The Colorado State Rams offense walked into the Rocky Mountain showdown without an official starting quarterback, but plenty of confidence.
By the time the game ended, CSU left flattened and with a re-opened quarterback competition, all courtesy of a 44-7 beat-down by rival Colorado.
Nick Stevens walked onto the field as the Rams starter, but after three listless drives for the offense, Faton Bauta stepped in at quarterback. On the third play of Bauta’s first drive he threw a pass that hit the ground five yards in front of intended target Dalton Fackrell. It was that kind of night for the offense.
It took the team into the second quarter to get a first down, and the offense only managed 10 yards on 15 plays in the first quarter.
“I know it took us quite a few drives to even get a first down on offense and it just went downhill from there. It definitely was not our best showing,” quarterback Nick Stevens said.
Stevens finished the night 6-20 for 31 yards and two interceptions. He also lost a fumble on a strip-sack by CU outside linebacker Jimmie Gilbert.
Bauta, who officially took over for Stevens in the third quarter, went 6-9 through the air, and hit sophomore wide receiver Marcus Wilson for a five-yard touchdown, scoring the team’s only points.
The Buffaloes’ defense gave the Rams’ offense fits all night. The team came into the game feeling confident, but reality struck fast when the team failed to tally over 100 yards in any quarter.
“It was absolutely not what we were looking for,” Stevens said. “I think it was disappointing because I really, really think we felt good about the offseason. We put in really good from January up until now and we really didn’t execute like we have all year.”
Colorado State will not deny a poor performance on their end, but they will also acknowledge when they get flat out get beat.
“It hurts, it does hurt. But the truth is Colorado is a great football team,” quarterback Faton Bauta said. “Very stout on both offense and defense. They came out to play today, we didn’t. It’s as simple as that. They executed their offense very well, we didn’t execute ours very well. That’s what it comes down to. That’s football.”
The Rams offense came out and got repeatedly hit in the mouth. The offense had six three-and-outs in the first half alone as Colorado was prepared for anything the Rams could throw at them.
“They were ready. They came out hot,” CSU head coach Mike Bobo said. “We were unable to do anything to slow it down. It’s one of those things where it’s embarrassing. We totally embarrassed our name. But there is only one way to go, we’ve got to go back to work. We’ll be talking about a lot of things, but the bottom line is we got our tails whipped tonight. We realize that and we have to look deep down within each other as coach and player and figure out a plan to move forward in eight days.”
Colorado State may have had a plan coming into the game about what their offense would look like. With the exception of Dalyn Dawkins, who had 14 carries for 88 yards, the offensive approach will look different in week two. It has to.
The Rams are re-evaluation they offensive approach as they begin prepping for a home matchup against the University of Texas San Antonio on Sept. 10.
Collegian Sports Editor Chad Deutschman can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ChadDeutschman