Rams win thriller against Norvell’s former team; first win of the season


Collegian | Sara Shaver

Colorado State University football head coach Jay Norvell speaks to a referee at the Rams’ game against California State University, Sacramento Sept. 24. The Rams lost 41-10.

Kaden Porter, Staff Reporter

Colorado State University football went on the road Oct. 7 to take on the University of Nevada, Reno in the team’s first Mountain West conference game of the 2022 season. Head coach Jay Norvell’s highly anticipated return to face his former program ended in a thrilling 17-14 win for the Rams.

The win came as CSU’s first this season, breaking a 10-game losing streak that dated back to week eight of the 2021 season


Despite winning 17-14, the Rams’ only offensive points came on kicker Michael Boyle’s game-winning 43-yard field goal

Defensively, though, Colorado State had no trouble scoring.

“To see them come together after what we went through in nonconference, it really makes you feel proud.” -Jay Norvell, CSU football head coach

Early in the first quarter, defensive back Ayden Hector intercepted Nevada quarterback Nate Cox and returned it 21 yards for the Rams’ first touchdown of the night. Later in the quarter, defensive lineman Mukendi Wa-Kalonji grabbed a fumble out of the air and returned it for another defensive touchdown. 

CSU scored two defensive touchdowns in a game for the first time since 2012.

Hector, a former walk-on at Washington State University, was one of many athletes who saw increased playing time against Nevada due to the team’s recent roster turbulence with athletes leaving the program.

“I think we became a lot closer because we had guys in the locker room that were all in; we had guys who were halfway in before,” Norvell said at his postgame press conference. “They’re feeling a bond together that’s allowing them to play harder.”

Offensively, true freshman quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi started the game in place of Clay Millen, who is still recovering from a shoulder injury. Fowler-Nicolosi struggled, completing just 11 passes for 78 yards and two interceptions.

The one bright spot of the Rams’ offense was the play of running back Avery Morrow in his return to Reno, carrying the ball 24 times for 168 yards against his former team. Morrow moved up the depth chart after running back David Bailey recently left the program.

While the team showed enough improvement to get the win, some of the same issues continued to haunt the team. CSU committed 14 penalties throughout the game, giving up a whopping 136 yards of penalties to Nevada.


“We allowed them to sustain drives because of penalties,” Norvell said. “To give ourselves a chance to win, we’ve got to eliminate those penalties.”

After a tough start to the season, the Rams’ record improves to 1-4 overall and 1-0 in conference play. They’ll attempt to stay undefeated in the Mountain West against a struggling Utah State University team in Canvas Stadium next Saturday, Oct. 15.

“To see them come together after what we went through in nonconference, it really makes you feel proud,” Norvell said.

Reach Kaden Porter at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @kqporter5.