Wild Win: CSU fan energy helps motivate players during Showdown

Erin Douglas

CSU football players rush to meet the crowd that cheered them on during the 2014 Rocky Mountain Showdown. (Photo by Cisco Mora)
CSU football players rush to meet the crowd that cheered them on during the 2014 Rocky Mountain Showdown. (Photo by Cisco Mora)

The winning game against the Buffalo rivals on August 29 at Sports Authority Field started a little late not only for Fort Collins fans held back on I-25, but also for the CSU football team that was held back by 10 points in the first quarter.

After the nearly three hour traffic most Fort Collins fans had to endure on I-25 to get to the game, they arrived with spirits held high and entered the stadium ready to help the players with a 2nd quarter recovery.

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“On the drive down everyone was yelling out of the windows which was a really cool vibe and it just kept getting better,” said Phil Williams, sophomore CSU fan.

Coaching staff emails to the student body that insisted their presence necessary for success helped motivate the fans to make the pilgrimage to Denver.

“We felt like in some ways that it was a home game,” said Head Coach Jim McElwain, referring to the spirit of the student body near the end zone.

The first quarter was dry for CSU, ending with Colorado up 10-0. However, as more fans filled the student section after their valiant battle with I-25 and two broken down student buses, green and gold energy filled Sports Authority Stadium, fueling the Rams’ imminent comeback.

“Even though the scoreboard showed us as down at the time, they (the crowd) stayed loud and stayed into it,” cornerback Bernard Blake said.

A total of 63,000 people watched running back Dee Hart bring CSU back into the game with his second quarter touchdown, putting them back in the game at 10-7. The student body went wild with chants expressing their pride to be a CSU Ram. In fact the fans were so wild, quarterback Garrett Grayson had to tell them to quiet down so he could talk to his team.

“They say the first one is always the hardest, so once we got the first one (touchdown) knocked out, we just knew it was time to go in and really take off from there,” Blake said.

CSU students cheer on their football team during the 2014 Rocky Mountain Showdown. (Photo by Cisco Mora)
CSU students cheer on their football team during the 2014 Rocky Mountain Showdown. (Photo by Cisco Mora)

While encouraging, close only counts in horseshoes, and CU scored again at the beginning of the third quarter, momentarily putting fear into the hearts of the student body when the scoreboard read 17-7 CU.

The fear turned out to be non-withstanding when CSU continued on to score not one, not two, but three more touchdowns in the second half, while the defense shut down Colorado’s passing game, holding them to 17 points.

“When Garrett (quarterback) and I hooked up for a connection and I scored the touch down it just felt good and the crowd went wild,” wide receiver Rashard Higgens said.

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Regardless of what the experts had forecasted, what the CU fans had said on social media, and what the record of Rocky Mountain Showdowns would predict, the Colorado State football team shut the Buffaloes down in the second half with the final score 31-17 CSU. The fans were there loud and proud from the rough beginning to the incredible end.

“They were extremely loud, in the four years that I’ve been here and the three games that I’ve played in, that was the loudest I’ve heard them so if we can continue to have those guys on our back for the rest of this season it should be a really fun season,” quarterback Garrett Grayson said.

Article produced by College Avenue Magazine.