The last time Colorado State played in the state of Texas, the Rams were left with a sour taste in their mouth after getting handled 34-10 by then-No. 19 TCU. The Horned Frogs bolted from the conference the following year, and CSU was left without a road trip to the Lone Star state for the foreseeable future.
That was, until Saturday night.
13 of Colorado State’s players, including seven who saw action against Texas-San Antonio, played high school football in the state of Texas. And for the first time in their college careers, four of CSU’s defensive starters were able to take the field in front of family and friends. Cornerback DeAndre Elliott (Dallas), safeties Kevin Pierre-Louis (Del Rio) and Trent Matthews (Converse), as well as linebacker Cory James (Del Rio) came into Saturday’s game with a little extra energy and fire. There were a few extra CSU fans, decked out in green and gold, who hadn’t seen their sons, brothers, and friends play in their home state.
“It felt like old times, man,” Elliott said. “Back in high school when I played at Carter, that’s what it felt like because I had a lot of family out here today, and now I’m just trying to go see them before I leave and go back to Colorado.”
Playing in front of family and friends was sweet, each of the players said, but breaking a two-game losing streak was their ultimate motivation. Doing it in front of family and friends was just a cherry on top.
“It’s like when you were little and you wanted ice cream, and your mom said, “Let’s go get ice cream,”‘ Matthews said of the win. “I just felt like I got ice cream at the end of the game, man. I was cheesing from ear-to-ear, and it was good for me to just come out here and win. I’m excited for all the boys from Texas, and I’m excited for the Rams to get the win.”
After the game, each of the natives hurried out of the locker room, hoping to catch a few extra seconds with the family members who traveled a few hundred miles to watch them play in person for possibly the last time.
“When you’re a senior, and you get to come back for your last year and play in front of your family it’s always a good thing,” Pierre-Louis said. “It’s always good when you give them a win and know you made them proud.”
Collegian Senior Sports Reporter Keegan Pope can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @ByKeeganPope.