1st: This one was all about running back Marvin Kinsey Jr. and WR Dante Wright. Collin Hill’s first pass of the game (first play of the game) was a 75 yard strike to the freshmen wideout Wright. It’s clear he is going to be a HUGE part of this offense and will likely get more looks in the passing and running game more and more every week. He lines up all over the field and will keep a defense guessing well before and after each play. The Rams have someone special now and well into the future.
Jr. running back Kinsey Jr. only had 3 carries in the 1st quarter but he made the most of them, busting through Western Illinois defense for nearly 40 yards. HC Mike Bobo wants to have a balanced attack on offense and Kinsey seems to be the guy that will shoulder the load in the ground game.
Defensively the Rams weren’t exactly dominating their FCS opponent but like we saw last week, they are in much better positions to make a play than we saw all of last year.
2nd: After 1 it was 14-6 Colorado State and while the Rams seemed to be in control they weren’t dominating a lesser opponent by any means. CSU’s offense took matters into their own hands, putting together a beautiful drive to start the 2nd quarter. Kinsey continued his solid first half and Collin Hill was getting into a nice rhythm, finding several receivers in the process. They capped off a nice possession with a passing TD from Hill to E.J. Scott. Scott caught the pass about 7 yards from the end zone but fought a rugby like scrum to cross over the goal line. The ball came out as he fell across the line and at first officials called it a fumble but after review they overturned the call. CSU took a 21-6 lead with [8:26] to go in the half.
Hill and E.J. Scott were rolling in the 2nd quarter. Not only did Scott have the 3rd TD of the game for CSU, he had a 40 yard catch to start the Rams next offensive possession. After Scott’s long reception, RB Kinsey Jr. hauled in another TD pass from Hill while putting a beautiful move on a defender to burst into the end zone.
The Rams kicked an onside kick after going up 28-6 and kicker Braxton Davis recovered it for Colorado State. However, shortly after the turnover, CSU’s Warren Jackson fumbled after a 10 yard reception. Again, the Rams could be a scary good offense if they could hold onto the ball. 2 turnovers in the first half increase their total to 6 on the year (4 last week vs. CU).
Defensively the Rams showed a lot more fight and aggression, disrupting any and everything the Leathernecks tried to do. Toby McBride was a one man wrecking crew, delivering 2 sacks in the 1st half and when he wasn’t getting to Western Illinois’s Connor Sampson, he was constantly applying pressure to junior QB.
Although up 28-6, Coach Bobo wasn’t content and had his offense run a 2 minute drill to end the half. Collin Hill drove the ball down field and set up a 61 yard FG attempt by Braxton Davis. It was wide left and CSU took a 28-6 lead into the locker room.
FIRST HALF STARS: Collin Hill, Dante Wright, Marvin Kinsey Jr and DT Toby McBride. Hill tossed 4 first half TD’s and gained 351 yards through the air. Wright had 103 yards receiving and 1 TD while Kinsey Jr. notched 76 yards rushing, 92 receiving yards and 2 TD receptions. McBride got after Western Illinois’ QB, Connor Sampson, earning 2 sacks and 3 tackles in the first half.
3rd: It took some time for the Rams to get rolling but once the 2nd quarter hit, CSU turned up the heat on Western Illinois. We saw more of the same in the second half. The Leathernecks received the opening kick but CSU’s defense picked up where they left off, stifling whatever the they tried to do. Western Illinois tried to convert on a 4th down but DT Ellison Hubbard stormed into the backfield and forced QB Sampson to get rid of the ball and was ultimately called for intentional grounding. Turnover on downs and the Rams offense would take over at the 50.
We saw CSU get to work on the ground on the next possession but Dante Right wanted to end the drive early, busting outside for a 33 yard TD run. Colorado State quickly went up 35-6 with about 8 minutes left in the 3rd.
Next up…..a fumble by Western Illinois and the Rams took over again.
Kicking field goals is an issue for CSU. Both Braxton Davis and Max Poduska missed 3 combined through 3 quarters (Poduska 0-2). Other than that, the Rams were having 0.00 issues.
4th: Things slowed down immensely in the 3rd quarter but the Rams were in full control of this one by the time the 4th began. The Leathernecks were faced with another short 4th down and chose to go for it early in the final quarter but CSU’s D-line stood up and denied Western Illinois, forcing another turnover on downs.
The 4th quarter was more of a run out the clock situation for the Rams. The good news of the quarter was the fact Braxton Davis finally converted a field goal attempt, pushing the Rams up 38-6 with 8 min to go. Western Illinois got a garbage TD late but that didn’t keep CSU fans from finding the exit before the final whistle sounded.
FINAL: 38-13 Colorado State – All in all it was pure domination by the Rams over an average (at best) FCS team. CSU has to be happy with the production from Wright and Kinsey Jr. Hill was sharp when he had to be but obviously didn’t need to do much in the second half save for stay healthy and take care of the football, which he did. The Rams defense didn’t have any major or issues stopping the Leathernecks. Sure, Western Illinois got a TD late in the 4th but it’s hard to be too critical of CSU’s defense after only giving up 6 points for most of the game.
Next up for Colorado State: A trip to Arkansas to take on the Razorbacks.