SALT LAKE CITY â€“ CSU simply had no answers for Utah on Saturday in its worst loss in 15 years, falling 59-6.
The Rams failed to execute in all phases of the game, but none were as glaring as the defense.
Utah (7-0, 4-0 MWC) scored 59 points, 35 of which came in the second half, even after starting quarterback Jordan Wynn was pulled from the game midway through the third quarter.
â€œTheyâ€™re better than us,â€ CSU defensive coordinator Larry Kerr said after the game. â€œYou could see it in every phase of the game: Special teams, offense, defense â€“â€“ theyâ€™re better than us.â€
In fewer than 60 minutes of work, Wynn threw for 321 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
One of Wynnâ€™s three touchdown passes was a slant turned into a 71-yard homerun to Utahâ€™s wide receiver DeVonte Christopher â€“â€“ a career long for both players.
â€œItâ€™s frustrating, but all you can do is move on from that play and try to stop them next time they come out,â€ said junior Mychal Sisson, who recorded half a sack.
The CSU defense gave up passes longer than 30 yards to six different Utah receivers and four of them had a touchdown catch.
Between Wynn and backup quarterback Terrance Cain, only eight incomplete passes were seen the entire game.
Utah gashed the Rams on the ground despite throwing heavily early in the game.
The Utes totaled 221 yards rushing, with an average of 7.6 yards per carry, without having a single running back go over 100 yards.
CSUâ€™s defense gave up runs of 80, 71 and 39 yards, all to different Utah running backs, leaving the Ramsâ€™ defenders stunned.
â€œAny time you give up those kinds of plays they demoralize you and you keep trying to come back,â€ Kerr said. â€œWhen those plays happen, half the guys on the field donâ€™t even know what happened because theyâ€™re doing their job and they start looking around like, â€˜what happened?â€™â€
In total, Utah gained 648 yards of offense on 69 plays.
The game seemed salvageable for the Rams in the second quarter, only down 14-3, before Utah successfully recovered a surprise onside kick that rolled just out in front of Utesâ€™ kicker Nick Marsh until he pounced on it 11 yards downfield.
The play only led to a field goal, but any momentum CSU (2-6, 1-3) may have had was lost according to coach Steve Fairchild.
â€œYeah it did (kill the momentum), there is no question,â€ Fairchild said. â€œAgain, you canâ€™t do stuff like that on the road here against a good team.â€
Even though it was the teamâ€™s ugliest loss of the season, both players and coaches were reluctant to say this was the best team they had faced.
â€œThatâ€™s tough to say,â€ said linebacker Ricky Brewer, who led CSU with 14 tackles. â€œUtah let the game get out of hand, so itâ€™s hard to judge.â€
Utah proved why it is the No. 9 team in the country and just how far the gap is between CSU and the top of the Mountain West Conference.
The Rams will try to get back on track this upcoming Saturday as they host winless New Mexico.
Football Beat Reporter Cris Tiller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.