Rams blank Bulldogs 37-0

Chad Deutschman

Highlights provided by CTV Sports 

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It had been 225 games since Colorado State last shut out an opponent. The streak is over.

Colorado State blanked Fresno State 37-0 Saturday afternoon in the penultimate game at Hughes Stadium in front of 23,187 fans. 

Fresh off a bye week, Colorado State wasted no time getting back into the groove of things as the Rams dominated the Bulldogs on both sides of the ball.

CSU (5-4, 3-2 Mountain West) racked up 337 yards of offense in the first half alone, while Fresno State (1-9, 0-6 MW) was held to a lowly 68 yards and only two first downs. CSU finished the game with 494 yards of offense and held Fresno State to 232.

Quarterback Nick Stevens continued to connect with receiver Michael Gallup. The duo connected 7 times for 106 yards in the first half, 18 of which came on a screen pass in the second quarter that extended Gallup’s touchdown streak to four games. Gallup finished the game with nine catches for 126 yards and one touchdown while Stevens finished 18-23 for 237 yards and two touchdowns. Stevens has now gone three straight games without an interception.

The three-headed monster of Dalyn Dawkins, Izzy Matthews and Marvin Kinsey continued to split time in the backfield. Kinsey highlighted the group with 10 carries for 83 yards and one touchdown. As a group, the trio tallied 30 carries for 173 yards and three touchdowns.

The first possession of the game resulted in a failed red zone trip for CSU, something that has seldom happened this year as CSU had converted 27 of 29 red zone trips heading into the game. With the ball on the 11-yard line, CSU elected to go for it on fourth down but were stopped short.

Wyatt Bryan got the scoring started for the Rams on the next possession. The sophomore kicker hit a 33-yard field goal to put CSU up 3-0 in the first quarter. Stevens and the offense would ensue to score on three straight drives, putting CSU up 23-0 at half. Dating back to the UNLV game, CSU outscored their opponents 58-0 in the past two first halves played.

The second half was more of the same for CSU.

Izzy Matthews kept the offense rolling with his second touchdown of the game, putting the Rams up 30-0 early in the third quarter. Matthews finished the game with 10 carries for 55 yards and two touchdowns.

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The rout continued when Stevens hit freshman wide receiver Anthony Hawkins on a 14-yard fade route to put CSU up 37-0. The touchdown marked the first of Hawkins’ CSU career.

Hawkins wasn’t the only Ram to record a “first” on the day. Senior cornerback Jordon Vaden recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter, jumping in front of Fresno State quarterback Zach Kline’s fourth down pass attempt. The former wide receiver celebrated the play by spiking the ball on the ground and getting flagged.

CSU was able to keep the shutout alive with a red zone stand late in the fourth quarter and finish off the Bulldogs 37-0, claiming the first shutout in 19 years and becoming one win away form being bowl eligible. 

Collegian sports editor Chad Deutschman cane be reached by email at sports@collegian.com