As the seconds bled off the clock Saturday at Sonny Lubick Field
at Hughes Stadium, the pressure and stress of an 0-3 record was
The scoreboard read 39-14 in a CSU victory against a tough Big
Sky Conference team, the Montana State Bobcats.
“We moved the ball really well on our first drive,” said head
coach Sonny Lubick after the game. “We hit a couple of big passes,
and Uldis (Jaunarajs) had some good runs, and we moved the ball
easily. I told them when they came off the field that it wasn’t
going to be that easy all day, and it wasn’t. (MSU) came out and
were tough defensively.”
The first drive for the Rams was a beautiful eight-play drive
that took two minutes and 21 seconds. It saw Justin Holland
complete two passes to David Anderson and Johnny Walker for 30
yards. Jaunarajs then chewed up the next 50 yards on seven carries
and scored the Rams’ first touchdown of the day.
“We definitely needed this win,” Jaunarajs said. “The beginning
of the game, the run game started off real good, then it started to
get a little sluggish.”
Jaunarajs finished with 79 yards on 17 carries with one
touchdown. Justin Holland led the Rams offense in the win, going
21-of-35 on the day and throwing for 311 yards with two touchdowns
and one interception.
“It feels great just to get a win under our belt,” Holland said.
“We’ve been trying for three weeks to get a win. We didn’t have the
success we wanted to, but we came out, we played good early and we
put it away at the end.”
Holland was able to spread the ball around to seven different
receivers. Dustin Osborn pulled down five tosses for 101 yards,
leading the receiving core. Walker was right behind him, pulling
down six passes for 78 yards, and Anderson managed to bring down
four catches for 66 yards and one touchdown while only playing
limited time in the second half because of an abdominal injury.
“It’s just a combination of our offensive line giving him time
to find open guys, and just having depth at receiver,” Osborn said.
“We have a lot receivers who can go down and make a catch, and
(Holland was) just finding every open guy.”
A key moment came for the Rams after MSU had driven down the
field to score and get back to 13-7. CSU started its next drive
from its own 35 with 3:27 left in the half. Holland completed three
passes for 63 yards as CSU drove for a touchdown, giving the Rams a
20-7 lead with just 1:58 seconds left on the clock until
“I’m supposed to run to the flat on that play,” said senior
H-back Joel Dreessen about his diving touchdown catch. “I heard
Justin yelling, ‘Turn it up!’ The guy was all over me, and I saw
the ball come over, and I stuck my hand out and pulled it in. It
was instinctual once the ball was in the air.”
MSU was led by quarterback Travis Lulay, who threw for 196
yards, two touchdowns, one interception and also ran for another 66
yards on 10 carries. Toph Grenfell led the Bobcat defense with six
unassisted tackles, one interception and one pass deflection, but
it was not enough to overcome a hungry CSU squad.
“Obviously there were some plays we made mistakes on,” Lubick
said. “There are still a lot of things we need to get better at,
but a win is a win.”
The Rams have had injuries all year, and Saturday was no
different. Anderson only saw limited time in the second half after
the abdominal injury. Offensive lineman Clint Oldenburg also went
down with his second consecutive stinger and starting linebacker
Courtney Jones, couldn’t even lift his arm above his shoulder,
The Rams host the Brigham Young Cougars next week in the first
conference action of the year. With the victory lifting a large
weight off the team’s shoulders, the Rams will look to be a
contender in the Mountain West.
“It’s good to get our first win. You could tell we were a little
tense,” Lubick said. “Hopefully now after the first one, we will