FORT COLLINS - There’s something special about those Pumpkin orange jerseys.
On Colorado State's annual Ag Day, Nick Stevens put together his 4th consecutive 300+ yard game to help CSU run away with a 38-10 victory over Abilene Christian.
The Rams are 8-0 when wearing the university’s original color.
Overall, CSU head football coach Mike Bobo was pleased with the result, especially coming off their 17-3 loss to Colorado in the Rocky Mountain Showdown.
"I thought our team came out with the right attitude and the right mindset," said Bobo in the post game presser. "We didn't overlook anybody. Came out with the focus I wanted and got the "W"."
Stevens went 25 for 40 for 342 yards and three touchdowns and one interception. Izzy Matthews was the Rams leading rusher with 94 yards and one touchdown. Michael Gallup had a game-high 10 targets for 108 yards and one score. The Rams put together 615 yards of total offense.
"The offense did a great job all day," said Stevens. "There was a couple drives where we went flat but we did a good job overcoming. And that created momentum for the entire team."
As a defense, CSU gave up just 3 points. The Wildcats converted four of 14 third downs.
The Wildcats quarterback Dallas Sealey was 25 of 38 for 263 yards and one interception. DeShun Qualls came in midway through the third as a backup to Sealey, but his only throw of the day was picked off.
The Rams first drive of the game was seemingly effortless. After a 17 yard punt return from Olabisi Johnson, Stevens used just seven plays to move up the field 65 yards in less than two minutes. Sounding the cannon for the first time of the day was senior back Dalyn Dawkins, who punched it in from two yards out.
Everything after that was hard fought for the Rams. The second drive of the day stalled out inside the redzone, prompting CSU head coach Mike Bobo to bring out Wyatt Bryan for the 22-yard field goal.
Midway through the second quarter, Sealey would find a rhythm with his receivers and put the Rams defense on high alert. After giving up back-to-back passes of 31 and 41 yards, CSU came through big time, putting up a huge stop on 4th and goal.
With the ball back in the Rams possession, Stevens would lead a long charge up the field.
Michael Gallup, CSU’s top receiver, was replaced by freshman Warren Jackson after taking a few hard hits. The freshman took full advantage of his opportunity with the No. 1 offense by reeling in an impressive 26-yard catch with a defender sitting in his arms. That was followed by another big 37-yard grab by Johnson a few plays later, setting the Rams up with 1st and 10 from the 6-yard-line. Fresh from the quick breather, Gallup came back onto the field to catch a 6-yard pass from Stevens for the second touchdown of the day.
The Wildcats final drive of the first half ended with a Jamal Hicks interception, making the 17-0 halftime lead all the sweeter.
The drought for ACU would finally come to an end with some help from their special teams. After a stalled drive, Wildcats defensive end Bryson Gates would get a hand on Ryan Stonehouse’s punt and safety Erik Huhn would recover the ball for the 16-yard score.
Both defenses would come away with picks midway through the third, but only CSU would capitalize on it.
After Hicks pulled in his second interception of the day, Stevens would connect with senior Detrich Clark six plays later for his first touchdown of the season on a 19-yard catch.
Matthews touchdown would come towards the end of the third quarter, a 22-yard pass from Stevens to take a 31-10 lead.
Marvin Kinsey, Jr. scored his second touchdown of the season, a two-yard rush, late in the 4th quarter.
Colorado State (2-1) heads to Tuscaloosa to face No. 1 Alabama (2-0) on Saturday, Sept. 16 for a 5 p.m. (MT) kickoff.
Abilene Christian (0-2) hosts Houston Baptist (1-1) Saturday, Sept. 16.
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