It’s been a down year for both Colorado State and Wyoming. That didn’t matter to the 18,682 fans who stood in the cold at War Memorial Stadium as the two teams clashed for the 106th official Border War.
The rivalry runs deep, and the disdain is still very real.
CSU senior safety Kevin Pierre-Louis said it best: “They hate us and we hate them.”
The 1978 game had to be delayed because of a pre-game fight between the teams. This year’s Border War had its fair of stoppages as well with small skirmishes breaking out regularly after players.
From beginning to end, and even when CSU had the game locked up, both teams engaged in plenty of extracurricular activity. Frustrated by the score, it was the Wyoming players who seemed to start most of scraps but the Rams were more than happy to participate with their rivals.
Wyoming’s Robert Priester was called for a personal foul when he hit CSU receiver Olabisi Johnson in the face at the end of a punt. Jake Bennett earned a personal when he pancaked a Cowboys defender into the ground well after the whistle on one play in the second half.
CSU star Rashard Higgins has never shied away from some good trash talk, so naturally he and Priester engaged in it all evening long.
“The official came over and was like, ‘stop that, stop that’,” Higgins said. “I was like, ‘we’re just out here having fun, ref’. You know, that’s all part of the game.”
In that case, it was Priester who got flagged. But the Rams racked up some silly penalties due to the rivalry as well.
CSU has been penalized heavily this year. It’s something Bobo wants to correct. The Rams actually made it through the first quarter without any flags but the bad blood was bound to spill over eventually.
Sportsmanlike play is impossible in this type of rivalry. Colorado State and Wyoming genuinely dislike each other. It’s been that way for over 100 years, and it’s not going to change anytime soon.
Bobo can focus on limiting penalties in the other 11-plus games. He might have to accept that they will be inevitable in a game like this.
“It gets chippy every year, for every year I’ve played in it,” Higgins said of the Border War. “A lot of fists thrown, a lot of bodies thrown around, a lot of people getting hurt. That’s part of this game.”
Collegian Sports Editor Emmett McCarthy can be reached by email at email@example.com and on Twitter @emccarthy22.