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CSU drops late lead in crucial loss to UNLV

Collegian | Cait Mckinzie
Colorado State University wide receiver Dylan Goffney (6) catches the ball and runs it into the endzone for a touchdown Oct. 14. CSU won against Boise State 31-30 at the end of the fourth quarter.

After completing one of the most improbable comebacks in school history against Boise State, the Colorado State football team was poised to remain in the win column as they took on the UNLV Rebels at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders.

With 43 seconds left in regulation, that seemed like the case after 31-year-old kicker Jordan Noyes nailed a career-high 55-yard field to put the Rams in front of UNLV 23-22.


Unfortunately for CSU fans, 43 seconds was just enough time for Rebels quarterback Jayden Maiava and his wideouts to complete a late-game comeback.

Maiava used his ability to create plays and found his favorite targets, Ricky White and Jacob de Jesus, to drive downfield and get his team into field goal range with just three seconds left.

UNLV kicker Jose Pizano looked downfield for a 28-yard field goal to finish off the comeback for the Rebels, which he struck right down the middle of the goalpost, capping off a 25-23 win for UNLV.

The scoring didn’t start until the second quarter, when the Rebels got the scoring started with a 42-yard field goal.

Shortly after, Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi and Avery Morrow led the Rams downfield to quickly tie up the game. In the Rams’ following drive, they finally found the end zone.

Vann Schield highlighted the drive with a monster 52-yard run — the longest run by a Ram this season. The ground game kept it rolling from there, where Morrow scored the first touchdown of the game with a 2-yard run, giving the Rams a 10-3 lead.

CSU kept it going again in their next drive. Fowler-Nicolosi connected with Dallin Holker, who leads all tight ends in the Football Bowl Subdivision in receiving yards, for a 34-yard gain, setting up Noyes for a 27-yard field goal.

The Rebels quickly found their stride in the third quarter. After hitting two consecutive field goals, Maiava and Donavyn Lester came up with big plays to put their team into the red zone. Lester found a hole up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown, giving UNLV a 16-13 lead late in the third quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter, UNLV found themselves in field goal range yet again, giving themselves a six-point lead over the Rams.


Fowler-Nicolosi did regain his touch in the Rams’ next drive, connecting with Justus Ross-Simmons on a clutch 35-yard gain and a third-down conversion. Fowler-Nicolosi later found Ross-Simmons again in the end zone for a 20-yard gain as the Rams regained their lead over the Rebels.

UNLV kicked another field goal to put themselves up 22-20. Following a critical field goal from the Rebels, CSU went on to lose to UNLV 25-23 in a disappointing loss.

The Rams look to bounce back against the Air Force Falcons Saturday, Oct. 28, in Canvas Stadium with kickoff slated for 5 p.m.

Reach Ben Fairly at or on Twitter @benjaminfairly.

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