Colorado State pulled off an unlikely, double overtime win with an unbelievable finish over Utah State in Logan tonight. If you missed it– and a lot of people did– you can watch the reply online here.
CSU recovered a fumble on a punt return, down 8 points with about 2 1/2 minutes left. Four Chris Nwoke runs later the score was 21-19 Utah State. After a timeout, Pete Thomas hit his favorite target, tight end Crockett Gillmore, for the dramatic, game-tying 2-point conversion.
Both teams scored easily in the first overtime. In the second overtime, the Rams had the ball first and Chris Nwoke scored another touchdown. Utah State scored in one play on 25-yard run.
Then Utah State head coach Gary Andersen tried to be a hero.
He chose to go for the two-point conversion and the win, a very rare call for the home team in that situation. CSU thought they won after an incomplete pass, but pass interference was called. So all the Aggies had to do was score from the one yard line for the win. The Rams’ defense stuffed the run, and the game was over.
I was excited. I texted my dad and he replied, “D ude. Utah State?” (and yes that unnecessary space inside the word “dude” was included. Still not sure if old people will ever learn to text.)
To be clear, Utah State did everything they could to lose this game. Andersen’s overtime call, coupled with four lost fumbles, were gifts that the Rams dearly needed, but CSU will not apologize for this victory.
Some people will look at beating a WAC team on the road and shrug their shoulders. But CSU was a 9-point underdog and it pulled off the win. On the road.
Rebuilding a program takes some serious work and it starts by beating mediocre teams in games that you’re not supposed to win.
If the Rams lose this one, the season starts to look a lot like the same old crap we’re all used to. I’m not saying CSU is gunna enter the top 25, or that they’ll hang with Boise State in a couple weeks. But this win should be a confidence builder. It dramatically changes the outlook of the 2011 season.
After this win, it’s not unreasonable to plan on beating UTEP in El Paso or San Diego State and Wyoming in The Fort.
Suddenly, after one very mediocre win, things are looking a quite a bit brighter for the CSU Rams.