Colorado State had never won a game when traveling to the east coast and the Boston College Eagles were coming off a momentous upset of No. 9 USC just two weeks earlier. However, the Rams arrived in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and surprised the complacent Eagles, harshly limiting their then-fifth ranked run game. CSU quarterback Garrett Grayson threw two picks and didn’t have a great game statistically, but the Rams defense kept the score close enough for Grayson and the offense to step up late. Down by four in the fourth quarter, running back Dee Hart broke out for a 43-yard run to set up the game-winning 12-yard touchdown pass from Grayson to receiver Charles Lovett on fourth down with just 1:02 remaining. The Rams held on for their third-straight win against a Power-5 Conference team and for what was certainly a defining moment in the Rams’ 2014 campaign.
Although CU is in a more difficult conference and has more athletic funding than their state-counterpart, the CSU Rams and their strong contingent of fans at Sports Authority Field proved that neither of those factors determine the victor of football games. The Rams were in an early 10-0 hole when their passing game wasn’t working, but they turned to their running game behind Treyous Jarrells and Dee Hart and found their offense. Hart finished with 139 yards and two scores and Jarrells finished with 121 and a score as the Rams scored 24 unanswered points and blew past the struggling Buffalos 31-17. The Rams finished 10-2 while the Buffs finished 2-10.
The Utah State Aggies arrived in Fort Collins donning an 11-game conference road win streak and one of the Mountain West Conference’s best defenses. In a gritty, defensive game where Rams quarterback Garrett Grayson threw no touchdowns for the first time in 2014, a pair of 46-yard Jared Roberts field goals made the difference. Down 13-10 with just 1:50 remaining in the game, Roberts nailed his first 46-yarder to tie the game at 13. The Rams got the ball back with less than a minute remaining and seemed to be playing for overtime, but a Dee Hart 17-yard run and clutch 46-yard catch by Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins set up Roberts for the game-winning field goal as time expired. Grayson became Colorado State’s all-time passer in the game with 7,250 career yards, breaking Kelly Stouffer’s record.
The New Mexico Lobos entered their matchup against CSU with one of the best rushing offenses in the country, but after a career day by CSU’s offense it was the Rams that looked like the rushing team. Running back Dee Hart matched a CSU school record with six total touchdowns (five rushing, one receiving) and the Rams offense amassed 698 yards, the most in school history. Rams quarterback Garrett Grayson threw for 389 yards and three scores and became the school’s all-time offensive leader, his 13th school record. Rashard Higgins added 167 yards and two touchdowns as the Rams scored a season-high 58 points against the Lobos in the 58-20 win.
Although the Rocky Mountain Showdown steals the spotlight for CSU rivalries, the Border War has the most history and ties to the teams involved. Spanning three centuries, it’s both teams’ longest rivalry, and with the implementation of the Bronze Boot, it has ties to both schools’ ROTC corps. Garrett Grayson had five touchdowns to four different receivers and broke yet another record at Colorado State; most touchdown passes in school history (53). The Rams sped off to a 24-3 lead at halftime before beating the Cowboys 45-31. In Jim McElwain’s first season with the Rams, the Rams lost to the Cowboys by the score of 45-31.
Collegian Sports Reporter Steven Jacobs can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @steven_jacobs_.