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The Colorado State Rams improved to 1-1 on the season Saturday afternoon with a home-opening 23-14 win over the UTSA Roadrunners. Colorado State improved to 2-0 all-time against the Roadrunners, including last season’s 33-31 victory in San Antonio. The Rams have also now won their last four home openers, including eight of the last nine dating back to 2008.

“We accomplished a mission,” Head Coach Mike Bobo said following the game. “Win the ball game. 1-1. I’m really proud of our football team today. It was a total team effort. There were ups and downs on both sides of the ball, but the way our defense came out and played in the second half was unbelievable.”

After failing to register a first down until the second quarter last week, the Rams’ offense jumped out to a hot start, driving 50 yards in 11 plays on their opening drive before settling for a Wyatt Bryan field goal. The Rams mustered just 108 total passing yards in the game, a 45-yard improvement from last week, but rushed for an impressive 220 yards, including 193 in the first half.

Senior Faton Bauta started the game at quarterback for the Rams, going 6-of-17 for 82 yards with 39 rushing yards, but was replaced in the fourth quarter by true freshman Collin Hill, who finished 2-of-6 for 26 yards. Junior Dalyn Dawkins led the Rams with 68 yards on the ground, with Izzy Matthews and Detrich Clark tagging on 49 and 36 yards, respectively. Junior Elroy Masters, Jr. paced the Rams’ receiving corps with 67 yards on three catches.

The Rams’ defense allowed just 235 yards of total offense, including (-1) yards rushing, and shut out the Roadrunners’ offense in the second half. Senior captain Kevin Davis was outstanding again, recording three sacks among his six tackles, two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble. Sophomore linebacker Josh Watson led the Rams with eight total tackles, and sophomore defensive back Braylin Scott tallied his first career interception on a fourth-down pass with one minute remaining in the game.

“I was extremely proud of our defense,” Bobo said. “Last week we could not slow CU down. To come out today and not worry about last week, only focusing on today, we continued to play hard. You saw guys getting off blocks and you saw guys knocking people back. I saw more than one guy in on the tackles. It is good to see us getting after a quarterback. It was good to see us put pressure on him and you could tell the quarterback was unsettled.”

Freshmen defensive back Robert Awunganyi, defensive lineman Arjay Jean and quarterback Collin Hill all made their collegiate debuts in Saturday’s game. Their participation brings to 19 the number of players to make their CSU debuts this season, a number that now includes six from the 2016 recruiting class’ 12 true freshmen.

The Rams will be back in action next week for the annual Ag Day Orange Out against the University of Northern Colorado Bears. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. MT and the game will be televised by ROOT Sports.