Rams corralled by Cowboys, Bronze Boot stays in Laramie

Ryan Loberger

Winless in rivalry games this season, the Colorado State football team was forced to watch Air Force hoist the Ram-Falcon Trophy on their field the week prior, setting the scene for a showdown with the Wyoming Cowboys. 

Fast forward to Friday night, Nov. 22, in the middle of Pokes country: CSU took the field at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyoming, for one of college football’s greatest rivalry games, the Border War.


The two teams battled in frigid weather at an elevation of 7,220 feet. The Rams had a goal of reclaiming the Bronze Boot for the first time since 2015, while Wyoming was looking for their fourth straight win in the Border War and to eliminate CSU from bowl game contention. 

Cold weather played a factor in the match. Both teams started the game slow, combining for just 120 total yards on offense as the first quarter ended scoreless.

Colorado State University Rams push together against the Wyoming Cowboys to stop the fall from traveling down the field any farther at War Memorial Stadium on Nov. 22. (Asia Kalcevic | The Collegian)

In the second quarter, both teams capitalized off penalties, which put them into the red zone. After the Cowboys took a 7-0 lead, Patrick O’Brien and the CSU offense put together a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive with 4:52 left in the first half.

For the second straight week, the Rams defense came to play while the offense stalled in the cold. The scoring drive from O’Brien in the second quarter would be the only offense CSU mustered in the game.

“Our kids played extremely hard on the defensive side of the ball,” head coach Mike Bobo said. “Offensively we had some opportunities, but inability to get any kind of running game (going) hurt us.”

Kicker Braxton Davis missed a 50-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that would’ve cut Wyoming’s lead to 14-10, similar to the 53-yard kick Cayden Camper missed against Air Force last weekend. Field goals won’t win you games, but points have been hard to come by for the Rams lately, and a missed opportunity to put points on the board is costly.

The Cowboys added a touchdown and a field goal in the second half to bring their lead to 17-7, securing the Bronze Boot for a fourth straight year and squandering CSU’s hopes for making a bowl game this season.

“It hurts so much,” Ellison Hubbard said. “We prepared and put in all this work in practice, and to come out here and face a rival, it was tough to lose.”

Ellison Hubbard (98) celebrates a touchdown for Colorado State University abasing Wyoming State at the War Memorial Stadium on Nov. 22. CSU loses to Wyoming with an ending score of 17-7 (Asia Kalcevic | The Collegian)

CSU’s struggles came in the run game; the Rams were unable to establish the ground game and break off a big run against Wyoming’s 8th ranked rushing defense

“We became one-dimensional in the passing game and could not make enough plays in the passing game to get the victory,” Bobo said.


Under coach Bobo, CSU now has a record of 2-13 against their rivals Air Force, Wyoming and CU Boulder in the past five seasons. 

The Rams have one home game remaining against Boise State (9-1) on Nov. 29, where CSU will honor their seniors and celebrate Family Day. 

Ryan Loberger can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @Lobergerryan