Wyoming runs through CSU 38-17 in Border War blowout

Chad Deutschman

Highlights from CSU’s 38-17 loss to Wyoming (Credit: CTV Sports Olivia Landis and Karlee Schwartzkopf) 

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The Bronze Boot has a new home.

Riddled by mistakes, Colorado State (2-3, 0-1 Mountain West) squandered any hope of retaining the Boot, falling 38-17 to Wyoming (3-2, 1-0 MW) in the 107th edition of the Border War.

In front of 33,500 fans — the 11th largest crowd in Hughes Stadium history — CSU was gashed up front by Wyoming star running back Brian Hill. Hill ran loose for 166 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries, on his way to becoming the all-time rushing leader for the Cowboys. As a team, Wyoming rushed for 269 yards on 49 carries.

“(Hill) is a great back,” CSU linebacker Kevin Davis said. “He definitely plays behind his pads. We just have to stop backs like him. We are going to continue to play great backs the rest of the season, we just have to get it fixed.”

Things didn’t fair much better for CSU on the offensive side of the ball.

CSU attempted to establish the run early, but what is usually the team’s strength was absent. CSU finished with 33 carries for 111 yards, well below their season average of 176 yards per game.

Quarterback Collin Hill saw success through the air, completing 23 of 41 attempts for 370 yards and one touchdown, but the performance was overshadowed by mistakes and the offense’s inability to finish off drives.

The biggest blows of the day came off two CSU turnovers. Freshman Marvin Kinsey fumbled the ball at the CSU 30-yard line on the first play following a 5-yard touchdown run by Wyoming’s Shaun Wick. The fumble set up a 30-yard flea-flicker reverse play, where quarterback Josh Allen found a wide-open Tanner Gentry to put the Cowboys up 17-14. The play marked the second Wyoming touchdown in a span of 22 seconds.

Two drives later, freshman quarterback Collin Hill was intercepted by defensive lineman Chase Appleby after throwing the ball while falling down. Appleby returned the ball 55 yards for a touchdown, pushing the CSU deficit to 24-14.

“(That) was the classic, what I say all the time, don’t turn a bad play into a catastrophe,” CSU head coach Mike Bobo said. “That was a catastrophe. Just take the sack and punt the ball. That happens, it wasn’t pretty that it happened tonight, but there is a lot of football left. We don’t want that to happen but there is still enough time to respond in the ball game and continue to make plays.”

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Rams’ kicker Wyatt Bryan was able to add a 36-yard field goal, cutting the Wyoming lead to 24-17 at the half.

Wyoming went up by two touchdowns with 3:17 left in the third quarter as Brian Hill continued to dominate. Hill powered through the CSU defense for a 49-yard run, setting the Pokes up on the CSU 1-yard line, with Hill punching it in one play later.

CSU’s fate was sealed late in the third quarter. Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen scrambled for an 18-yard touchdown, putting the lead to an unreachable 38-17 and sending much of the sold-out crowd packing.

“We did what teams that aren’t very good do,” Bobo said. “We turned the ball over, don’t tackle, don’t execute. That’s how you get beat 38-17.”

Colorado State’s next game will be Oct. 9, where they faceoff with the Utah State Aggies at Hughes Stadium.

Collegian sports editor Chad Deutschman can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @ChadDeutschman