The college football scene is always packed with excitement, especially when Deion Sanders is leading Colorado. In a week filled with anticipation and competitive banter, Colorado passed its most significant challenge, overcoming an 11-point deficit to clinch a 43-35 double overtime victory over Colorado State. Despite being tipped as clear favorites, the Buffaloes were trailing for most of the game until Shedeur Sanders orchestrated a 98-yard equalizing drive in the closing minutes.
Earlier in the day saw drama unfold as Missouri locked horns with No. 15 Kansas State, leading to Harrison Mevis nailing a 61-yard decisive shot in the last moment, securing a 30-27 win. Florida also managed an impressive SEC upset by outplaying No. 11 Tennessee. Simultaneously, No. 5 Florida State barely escaped a defeat against Boston College and LSU demonstrated their potential against Mississippi State. Nevertheless, No. 1 Georgia and No. 10 Alabama had to work hard to secure their wins against South Carolina and South Florida respectively.
Key Insights: Colorado State Overcomes Middle Tennessee, Despite Last-Week Heartbreak
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The unpredictable world of football is often led by a capricious sense of humor. After losing to rival Colorado in a dramatic double-overtime clash last week, Colorado State faced a similar situation this week, but this time they managed to hold on and secure a 31-23 victory over Middle Tennessee at Floyd Stadium.
Here is a look at the three most significant aspects of the game:
The Comeback of Colorado State
The word of the week for the Rams was “Finish.” The team was aware that they missed a golden opportunity to upset Colorado last week despite leading by a substantial margin in the fourth quarter. Determined to not repeat the mistake, the team walked into the game with a renewed focus.
In a turn of events that can only be attributed to the unpredictable football gods, CSU entered the tied fourth quarter with the aim to secure a major away win. With a two-touchdown lead, the Rams had to guard it to ensure the victory. Middle Tennessee scored with 6:34 remaining, turning it into a one-score game. Despite the déjà vu situation like last week, the Rams successfully held onto their lead and secured the win.
“Man, it’s going crazy in there (the locker room),” said CSU star Mo Kamara.
The CSU supporters who made the trip were seen singing the team’s anthem near their locker room at the end of the game, cheering on each player as they made their way to the bus. A week that was marred by off-field incidents and health issues among the team ended on a positive note with a victory.
It’s been a challenging couple of weeks…We knew it was going to be a huge challenge.”
A Resilient Comeback Defying a Sluggish Start
The Rams’ game kicked off satisfactorily with a favorable 124 yards and 10 points in the initial drives. However, the offense began to stagnate, accumulating a mere 15 additional yards for the rest of the half, while the defense put up a fight.
Several crucial plays and an odd series of events had the Rams trailing at 17-10 at halftime.
An anticipated interception by Ayden Hector turned into a first down for MTSU due to an errant pass that landed in the hands of MTSU’s receiver. This eventually led to a field goal that leveled the score.
Following that, CSU attempted a long pass where Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi aimed for Caleb Goodie – an open runner. However, a misstep by Goodie led to an interception by the opponent. In the concluding seconds, Ron Hardge’s misinterpretation of MTSU’s long ball saw the Blue Raiders score a decisive touchdown.
Despite a lackluster first half, CSU found solace in the fact that they were down by only a single score.
The offense took some time to regain momentum after the half-time. A crucial 47-yard catch by Justus Ross-Simmons, leading to a touchdown by Tory Horton, tied the game at the third quarter’s midpoint.
CSU’s defense then managed to force a turnover, creating an opportunity for another long TD drive. Fowler-Nicolosi and Horton once again teamed up for a touchdown, giving CSU a lead. Shortly after, the Rams further extended their lead to two touchdowns courtesy of Nuer Gatkuoth’s forced fumble, which Mohamed Kamara returned for an effortless touchdown.
The back-to-back touchdowns boosted CSU’s lead to 31-17.
By the end of the game, Fowler-Nicolosi had clocked an impressive 306 yards with 29-42, two touchdowns, and one interception. Horton recorded 10 catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns, and Dallin Holker contributed an 11-catch, 112-yard performance which included a trick-play touchdown from Giles Pooler.
The Path Paved for Season’s Turnaround
While not a headline-grabbing victory like the one against CU, this win holds significant importance, especially after the Boulder loss.
“We knew we had to come here and take the win. We knew that,” said Kamara.
With a less competitive FCS opponent, Utah Tech, on the agenda next week, the Rams have a real opportunity to level the nonconference play at 2-2. This paves the way for a promising season, especially with the Mountain West play opener against a waning Utah State.
The Rams now need to focus on their upcoming Ag Day game, but this victory undoubtedly bolsters their prospects for a solid season.