New Mexico Bowl: Rams Gets In Sync Too Late As They Fall To Marshall, 31-28
Big plays by the Marshall Thundering Herd sunk the Colorado State Rams.
Colorado State Drops Fourth Bowl Game In A Row
Make that four bowl game losses in a row.
Colorado State dropped the Gildan New Mexico Bowl 31-28 to the Marshall Thundering Herd on Saturday afternoon, on a day in which both teams had trouble getting into gear. Once they did, however, it was the Thundering Herd and not the Rams that came up with big play after big play.
Colorado State made a heroic fourth quarter comeback, but it fell short as the offense could never quite get into gear, dropping them to 7-6 for a third straight year.
The Rams were the best offensive team in the Mountain West during the regular season and the offensive line gave up a mere eight sacks. Marshall, however, collected five sacks and the Rams offensive line was unable to clamp down on the Marshall pressure, leaving senior quarterback Nick Stevens to get hit repeatedly. Stevens was even knocked out of the game for a play after taking a big shot by a Marshall defensive lineman.
It was obvious in the first quarter that Colorado State and Marshall were both a little rusty. While Marshall found its stride, however, Colorado State never looked in sync , getting outgained on offense by a 501-390 margin. Stevens and Biletnikoff Award finalist Michael Gallup could never seem to get on the same page, though the senior quarterback did hit the senior wide receiver on a key third down late in the game where Gallup made, arguably, the best catch of his career.
It was all for naught, however, because Stevens missed Gallup on a downfield throw three plays later and then the Rams turned the ball over on downs. Stevens was 1-of-11 on downfield throws and appeared to be rattled by the Marshall pressure.
The Rams’ out-of-sync offense was on full display in the third quarter when Stevens threw the ball into the back of senior running back Dalyn Dawkins on a screen pass.
In the fourth quarter, with their backs to the wall, Stevens and crew should a ‘never give up’ attitude that saw them cut the Marshall lead to three with six and a half minutes left in the game.
Colorado State’s defense made outgoing defensive coordinator Marty English proud at times, but the overall performance was nothing short of bad. They gave up three touchdowns of over 60 yards, so while they would come up with the occasional stop, there were repeated missed tackles and bad angles that led to the big plays that were too much to overcome.
While the Rams scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, they also had two turnovers on downs near midfield, allowing Marshall to maintain its slim lead. Stevens would finish 25-of-52 for 320 yards and two touchdowns, while Gallup had six catches for 68 yards.
Head coach Mike Bobo will not have a lot of time to feel sorry for his team since it will be a busy offseason. Bobo will have to replace multiple coaches, including both coordinators.