The CSU Ram’s lost to the BYU Cougars in one of the most exciting games Hughes Stadium has seen in years.
The Cougars (8-1 4-1) knocked off the Rams (4-5 2-3) on the strength of a last minute game winning drive, disappointing the majority of the 20,000 fans filling the CSU’s home.
BYU quarterback Max Hall hit tight end Dennis Pitta with a perfect pass to the middle of the end zone, completing a 6-play 76-yard drive and giving the Cougars a 45-42 lead with 22 seconds left in the game.
After a touch back on the ensuing kick off, the Ram’s comeback attempt fell short as Billy Farris threw a desperation incomplete pass to receiver Rashaun Greer, ending the game.
CSU head coach Steve Fairchild was disappointed that the Rams came out with a loss after hanging tough with the Cougars the entire game.
“We definitely had our chances,” the first year head coach said. “I liked the effort and I liked the way we played physical and showed up tonight. Having said that, it was a close game. We had our chances but we didn’t make enough plays to get it done.”
CSU led the Cougars with 1:44 left in the fourth quarter after Farris found wide receiver Dion Morton deep for a touchdown on the first play of a drive that took only 10 seconds off of the game clock.
Cornerback Gerard Thomas set up the go ahead score after intercepting a pass from Hall on the Ram’s 45 yard line.
Farris explained that he has no regrets about taking so little time off the clock during the scoring drive and leaving the Cougars an opportunity to answer back.
“Anytime we can put points on the board that’s what we want to do,” the senior said. “You can’t coordinate time all of the time. It’s nice when you can come in there and run time off the clock, but I’m just glad we got six on the board.”
Farris compiled an impressive game for the second week in a row, posting 251 yards passing and three touchdowns, including two to Morton. Linebacker Jeff Horinek defensively, racking up 10 tackles and a sack.
Pitta and wide receiver Austin Collie turned in stellar performances for BYU, combining for 331 receiving and five touchdowns.
CSU defensive coordinator Larry Kerr gave credit to the duo for giving the Rams lot’s of trouble defensively.
“We tried to double on both of them and then the quarterback took off and ran,” he said. “Then we ended up in the second-half just doubling Collie and the quarterback was smart enough to go to Pitta. We had good coverage but they just made some plays. What can you say?”
Hall was impressed with the effort of CSU and explained he expected a dog fight coming into the game.
“I didn’t want it to be that close,” the senior said. “All the credit goes to CSU. They are a hell of a football team and they played their guts out tonight.”
The loss drops the Ram’s to sub .500 record for the third time this season and keeps the team fifth in the Mountain West Conference with 3 games remaining.
Farris explained that even though this is a tough loss for to take, the Ram’s have to recover quickly.
“We have three games left and if we win two we are bowl eligible,” the Louisiana native said. “Our goal is to win out from here. We feel like we can. It hurts and is tough, but we are going to take a lot from it. We are going to be better from it.”
Football beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org