One week after an embarrassing defensive effort against Air Force and its option offense, the CSU defense buckled down and stopped New Mexico’s version.

The Rams limited the Lobos, who came into the game with the No. 1 rushing attack in the nation, to just 57 yards in the first half while building a big lead early in a 49-31 win late Saturday night in the final game at Hughes Stadium.

New Mexico finished with 285 rushing yards, but 160 of that came in the fourth quarter, which began with the Rams leading 49-10. The Lobos were averaging 347.8 rushing yards coming into the game.

“Everybody had a pretty big chip on their shoulders after the embarrassment we had last week, and we had some guys step up really big tonight,” junior safety Justin Sweet said.

The Rams made some minor scheme changes in an effort to simplify the defense, senior linebacker Kevin Davis said. They made some important personnel changes, too, giving true freshman Jamal Hicks his first start at safety in place of an injured Jake Schlager and using another true freshman, Arjay Jean, extensively at defensive end to help string out New Mexico’s option toward the sideline.

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