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The Colorado State Rams played their most-complete half of football Saturday, taking a 35-0 halftime lead over UNLV en route to a 42-23 win. The victory evens CSU’s record (4-4, 2-2 MW) as it enters its bye week.

The Rams scored on their opening drive and never took their foot off the gas, finding the end zone on five of their six first-half drives. Meanwhile, the defense kept UNLV (3-5, 2-2 MW) off the board – the fourth time this season an opponent has not scored in a half against CSU – and forced two turnovers.

Senior DB Jake Schlager intercepted his first career pass and late in the second quarter, DB Justin Sweet – a Las Vegas native – recovered his first career fumble, which set up CSU’s fifth touchdown just three plays later.

In total, running backs Izzy Matthews and Marvin Kinsey, Jr. each scored twice, while CSU’s run game totaled 230 yards on the ground. CSU’s first score was a nine-yard pass from Nick Stevens to Danny Nwosu, for the tight end’s second career score and first of the season.

After UNLV cut the Rams’ lead to 35-17 early in the fourth quarter, the Rebels attempted an on-side kick. CSU recovered, and one play later, Stevens hit WR Michael Gallup for a 36-yard score. The touchdown was Gallup’s third in as many games and fifth in his last six. He led all receivers with seven catches for 91 yards, and over the past three weeks is averaging 107.3 yards per game.

Stevens threw two touchdown passes and completed 21-of-28 passes for 237 yards. Sixteen of his completions came in the first half, where he was 16-of-19 for 168 yards. On the Rams’ opening drive alone, Stevens was 7-of-8 for 61 yards, including 3-for-3 on third down. In fact, the Rams – who entered the game ranked 109th nationally converting on just 34.0 percent of third-down opportunities – was 10-of-18 on third down, in addition to 3-fo-4 on fourth down.

The Rams will now have two weeks to prepare for Fresno State. Three of CSU’s final four games are inside the state of Colorado, including the final two games ever to be played at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium.