In a sport where winning is everything, it’s hard to feel victorious about a 31-6 loss. However, the Rams’ defeat on Saturday by Alabama’s Crimson Tide is nothing to be ashamed of. The 25 point loss does not tell the whole story and the Colorado State football team very much so left Tuscaloosa as winners.
Going into the game as 40-point underdogs, CSU was not expected to win. Earlier that day, Louisville beat Florida International by 72 points, Florida A&M was wrecked by Ohio State losing 76-0, and Washington shamed Idaho State with a final score of 56-0. Up against the 2009, 2011, and 2012 National Champions, the final score of the CSU-Alabama game could and should have looked a lot more similar to these blowouts. Even when looking at a 25 point difference alone, there is victory in defeat.
In the previous week against Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel, Alabama put up 28 points in the first half alone. The Rams walked into halftime losing by only 17- one of the two touchdowns being an unfortunate defensive score by Alabama, who blocked Hayden Hunt’s punt at the end of a CSU drive.
The second half found the Rams refreshed and determined, still refusing to accept defeat. Colorado State’s defense continued to play phenomenally, stopping the SEC powerhouse on all third down conversion attempts. Alabama finally got their first conversion with less than four minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
By the end of the game, there were all sorts of impressive numbers to throw around. The Rams walked away with two sacks, Alabama had one. Colorado State’s linebacker Aaron Davis took the lead for both teams with 11 tackles. Garret Grayson failed to throw a single interception whereas Bernard Blake stole a pass from Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron. Impressively, the Rams defense held Alabama to only 66 total rushing yards. According to the Colorado State Football Postgame Notes the last time Alabama was held to less than 70 yards rushing was in January of 2009.
Sure, a punt was blocked that resulted in a touchdown. Grayson fumbled for an Alabama recovery and a touchdown on the next play. And yes, the Rams lost by 25 points. But remember, Ram fans, when talking about and remembering this game, that Colorado State led in possession time and third-down conversions, and managed to hold a team who totaled over 560 yards against Texas A&M to 338, closely following 59 total yards behind. Against all odds, in front of almost 102,000 people, the Rams came to play, only truly being shut out of a win in the last quarter. They played with heart, exemplifying true bravery and endless determination. They never gave up. All of Fort Collins should be proud.