Big first half lifts CSU over UNLV 42-23

Chad Deutschman

Highlights done by CTV Sports Olivia Landis and Karlee Schwartzkopf


LAS VEGAS—Colorado State (4-4, 2-2 Mountain West) dominated UNLV (3-5, 2-2 MW) on the road to the tune of a 42-23 blowout Saturday in front of 18,362 fans at Sam Boyd Stadium.

The rout was on early, as CSU quarterback Nick Stevens marched the Rams down the field on a 12-play 75-yard opening drive capped off by a 8-yard pass to tight end Danny Nwosu to put CSU up 7-0. Stevens was 7-8 with 61 yards on the drive.

UNLV quickly worked into scoring position on the ensuing drive, however the drive stalled at the CSU 30-yardline. Rebels kicker Evan Pastel came on to attempt a 41-yard field but missed wide right. UNLV did not threaten for the remainder of the first half and turned the ball over twice. The first came off a Jake Schlager interception at the end of the first quarter — it was the first of Schlager’s career. The second came on a backwards pass by Rebel’s quarterback Dalton Sneed that Justin Sweet recovered on the UNLV 11-yardline.

The CSU offense picked up right where they left off in last week’s comeback effort against Boise State. The offense scored on five of six first half possessions, utilizing a balanced attack behind Steven’s arm and the three backs (Izzy Matthews, Dalyn Dawkins and Marvin Kinsey).

Sophomore running back Izzy Matthews continued to find the end zone regularly, scoring twice in the first half off 1-yard and 9-yard runs, respectively. Matthews surpassed his last season touchdown total (five) in the process and now has six on the year.

Joining Matthews in the first half scoring onslaught was freshman running back Marvin Kinsey. After not seeing much playing time in the past two weeks, Kinsey carried the ball four times for 45 yards in the half with two touchdowns of his own, highlighted by a 34-yard scamper in the second quarter to put CSU up 28-0.

Kinsey’s second score of the day came at the end of the first half on a 1-yard run to put the Rams up 35-0 heading into halftime. The balanced attack for the Rams worked to perfection, rushing for 125 and throwing for 168 in the half, helping the team convert 80 percent of their third down tries in the half.

After the break the Rebels came back to life a bit, scoring on their first possession. Sneed escaped the CSU pressure and found running back Lexington Thomas for a 37-yard touchdown to put UNLV on the board, 35-7. Sneed finished the day 7-23 for 185 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, also adding 96 yards on the ground.

The CSU offense reverted back to their early season ways in the second half, going three-and-out on their first two possessions. CSU failed to put up any points in the third quarter for the second game in a row, giving UNLV light.

CSU put the kibosh on any UNLV comeback in the fourth quarter when Stevens hit junior Michael Gallup on a 36-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 42-17. The catch marks the third straight game where Gallup has a touchdown catch over 30-yards. Gallup finished the game with seven catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. Stevens threw for 237 yards on 21 of 28 passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions. It was the second consecutive game for Stevens without throwing an interception.


CSU didn’t see the same success in the second half as they did the first, but did enough to leave sin city and head into a bye week with a dominant 42-23 win.