Colorado St. beats Utah St. 16-13 on late FG
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Jared Roberts kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired and Garrett Grayson threw for 243 yards, including a long pass to get Colorado State into field goal range, as the Rams rallied for a 16-13 win over Utah State on Saturday night.
The Rams (6-1, 2-1 Mountain West) appeared poised to let the game go to overtime with the ball deep in their end. But Dee Hart rattled off a 17-yard run and then Grayson hit Rashard Higgins for a 46-yard completion to set up Roberts, who tied the game on a 46-yarder with 1:50 remaining.
Utah State (4-3, 1-1) had its 11-game conference road win streak snapped, which dated back to Oct. 15, 2011, when the Aggies were members of the WAC.
Grayson became Colorado State’s all-time passer in this game, breaking the mark held by Kelly Stouffer. Grayson has now thrown for 7,250 yards in his career.
The Aggies thought they had averted a last-second field goal attempt when CSU jumped offside before the snap, which usually mandates a time runoff. But since there was a timeout just before the play, the officials explained to Utah State coach Matt Wells the clock wouldn’t start until it was snapped.
Once Roberts’ kick sailed through the uprights, the capacity crowd rushed the field. It was the first sellout crowd at Hughes Stadium since 2004.
Nick Diaz kicked a 32-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to give the Aggies the lead and appeared like it just might hold up, especially given the way their defense was playing. Utah State sacked Grayson eight times.
The winning drive started at the CSU 12 with 58 seconds left. The Rams ran for 3 yards and just let the clock tick down. But after Hart’s big run, the Rams started to attack. Higgins hauled in a long pass from Grayson to set the stage for Roberts.
Utah State backup quarterback Craig Harrison stepped in after Darell Garretson left the game early in the third quarter with a right arm injury following a hit by two Colorado State defenders. Garretson returned to the sideline with his arm in a sling.
Harrison was third string a month ago but moved up the depth chart when Chuckie Keeton suffered a season-ending knee injury in a win over Wake Forest on Sept. 13. Harrison finished 5 of 12 for 28 yards.
The game started well for the Rams as Higgins caught a short pass over the middle and turned it into a 69-yard gain on the first play. Three plays later, Hart scored on a short run.
The lead didn’t last long as Joe Hill took a delayed handoff and went untouched through the heart of Colorado State’s defense for a 59-yard score. Diaz later added a 25-yard field goal.
Roberts hit a 52-yarder late in the second quarter to tie the game at 10.
The announced attendance for this game was 32,546, making this the first sellout for the Rams since Oct. 22, 2004, against Wyoming. The traffic was so snarled outside the stadium that quite a few fans didn’t even make it into their seats until early in the second quarter.