Midway through this season, a balanced, three-headed rushing attack in Colorado State ball carriers Dalyn Dawkins, Izzy Matthews and freshman Marvin Kinsey Jr. started to emerge.
The balance was nice, but it would be hard to envision the kind of balance the three backs put up in Saturday’s win over the University of New Mexico.
The trio of backs made CSU history Saturday, becoming the first three players to all run for over 100-yards in single game in Saturday’s 49-31 win.
“We are playing really well offensively and those backs are a part of that,” coach Mike Bobo said. “It’s really the whole team, but we are doing a great job of being balanced. They are taking advantage of their opportunities and it’s always good when you have a chance to set a school record.”
Kinsey led the group with 129 yards on ten carries, Matthews picked up 107 yards on 14 carries, and Dawkins rounded out the group, running for 104 yards on 10 carries.
Kinsey and Matthews each scored a touchdown, and wide receiver Detrich Clark scored a 32-yard touchdown on his own when he took a handoff out of the backfield in the third quarter.
“They are one of the hottest offenses, as I said during the week, one of the hottest offenses, I think, in college football to be quite honest,” New Mexico coach Bob Davie said. They all took it to us. One (Dawkins), thirty-five (Matthews) and twenty-five (Kinsey), whatever tailback they had in there was licking their chops tonight.”
Each of the three running backs had their time to shine on Saturday night.
Dawkins opened up the rushing floodgates on the Ram’s first drive with a 34-yard explosive carry that set the tone for the night.
Matthews’ moment came halfway through the second quarter after an 80-yard punt from New Mexico’s Corey Bojorquez pinned the Rams at their own 2-yardline.
Matthews worked the Rams out of trouble with a 36-yard run from the two, and six plays later, Matthews capped off the drive with a 14-yard touchdown run. On the drive, CSU picked up 77 of the 98 yards off of Matthews’ legs alone.
And once again, Kinsey showed his game breaking potential when he took a third quarter hand off and went 75-yards into the endzone for CSU’s longest play from scrimmage on the year.
CSU’s offensive line has fully developed into a force this season, and nowhere was this more evident than what the Rams were able to do en route to finishing the game with 412 rushing yards, the team’s highest total in a game since 2001.
“Our offensive line played outstanding,” Bobo said. “Our tight ends and fullbacks, which are the same guy because Nolan (Peralta) is playing fullback, did a great job, and our backs ran extremely hard. That’s how Izzy Matthews has to run in this league. Dalyn Dawkins was seeing it and hitting the creases, and everyone saw what kind of speed Marvin Kinsey has when he gets in the open field.”
The trio of running backs stole the show in the final game at Hughes stadium, so much so that quarterback Nick Stevens was almost lost in translation on Saturday. Quietly and efficiently, Stevens went 9-10 for 164 yards and two touchdowns, and he too joined the rushing parade, finishing the game with two scores of his own on the ground.
“That’s pretty awesome, to get three guys one hundred yards is something special,” center Jake Bennett said. “I think it just shows you the pride we take in getting guys in the end zone. How about Seven (Stevens) getting into the endzone too?”
Bennett was quick to remind everybody in the post-game press conference that yes, the running backs were the stars on Saturday, but Steven’s continually progression and performance should not go unrecognized after the CSU win.
CSU put up 49 points, and Stevens only had to throw ten passes. It was that kind of game for the Rams on Saturday night. And with it, the deep stable of running backs was able to put it’s own stamp on the final game played in the history of Hughes Stadium.
Collegian sports reporter Eric Wolf can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Eric_Wolf5