Poor tackling and an inability to convert on third down equated to the CSU Rams 14th loss in their last 15 games Saturday at Hughes Stadium. Powered by two 100-yard rushing performances, the University of Utah thoroughly dominated the Rams, 27-3 in front a crowd that failed to fill even half the seats at kickoff.
“We thought our team was ready to play,” said Rams coach Sonny Lubick. “I would say they were more physical. maybe a little more mentally.”
Check Monday’s edition of the Collegian for more coverage of the game.
Utah took the opening kickoff and made quick work of a depleted Ram defense, rolling 80 yards in 11 plays to score. Utes quarterback Brian Johnson connected on a 15 yard pass to Ray Stowers, who flipped his way into the end zone to cap the scoring drive and put the Utes up by seven early.
Highlighted by a 44-yard run from halfback Gartrell Johnson deep into Utah territory, Colorado State was able to answer the early Ute score with a late-quarter field goal. Kicker Jason Smith hit from 24 yards to end the 11 play, 77 yard drive.
Moving unabated through the defense for their second straight possession, the Utes drove a near-identical 80 yards in 12 plays to bump their lead to 11 late in the first. QB Brian Johnson hit senior WR Brian Hernandez with a short, 4-yard pass into the flat for the score.
Early in the second quarter Utah’s offense doesn’t show signs of stopping, but they may be slowing down. The Rams held the Utes to a long field goal at the end of a nine play, 58-yard drive (a third straight score for the visiting Utes). Louie Sakoda’s kick sailed down the middle with plenty of leg to put the Utes ahead by two touchdowns.
Sakoda added to his growing game resume one drive later, scoring his 8th point of the half (2 FGs, 2 PATs) with a 37 yard field goal with less than five minutes left. The kick ended a nine play, 55-yard scoring drive for the Utes, their fourth drive in a row to put points on the board.
The teams traded defensive stops in the third, with neither able to put anything on the board. Utah came closest, with a Louie Sakoda field goal try bouncing off the north goalposts to preserve a 17 point lead for the Utes.
CSU QB Billy Farris got the start in the second half over Caleb Hanie (coach’s decision). Hanie closed the first half is 8-12 for 79 yards and one interception.
A fumbled snap gave the Rams possession on the Utah 39-yardline with nine minutes left, but a delay of game penalty and two sacks dropped the drive before it could get started. CSU was forced to punt for the sixth time in the game, giving the ball back with 6:30 left on the clock.
Utah added its third and final touchdown on the ground with a Ray Stowers 1-yard run with just more than three minutes left. The Rams gained just five yards on six plays on the following possession, which ended with Jimmy Kaylor’s seventh punt of the night.
CSU QB Billy Farris got the start in the second half over Caleb Hanie (coach’s decision). Farris finished 4-9 for 46 yards. Hanie closed the game at 12-18 for 94 yards and one interception.
CSU HB Kyle Bell did not get a carry until the 2:30 mark in the third quarter. He finished with 47 yards on five carries.
CSU’s Gartrell Johnson led the Rams on the ground, rattling off 95 yards on 17 carries, including a 44-yard run in the first quarter.
Returning from injuries to start for the Rams this week were WR Johnny Walker (knee, ankle) and SS Mike Pagnotta (ankle).
Official attendance: 16,718