Nov. 3, 2012
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
LARAMIE, Wyo. - The Colorado State Rams came up short in their quest to bring the Bronze Boot back to Fort Collins on Saturday night, losing to the Wyoming Cowboys 45-31.
The Rams (2-7, 1-4 MW) trailed early to their rival to the north, as Wyoming (2-7, 1-4 MW) marched down the field in 10 plays to score a touchdown on their opening drive. The Cowboys managed to stay on the field after converting three separate third-down conversions on the opening drive, and capped it off with a 26-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Brett Smith to Chris McNeill.
Colorado State took little time to answer back, needing just one play to tie the game at seven. Freshman quarterback Conner Smith looked for tight end Kivon Cartwright down the seam, and after the ball was tipped a couple of times, Thomas Coffman found himself in the right place at the right time; hauling in the ball and running it in for a 75-yard touchdown.
Again though, Wyoming was able to respond on the following drive. This time the Cowboys moved the ball 75 yards in 14 plays, finishing the drive off with a 16-yard touchdown pass from B. Smith to Brandon Miller.
Early on, it looked like the game would continue in that see-saw fashion. With the Rams inside the ten yard line, it looked like CSU was poised to tie up the game. On a third down play though, defensive back Blair Burns picked off a C. Smith pass in the end zone and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown to give Wyoming a 21-7 lead in the first quarter and control of the game.
The Cowboys added another touchdown early in the second quarter to extend their lead to 21 points.
After an 11-yard touchdown run from freshman running back Donnell Alexander and a 30-yard field goal from Jared Roberts midway through the third quarter, the Rams pulled within 11 points of their rival, but didn't manage to get closer than that.
Wyoming responded with a pair of touchdowns from B. Smith, who finished the game with 235 yards passing and five total touchdowns, to again seize control of the game.
Colorado State showed some mental toughness late in the game though, as C. Smith led the team down the field for a couple of touchdowns to make it 45-31 with just under seven minutes left in the game, but that was as close as it would get at the end.
"We thought our guys fought pretty good," Head Coach Jim McElwain said. "They hung in there and played hard, and I thought we did some pretty decent things, running the football."
C. Smith led the Rams with a career-high 326 yards passing and two touchdowns, while Alexander added balance to the offensive attack with a career-high 114 yards and a touchdown. Alexander's 114 rushing yards is the most by a freshman running back since Jaime Blake in 1995 when he ran for 170 on Hawai'i.
Defensively, Aaron Davis and Lanston Tanyi led the way for Colorado State combining for 23 tackles.
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