Home / World News / Colorado State Rams fall short of comeback victory against Marshall – The Denver Post

Colorado State Rams fall short of comeback victory against Marshall – The Denver Post

ALBUQUERQUE — Colorado State quarterback Nick Stevens believed it would be different this time around. No bowl choke for these Rams. Lessons learned from three previous postseason defeats would settle with a senior-laden roster.

Put simply, it wouldn’t happen again.

“We have a different mind-set this year,” Stevens said on the eve of Saturday’s New Mexico Bowl matchup with Marshall. “I think some of the past bowl games, we’ve come and it’s kind of been like, ‘Oh, we’re going to have a good time here.’ Almost like on vacation a little bit. I think the mind-set this year is that we’re locked in and ready to win a game. It’s about business.”

Those words rang hollow one day later.

A different bowl, and yet, a similar result.

Marshall defeated CSU 31-28 at Dreamstyle Stadium, leaving the Rams faithful who saturated the 26,087 in attendance with a serious case of deja vu. For the third time in coach Mike Bobo’s three seasons, CSU finished the year 7-6 and with a postseason loss.

However, it wasn’t without a fight. The Rams clawed back from a 17-point deficit to start the fourth quarter to get within three points and possession of the football with 3:18 left, but were unable to close the deal.

CSU entered Saturday after nearly a month off between games, and the rust was apparent. The Rams failed to score in the first or third quarters, and finished the first half with only 193 yards of total offense. CSU trailed 21-14 at the break.

The combination of Stevens and receiver Michael Gallup fell short of its typical potency as well. Gallup, a consensus All-American, was targeted 18 times and managed just six catches for 68 yards, plus two drops. But the missed connections were often a result of overthrows by Stevens, including several potential scoring plays late. Stevens was also sacked five times as a result of near constant blitz pressure from Marshall.

“I felt like I had been throwing the ball well, but I’ve got to hit Gallup on those shots and I think it’s a different ballgame,” Stevens said. “There were a number of them where he was open, the protection was solid and I missed him long. I didn’t feel like I was throwing them all that far, but I’ve got to give him a chance.”

CSU starting tailback Dalyn Dawkins finished with just 10 carries for 50 yards after suffering an apparent head injury in the first half, and the lack of a consistent rushing game altered the Rams’ attack in ways that resulted in Bobo taking some play-calling blame for the loss.

“I thought we were one-dimensional tonight,” Bobo said. “At the end of the day, we’re not built to throw it 52 times.”

CSU’s defense didn’t provide much resistance, either, as Marshall’s typically lackluster offense thrived in all phases. Thundering Herd quarterback Chase Litton completed passes of 15, 25, 47 and 76 yards — including two that went for touchdowns. Receiver Tyre Brady was awarded offensive MVP honors with six catches for 165 yards and a score.

Marshall also featured a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time since 2014 with Keion Davis (141) and Tyler King (106). Davis’ 68-yard touchdown with 3:55 left in the second quarter gave Marshall a 21-14 lead. King’s 90-yard scoring run early in the third quarter made it 28-14. The Rams’ D allowed 501 yards of total offense, the same amount their O averaged per game entering Saturday.

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