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The University of Wyoming Cowboys took the field with a bang from the cannons, but the Rams took the game by storm.
Less than two minutes in, quarterback Garrett Grayson drove his team down the field, connecting with tight end Kivon Cartwright for a touchdown.
CSU’s defense, which has struggled to remain consistent this season, held Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith to three straight third-and-outs in the first quarter. Smith has been making waves all season in the air and with his feet, but the Rams defense gave him just 2 completions on seven attempts for 23 yards in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, CSU running back Kapri Bibbs made his presence known to the Cowboy crowd, driving the ball down the field for 21 yards, until the Rams were at the goal line. Running back Donnell Alexander punched it in from three yards out for CSU’s second score of the quarter.
The momentum switched abruptly at the start of the second quarter when Grayson cast a blemish on his sparkly start, throwing an end zone interception.
With Smith struggling to pass or run, UW’s running backs carried them down the field. However corner back Trent Matthews came up big for the Rams, intercepting Smith and returning the ball 28 yards. Three and a half minutes later, the Rams posted another touchdown off the legs of Bibbs, putting the Rams up 21-0.
The defnse looked to be containing the Cowboyws once again, until a pass interference penalty was called on Bernard Blake. A few plays later, Blake was called for targeting and was ejected for ther remainder of the game.
His penalty placed the Cowboys six yards from the end zone, and Shaun Wick was able to convert for a touchdown with a minute and a half to go in the first half.
The Rams would race to post another score on the board before time expired, heavily utilizing Alexander for the run. Grayson kneed the ball with less than ten seconds on the clock to take a time out.
Kicker Jared Roberts added three points to the board as time expired with a 45 yard field goal. CSU ends the half leading Wyoming 24-7.
First Half Stats:
QB Garrett Grayson
15-18, 159 yards, TD, INT
RB Kapri Bibbs
16 carries, 81 yards, TD
TE Kivon Cartwright
2 receptions, 30 yards, TD
Total offensive yards: 289
QB Brett Smith
8-16, 67 yards, INT
RB Shaun Wick
8 carries, 36 yards, TD
WR Dominic Rufran
3 receptions, 39 yards
Total offensive yards: 127
The latter half of the Border War belonged to Bibbs. He tacked three touchdowns on the board for CSU, solidifying the win.
After his 59-yard run to the house in the beginning of the fourth quarter, Bibbs hit career-high yardage with 186. His performance was made possible by the quality of play exhibited by the entire team, and especially by his fellow back.
Alexander made a gorgeous one-handed grab en route to the end zone in the third to lengthen the Rams lead, 38-15.
“I was about to put my hands to my helmet, like ‘oh no!'” Grayson said post game. “But he made the play.”
The Rams defense snapped their streak of slumping in the third quarter, and held the Cowboys to one touchdown and a two-point conversion.
Tight end Austin Grey also posted his first reception of the season as a touchdown pass from Grayson. After switching positions over the off-season, Grey has finally seen time on the field, and he made that time count for his team.
Coach Jim McElwain had expressed earlier in the week that the way to defeat a great offense is with your own offense. He asked his defense to hold Smith’s versatile attack, and he asked his offense to stay on the field. They did both, and it will go down in history.
No one currently enrolled with the Rams has witnessed the Bronze Boot in Fort Collins, and in his second year against Wyoming, McElwain brought it back where it belongs.
“There’s no historical precedence that said we could do that,” McElwain said. “I’m going to give this win to our seniors. To see the joy in their eyes; that’s what education and being a teacher is all about. To see them reach something they haven’t reached, it means a lot.”
18-23, 219 yards, 3 TDs, INT
29 carries, 203 yards, 3 TDs
15 carries, 77 yards, 1 Rush TD, 1 Rec TD
Total offensive yards: 509
21-36, 246 yards, TD, 2 INTs
7 receptions, 135 yards, TD
5 carries, 81 yards, TD
Total offensive yards: 416