Rams ruin Lobos, win 49-31 in Hughes Stadium finale

Nick Stevens celebrates a touchdown run. Credit: Daniel Brenner, USA TODAY Sports

Farewell Hughes, hello bowl game.

In the final game at historic Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, the Colorado State Rams came out and dominated the New Mexico Lobos, 49-31, to become bowl eligible for the fourth straight season.

The green and gold were money on offense and defense the entire game, controlling the game with a brilliant balance of run and pass and then shutting down New Mexico’s multifaceted running attack. To wit: All three of the Rams’ running backs, Marvin Kinsey, Dalyn Dawkins and Izzy Matthews, rushed for over 100 yards (the first time in school history) and the team went over the 400-yard rushing mark.

To start it off, Dalyn Dawkins ran with explosiveness, setting up Nick Stevens’ first touchdown, a 19-yard pass up the seam to a wide open Nolan Peralta. On CSU’s next drive, Stevens kept the ball on a read-option, scoring untouched for the 14-0 lead.

New Mexico finally answered, gambling on a fourth down, then three plays later Dameon Gamblin caught a touchdown by contorting his body mid-air. It was 14-7 Colorado State at the end of one.

The Rams kept running wild, though, for 223 yards in the first half alone compared to only 51 for the nation’s best rushing team, New Mexico. Dawkins and Marvin Kinsey helped move the Rams into scoring position again, where Stevens carried it over the goal line for his second touchdown of the night. Call him “Vick” Stevens.

CSU then forced a three-and-out before Izzy Matthews got in on the scoring action, running over a Lobo defender on his way to a 14-yard score. At the break, Colorado State led 28-10.

The second half was just as tantalizing for Rams fans. Stevens connected with Michael Gallup on the sideline, who shook his defender and then took off for a 65-yard touchdown. It widened CSU’s lead to 35-10.

New Mexico struck back with a rushing touchdown by Richard McQuarley, and it was answered on the next drive by Detrich Clark’s 32-yard score. Mid-way through the third, CSU led 42-17.

Then it was Marvin Kinsey’s turn, as he took off for a 75-yard scamper to glory. 49-17, Rams. Mid-way through the fourth quarter, Gamblin caught his second touchdown pass of the day for the Lobos to bring the game to 49-24, CSU. New Mexico kept on runnin’, with Tyrone Owens striding 79 yards to the end zone, 49-31 CSU with 5:10 to go.

Notes: 

New Mexico is the No. 1 rushing team in the nation, averaging 347.8 yards per game on the ground. Saturday they ran for only 285 while CSU was the sensational running team, with 371 yards on the ground.

All three backs went over 100 yards for the first time in CSU history. Marvin Kinsey led the way with 127 yards; Izzy Matthews was second with 107 and a score while Dalyn Dawkins ran for 102.

Nick Stevens wasn’t just running the ball well, the Rams quarterback was extremely efficient, going 6-of-7 for 80 yards and one score in the first half. He ended the game 9-of-10 for 164 yards and two scores.

Michael Gallup’s 65-yard touchdown was the longest passing play of the season for Colorado State’s offense.

29,133 was the official attendance in the final game at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium.

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