt Bartz. “I still
got full confidence in Marcus and still got full confidence in the
rest of the team.”
Two of the first-half fumbles came on the option in short
yardage situations. Two plays after the defense stopped Utah on the
one-yard line in the first quarter, Van Pelt pitched the ball, as
he was being hit, behind Marcus Houston and Utah linebacker Corey
Dodds recovered in the end zone for the game’s first points. Van
Pelt tossed another ball to the grass on an option pitch on a
third-and-one play in the second quarter.
“(The option is) something we’re going to have to rectify,”
Lubick said. “Either that or not run the option.”
Dodds also intercepted Van Pelt with 1:19 left in the game to
seal the win.
“Before we came out for this game, we vigorously talked about,
‘we need turnovers,'” Dodds said. “The last two meetings with (CSU)
we had one turnover.”
After the four early turnovers, Lubick put sophomore quarterback
Justin Holland into the game for three drives. Holland said he was
excited to get an opportunity to play but knew that the team needed
Van Pelt to come back.
“I definitely like to be on the field as much as possible,” said
Holland, who went 8-for-13 for 86 yards and a touchdown.
However, he said Van Pelt is “our starter and he’s our leader
and we need him on the field.”
Despite all the turnovers, the Rams had a very good chance to
win the game. Van Pelt led CSU back from a 21-7 deficit in the
fourth quarter to tie the score at 21 before turnovers spelled the
end to the comeback.
“Obviously turnovers hurt,” wide receiver Chris Pittman said.
“But we were still in the game, and that shows character.”
Houston said he knows he and the team have the character to move
past a very disappointing 2-3 start.
“We don’t play this game to go out there and look good, we play
to win,” Houston said. “We’ll have to come out next week and work
Linebacker Eric Pauly left the game in the second half with a
tear in his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee – the
senior may have played his last game as a Ram. CSU trainer Fred
Oglesby said the injury occurred when Pauly was running and changed
directions. Apparently there was no contact involved. Running back
Rahsaan Sanders did not play after a carry from the Rams 1-yard
line in the second quarter. CSU media relations did not list an
injury, but Sanders was seen with limping in the locker room after
the game. Center Mark Dryer returned to the lineup after having
surgery repairing a repaired tendon, snapping the ball
Utah ends Rams streak
CSU had beaten Utah five games in a row before the 28-21 Utes
Special Teams Star
Junior wide receiver Caleb Atchison emerged as a special teams
star when the Rams started the comeback against Utah. Atchison made
a tackle on the 16-yard line after the Rams scored to make it
21-14. He also downed a punt inside the 5-yard line and pressured
two Utes punts.