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The Colorado State Rams improved to 2-1 on the season with a 41-27 win over the Northern Colorado Bears on Saturday afternoon at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium. The Rams’ offense was led by a pair of true freshmen in quarterback Collin Hill and running back Marvin Kinsey, Jr., who accounted for a combined 468 yards of offense.
“It was a great day to be a Ram,” Head Coach Mike Bobo said after the game. “I thought we came out and started fast. I like how we played with an up-tempo game plan. The defense was clicking on all cylinders and kept giving the offense opportunity after opportunity and the offense made the most of those opportunities.”
The Rams’ offense, which posted a combined 553 yards of total offense and 30 points in the first two games of the season, put up 391 yards of offense and 38 points in just the first half on Saturday. A passing attack that had accounted for just 171 yards on the season nearly doubled its season output in Saturday’s matchup alone with 324 yards on the day.
“We were able to answer with the passing game,” Bobo said. “Not just Collin Hill, but I thought the receivers made catch after catch, and some tough catches. The ball was put in place and they made plays. “
Hill, making his first career start, threw for 315 yards and four touchdowns on 21-of-27 (77.8%) passing, and added 56 yards and a touchdown on the ground as well. His offensive outburst marked the first time since at least 1993 that a Ram passed for 300 yards in his first career start, and his 51-yard touchdown rush was the longest rush by a Colorado State quarterback since Bradlee Van Pelt’s 79-yard touchdown run in 2002.
The Rams were extremely effective on the ground as well, rushing for 245 yards on 43 carries (5.7 avg.). Kinsey led the Rams with 97 rushing yards, while sophomore Izzy Matthews added 62. The receivers were paced by junior Xavier Williams who recorded four catches for 91 yards in his season debut, and junior Michael Gallup who added 88 yards and a touchdown on five receptions. Elroy Masters, Jr., Olabisi Johnson, and Robert Ruiz each snagged touchdowns as well, Ruiz’s being the first of his career.
Defensively, the Rams pitched another two quarters of shutout football in the first half, coming off a second-half shutout performance against UTSA last week. The scoreless streak came to an end on the Bears’ first drive of the second half with a 17-yard touchdown pass. Sophomore Josh Watson led all Rams defenders with 10 tackles, including two for a loss and 0.5 sacks. Kevin Davis built upon his impressive senior campaign with seven tackles, including two for a loss, and a quarterback hurry. Sophomore Braylin Scott recorded his second interception in as many games, and freshman O’Shea Jackson recorded his first career sack.
Three more Rams made their college football debuts today in linebacker Max McDonald, defensive tackle O’Shea Jackson and offensive lineman Jeff Taylor. They are the 20th, 21st and 22nd players to make their Colorado State debuts this season, a number that now includes seven true freshmen with Taylor joining the ranks of Robert Awunganyi, Anthony Hawkins, Collin Hill, Arjay Jean, Kinsey and Toby McBride.
The Rams now begin to prep for their first true road game of the season as they travel to Minnesota next week to take on the Golden Gophers. Kickoff is at 10a.m. MT and the game will be televised by ESPNU.