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(Saturday, September 1st)
Final Score: Colorado State 22, Colorado 17
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Garrett Grayson threw a pair of touchdown passes and the Colorado State defense came up big down the stretch to give the Rams a 22-17 win over Colorado in this year's rendition of the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.
Grayson threw for 173 yards and Donnell Alexander rushed for 66 yards to help Colorado State (1-0) snap an eight-game losing streak that began last season. The streak was tied for the fourth-longest among FBS schools entering 2012. The win was also the first for Jim McElwain as the head coach at Colorado State, marking the first time a Rams coach won in his debut since Jerry Wampfler in 1970.
Kansas transfer Jordan Webb completed 22-of-41 pass attempts for 187 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his debut with Colorado (0-1) but was sacked five times. The Buffaloes managed only 58 yards rushing as a team in the loss.
On its second drive of the game, Colorado State got the scoring started with a 47-yard field goal by Jared Roberts to take a 3-0 lead with 4:44 left in the first quarter.
Colorado had to wait until the second quarter for its first score which came on a 15-yard completion from Webb to Nelson Spruce putting the Buffaloes ahead 7-3. Webb tossed another touchdown pass, this time to Tyler McCulloch, to give Colorado a 14-3 lead with six minutes left in the first half.
Colorado State answered by scoring on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Grayson to Dominique Vinson just before the half. The extra point was blocked leaving the score at 14-9 as the teams headed to the locker room.
The halftime score remained the same until Colorado State retook the lead, 16-14, on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Grayson to Joe Hansley midway through the third quarter.
Confusion reigned later on in the quarter with Colorado driving inside the Colorado State 10-yard line. On third and goal, Colorado's Malcolm Creer rushed left and fumbled the ball while attempting to stretch for the end zone. The ball was scooped up and returned 100 yards for a score by Colorado State but the play was overturned after visual evidence showed that Creer's knee was down before the ball got loose. Colorado failed to take advantage of the second chance as Webb threw an incomplete pass on fourth and goal from the one.
The Buffaloes would eventually put themselves back in front in the fourth quarter. After a 24-yard punt return from Marques Mosley gave Colorado excellent field position, Will Oliver nailed a 30-yard field goal to put the Buffaloes ahead 17-16 with just over 13 minutes on the clock.
On its next possession Colorado State drove 52 yards on 12 plays and jumped in front with a 49-yard field from Roberts. Another Roberts field goal with just under three minutes stretched the Rams lead to 22-17.
It looked like Colorado State had all but sealed the win when Webb was picked off with under two minutes left. However a roughing the passer penalty negated the play and gave the Buffaloes new life. Colorado State's defense clamped down and forced a turnover on downs to claim the victory.
This close game fell in line with the history of the series as seven of the previous 10 meetings had been decided by seven points or fewer.
09/01 21:56:42 ET
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