Oct. 12, 2013
Oct. 12, 2013
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - In a highly-entertaining homecoming game in front of 26,602 enthusiastic fans at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium the Colorado State Rams (2-4, 0-1 MW) came up short, falling 34-27 to San Jose Staté (3-3, 2-1 MW).
The largest crowd for a Colorado State game at Hughes Stadium since Oct. 15, 2011 saw the Rams’ five-game home winning streak snapped in a contest that was tied four times. It was CSU’s highest attendance since 30,027 fans showed up to watch the Rams take on the Boise State Broncos in that 2011 matchup.
As the Rams once again found themselves in a game full of offense, junior quarterback Garrett Grayson stepped up and posted career numbers. Grayson finished the day completing 19 of his 34 passes for a career-high 310 yards and three touchdowns. It was the second consecutive game that Grayson has thrown for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns, with all three scores coming in the first half.
Grayson’s favorite receivers on the day were his two reliable tight ends. Junior Kivon Cartwright finished the day with 91 yards receiving and two touchdowns, while senior Crockett Gillmore recorded 76 yards on a team-high five receptions and one touchdown.
“Kivon, and I thought Crockett, came up with some big plays,” said Head Coach Jim McElwain. “Both of those guys are playing really well. They’re out there giving everything they have on every snap. I like it."
Just as Colorado State’s offense was efficient on the day, San José State’s offense was equally dynamic behind senior quarterback David Fales.
Fales threw for 431 yards and three touchdowns while completing 28 of his 35 passes to lead a Spartans offense that racked up 608 yards on the day.
“The thing he does is that he extends plays and keeps his eyes down the field,” McElwain said. “So very rarely is he going to run with the ball. What he did is he took advantage and that's how you play the game.”
The scoring began early as both teams found ways to put points on the board on their first drives.
San José State took the opening kickoff and marched 67 yards in 10 plays before settling for a 26-yard field goal.
The Rams came right back down the field in seven plays, capping off a 68-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Grayson to Gillmore to put the team up 7-3 with 7:18 left in the first quarter. It marked the fourth home game in a row that Colorado State has scored a touchdown on its opening drive, dating back to last season.
With 13:16 left in the second quarter, Fales scrambled and found freshman running back Jarrod Lawson wide open for an 83-yard scoring strike. The long play put the Spartans up 10-7, and was a sign of a day filled with long scoring plays.
After a Jared Roberts 27-yard field goal knotted things up at 10-10 with 6:01 left in the half, the Rams showcased their own big-play capabilities with a 50-yard touchdown from Grayson to Cartwright with 2:30 left in the half.
The scoring was far from over in the first half however, as just three plays later Fales found his go-to wide receiver Chandler Jones open for a 77-yard touchdown. The score tied the game at 17-17, temporarily.
On its next drive, Colorado State quickly moved 75 yards down the field in just four plays as Grayson again found Cartwright open, this time for a 35-yard touchdown. The reliable tight end again showed considerable speed after the catch to outrun several Spartans defenders on the way to the end zone.
The touchdown gave the Rams a 24-17 lead heading into the intermission, and gave Cartwright his second consecutive multi-touchdown game.
In the second half, the frenetic scoring pace slowed, as it took more than 10 minutes for any points to be scored.
The first score came on an 18-yard Spartans touchdown run up the middle from Lawson, tying the game at 24-24.
After a quick stop thanks to an interception by senior cornerback Bené Benwikere, San José State once again put together an efficient drive. The Spartans took seven minutes off the clock while they moved 79 yards in 16 plays. A crucial goal-line stop from Colorado State forced San José State to settle for an 18-yard field goal to give the Spartans a three-point lead.
The Rams would tie things up on their next drive as the always reliable Roberts connected on his second field goal of the day, this time a season-long 47-yarder.
Once again though, the Spartans found the answer that they were looking for. With 5:36 left in the game, Fales threw a screen pass to Tyler Winston which he turned upfield for a 62-yard touchdown. The score ended up being the decider, as San José State held on to win 34-27 in a game that featured 1,055 yards of offense and 61 points.
Despite the disappointing finish, the day was still full of plenty of celebration for CSU fans. Former defensive back and two-time All-American Greg Myers was honored during halftime with the unveiling of his jersey number 3 on the press box façade. Colorado State’s all-time leader in punt return yards, Myers joined Rams legends “Fum” McGraw and Eddie Hanna with their numbers displayed in the stadium.
Colorado State will look to regroup and pick up its first win in Mountain West play when it travels north to take on Border War rival Wyoming on Oct. 19. The battle for the Bronze Boot is slated to begin at 12 p.m. MT and will be televised by ROOT Sports.
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