Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #22, 2016 Utah State

  • Final Score: Colorado State 31, Utah State 24
  • Line: Colorado State +6
  • Venue: Hughes Stadium

We enter a new tier of the countdown: Wins Against Crappy Mountain West Teams. This is the largest tier by far, making up 16 of Coach Bobo’s 28 wins.

First up is the 2016 home victory over a 3-9 Utah State team. To be fair, we beat some Mountain West teams who were way worse than this USU squad, but this win is ranked so low (high?) because it’s the infamous game where Collin Hill blew out his knee.

It happened on such an innocuous play. No one was open, so Hill took off for a 19-yard gain. He went down and stayed down. You can’t help but play the “what if” game and wonder how the Bobo Era might have been different had the injury never happened, but it’s hard to do because it’s not like Nick Stevens was chopped liver. He gave us an All-Mountain West season, for pete’s sake. Just a total bummer all around.

Anyway, CSU was down 24-10 at halftime, then the Rams defense did one of those Halftime AdjustmentsTM that fans are always crying about and shut down the Aggie offense for the remainder of the game.

Utah State’s second half drives were: 4 plays (punt), 1 play (fumble), 7 plays (punt), 3 plays (punt), 6 plays (punt), 5 plays (punt), 8 plays (downs), 5 plays (interception). NOW THAT’S A MARTY ENGLISH DEFENSE!

I’ll never forget the fumble that Tyree Simmons caused. I thought he killed someone:

Along with the stellar performance from the defense, this was the first game where Michael Gallup was MICHAEL GALLUP. He ended up with 140 yards and a TD on 7 catches, including this 60 yarder:

Rams would take a 31-24 lead thanks to a stout defense and big plays on offense. Also, the Rams had no turnovers and zero boners in the kicking game! They even converted a fake punt!

As I noted in yesterday’s UTSA post, I’m tracking how many times the CSU offense was able to run out the clock in the 4th quarter of a one score game. Up 7 points with 3 minutes left, the Rams offense took the field. They ran 45 seconds off the clock and went three and out. So our running tally for clock killing drives in one score games is 1 for 2.

The game was over when… Aggies get the ball back, move it to the 50 yard line, then…

Manny Jones with the pick! Rams win!

Behind Enemy Lines:

Pretty funny going from the UTSA message board where everyone is dropping f-bombs to Utah State’s message board where coaches have “puddin’ fer brains”. God bless Utah.

This game’s replay doesn’t exist online. Here are highlights:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #23 2015 UTSA

  • Final Score: Colorado State 33, UTSA 31
  • Line: Colorado State -9.5
  • Venue: The Alamodome

This concludes the mini-tier of Wins Against Crappy UTSA Teams. This game featured multiple oddities:

It was played in a dome- To the best of my knowledge, the only other dome games we’ve played were at Idaho in the Kibbie Dome and the New Orleans Bowl in the Superdome.

It was Coach Bobo’s only OOC road win- That seems hard to believe, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. The Rams didn’t go on the road much in non-conference games thanks to an annual neutral site game in Denver. They only had five road games during Bobo’s tenure: UTSA (won), Alabama (certain loss), Minnesota (could have won), Florida (certain loss), Arkansas (should have won).

This 2020 season would have been the first time the Rams had two road games in OOC since 2013. (Rams played 13 games in 2013 and had games at Tulsa and Alabama.)

The defense forced a safety- Hayden Hunt pinned the UTSA offense to the 2 yard line with a nice punt, followed by a UTSA lineman holding in the endzone for a safety. The last time the defense scored a safety was against UTEP in 2013 and it has never happened again.

Jasen Oden had 30 carries- Only one other Ram running back had a 30-carry game in the Bobo era: Dayln Dawkins vs Boise State in 2017.

The Rams offense was able to run out the clock- Okay, this last one is anecdotal, but the Rams got the ball with 5 minutes left, up 2 points and ran the clock out. How many times has a Bobo team done that? It’s something I’ll keep track of as we move forward ranking all the wins.

The game was over when… Nick Stevens ran for a first down on 3rd and 1 with 1:30 left in the game.

The Rams were leading the game for the most part, but the Roadrunners were able to cut the lead to 2 after an 85-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter:

Thank god for that safety!

Both teams exchanged punts and the Rams got the ball with 5 minutes left on their own 10 yard line. Oden runs for 10, 2, 28, and 6. Stevens picks up a 3rd and 1 and game over!

Behind Enemy Lines:

Not much salt towards CSU, but their fans didn’t seem to take the loss very well:

The full replay doesn’t exist online, here’s some highlights:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #24 2016 UTSA

  • Final Score: Colorado State 23, UTSA 14
  • Line: Colorado State -9
  • Venue: Hughes Stadium

We’ve completed the Wins Against Crappy FCS Teams tier and moved on to the smallest tier, Wins Against Crappy UTSA Teams.

The Texas San Antonio Roadrunners moved up to FBS and for some reason CSU decided to sign up for a four game series with them. Exposure to east Texas recruits maybe? I dunno. Luckily that deal eventually got cut in half and we only played the Roadrunners twice.

This game in 2016 was one of the most boring wins in CSU history. It was the beginning and the end of the Faton Bauta era with Bauta passing for 82 yards on 6 of 17 attempts.

The highlight for me was the multitude of kicking game boners and not being punished for them. Robert Ruiz fumbled twice on punt returns, but UTSA recovered neither of them. Wyatt Bryan missed a 38 yard field goal, but UTSA was offside. Bryan missed the ensuing 33 yard field goal, but UTSA was offside again! Bryan then drilled a 28 yarder.

The game was over when… Bryan hit a 46 yard field goal to go up 9 with 2 minutes left in the game. The defense was outstanding this game, but the lack of offense allowed UTSA to hang around. After the Rams went up two scores, there was no chance UTSA was coming back.

UTSA came in with a stud quarterback Dalton Sturm who was a good passer and could run a little. He ended up with 170 yards passing and negative 57 yards rushing.(It’s hilarious how college football includes sack yardage in rushing totals. UTSA would end up with -1 rushing yards for the game.)

The Rams defense ended with 6 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and 5 QB hurries.

UTSA would end the season 6-6 and go on to lose to New Mexico in the New Mexico Bowl.

Behind Enemy Lines:

Let’s check out the game thread over on rowdytalk.com:

Joe Fucking Montana couldn’t win with that O-line! That cracked me up. I love this guy’s rage and I love that their message board doesn’t censor f-bombs. It’s the fucking internet, let people cuss.

I live for posts like these. This poor fella got his feelings hurt by Colorado State fans after the 2015 game which made the 2016 “heartbreaking”. You love to see it.

This game was streamed online by Campus Insiders or Stadium or whatever the hell it’s called, so it no longer exists online. Here are some highlights:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #25 2015 Savannah State

  • Final Score: Colorado State 65, Savannah State 13
  • Line: Colorado State -51
  • Venue: Hughes Stadium

We’ve reached the end of the Wins Against Crappy FCS Teams tier of victories. I ranked the Savannah State game the highest in the tier because it was Coach Bobo’s first win at CSU and because the Rams scored 65 points (the highest in Bobo’s tenure) and somehow covered a 51-point spread.

Savannah State was probably the worst team we played in the Bobo Era, and they even had to wear those crappy Russell jerseys, except their sleeves weren’t as “pubey”:

Colorado State vs Savannah State NCAA Football

Nothing really notable happened in this game, but we did make SportsCenter:

I remember being so excited after this game because we didn’t kneel on the ball and kept trying to score. “We finally have one of those asshole coaches who doesn’t give a damn about being ‘classy’ and wants to put up as many points as possible.” Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth as Coach Bobo’s teams would end up being notorious for taking their foot off the gas in the 2nd half.

The game was over when… the Savannah State center snapped the ball over the quarterback’s head on the first two plays of the game.

First play of the game, Tigers ball on the 20, the center snaps the ball over the QB’s head and he recovers it on the 2. Second play of the game:

7-0 Rams, and that’s your ballgame! Thanks for coming out, I hope you enjoyed your Aggie Day breakfast.

Behind Enemy Lines:

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a Savannah State message board that went back to 2015, but I doubt the comments would have been too salty anyway. Did you know that Savannah State dropped down to Division II in 2019? I had no idea! Probably for the best as they were consistently one of the worst FCS teams.

This game was streamed on CSURams.com, so the game doesn’t really exist on the internet any more. A quick highlight video is here:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #26, 2016 Northern Colorado

  • Final Score: Colorado State 47, Northern Colorado 21
  • Line: Colorado State -21
  • Venue: Hughes Stadium

Who says we don’t win rivalry games? Can someone please invent a trophy for this game so we can retroactively fill up the trophy case at Canvas Stadium? Is Johnson’s Corner halfway between Fort Collins and Greeley? How about the Cinnamon Roll Cup?

Okay, okay, this is isn’t a real rivalry, but I do admit that I get more excited for the occasional UNC match-up than most other OOC games. It’s not that I’m excited to win, it’s that I’m terrified to lose. The Rams lead the series with 20 wins, no losses, and one tie, but could you imagine if we lost? We would never hear the end of it.

The Rams rolled out true freshman Collin Hill for his first ever start. He responded by throwing for 315 yards on 21 for 27 passing. But his best play of the day was this 51 yard touchdown run:

Where the hell did that come from? It was the longest touchdown run by a Colorado State quarterback since Bradlee Van Pelt had a 71-yarder in 2002.

I was combing through the box score and noticed O’Shea Jackson got his first career sack in this game. Of all the defensive tackles that flamed out or we’ve missed on, Jackson was by far the best. In nine games he recorded 17 tackles, 3 TFLs, and 2 sacks, pretty good production for a freshman defensive tackle. He also allowed guys like Darnell Thompson to play on the end instead of having to help out at tackle. I think the Rams win a couple more games over the years if Jackson plays four seasons at CSU.

The game was over when… Collin Hill hit Michael Gallup for a 16 yard touchdown to go up 28-0 in the 2nd quarter.

Even though UNC had future NFL quarterback Kyle Sloter at the helm, they weren’t coming back from a four score deficit.

Rams would go into the half up 38-0 and eventually win the game 47-21.

This UNC time was actually a decent Big Sky team. They finished the year 6-5, one of their few winning seasons on the past decade or so.

Behind Enemy Lines…

I couldn’t find any salty post game messages, but this one from before the game was pretty funny. What did we do to this guy to be his most hated team in state? (I’m honestly curious.) And does he realize that his username has a double meaning that is very appropriate after his team just got their asses kicked 47-21?

This game was streamed on CSURams.com, so it basically doesn’t exist any more. Here is a short highlight video:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #27, Abilene Christian

  • Final Score: Colorado State 38, Abilene Christian 10
  • Line: Colorado State -43
  • Venue: Canvas Stadium

Another day, another win against a crappy FCS team. I don’t know much about Abilene Christian. I know that they’re from Abilene, and that they are Christian. And a University. I can’t find any evidence of wildcats living in the Abilene area though. Abilene State Park lists the following animals in their park: deer, armadillos, foxes, squirrels, raccoons, and rabbits.

Do you think their fans look at TCU, Baylor, or SMU and say “Damn it, that should have been us!” the same way CSU fans look at Utah?

I hate playing random teams named the Wildcats because I can never get this Simpsons clip out of my head whenever we do:

Here’s a fun little fact about ACU, they have a kicker who set the record for the longest field goal in college football history:

Anyway, the Rams were coming off the Offensive Pass Interference loss against CU and this was the classic “CU hangover” game. Luckily, ACU was awful and the Rams won easily.

Not too many highlights from this one as all the Rams’ touchdowns were garden variety. Nick Stevens had a 41 yard run that was pretty cool/hilarious. The play took so long that I couldn’t make a GIF out of it, but you can see it in the highlight video at the end of this post.

The most exciting sequence was a goal line stand in the 2nd quarter. ACU had a 1st-and-goal from the 5 and didn’t score after running on four straight plays.

The CSU defense didn’t give up a touchdown this game, the only Wildcat TD came off a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. Classic kicking game boner.

The game was over when… well, according to ESPN’s Win Probability meter, the game was pretty much over at the opening kickoff:

But it was truly over when the Rams stopped ACU on that 4th-and-goal play, then put together a 99-yard touchdown drive to go up 17-0.

Behind Enemy Lines:

Now this is the type of saltiness you hope for when looking at another team’s board! You have the first guy crying that a random group of strangers on the internet aren’t giving his school enough credit for a 38-10 defeat. The second guy responds that CSU fans are a “different class of people” for not showering his beloved Wildcats with praise over a four touchdown loss in a game where ACU never threatened. The internet is the best and not unhealthy at all.

The Wildcats would end the year 2-10. LOL.

The game was streamed over the Mountain West website, so it basically doesn’t exist any more. Here is a quick highlight video:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #28, 2019 Western Illinois

  • Final Score: Colorado State 38, Western Illinois 13
  • Line: Colorado State -13
  • Venue: Canvas Stadium

Welcome to the winning portion of this countdown! It’s all confetti and champagne from here on out!

When I was ranking the wins, I broke them into tiers and this is the lowest tier: Wins Against Crappy FCS Teams.

We start with the 2019 victory over Western Illinois, the worst of all the Directional Illinoises. I honestly had never heard of them before we scheduled them. Rodney Harrison and Bryan Cox played there, so that’s pretty good.

The game wasn’t very competitive, Rams got up 28-6 in the 2nd quarter and coasted to the win.

There were a number of spectacular plays in this game: a 75 yard bomb to Dante Wright on the first play of the game, a 77 yard catch and run by Marvin Kinsey, EJ Scott and friends carrying the entire Western Illinois defense into the endzone, but the most spectacular play of the game came in the 2nd quarter with the Rams up 28-6:

LOL, eat shit Western Illinois! When you’re up 28-6 against a crap FCS team, you gotta go surprise onside.

The game was over when… the officials correctly overturned a fumble call and awarded EJ Scott a touchdown on this play:

The score was 14-6 and the Rams had already fumbled and missed a field goal. Another fumble and another Leatherneck score could have given them confidence and sent the game into a different direction. Instead, the refs correctly reversed the fumble call and awarded a touchdown, giving the Rams an insurmountable 21-6 lead.

Behind Enemy Lines:

(This is a new section of these game reviews now that we’re into the wins. There’s nothing I like more than lurking on opponent’s message boards after a Ram win and basking in the saltiness and schadenfreude. I will post a screenshot of my favorite post from the opponent’s message board.)

There wasn’t too much saltiness from the Leatherneck faithful because they only have about five fans and none of them really seem to care too much. The Leatherneck fan above pretty much nailed the remainder of the 2019 season. CSU only won three more games against the dregs of the Mountain West and fired their coach while Western Illinois went 1-11.

A condensed version of the game is here:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #29, 2017 Alabama

  • Final Score: Colorado State 23, Alabama 41
  • Line: Colorado State +31
  • Venue: Bryant-Denny Stadium

We did it. We got through all the losses and we’re ending with the king of moral victories, the 2017 Alabama game. Rams came into this game at 2-1 and would put in a decent showing against the eventual national champion. They’d take the confidence from this game into a bye week, fly to Hawaii, and win four games in a row. The four game win streak tied for Coach Bobo’s longest, a feat he also accomplished to end the 2015 season.

The game didn’t start out that great: Alabama touchdown, Rams three-and-out, Alabama touchdown, Rams three-and-out, Alabama field goal, Rams four-and-out.

So just like that the Rams are down 17-0 in the first quarter, Alabama has the ball at the 50, and our best highlight so far is a monster punt by Ryan Stonehouse:

The tide (tide!) turns with a JK Scott missed field goal and CSU answers with a field goal. Bama goes three-and-out on their next drive and CSU responds with an 11 play, 85 yard touchdown drive that almost didn’t happen if not for this circus grab by Dalton Fackrell on a third and long:

This would eventually lead to the legendary Warren Jackson over Anthony Averett “You Got Mossed!” touchdown:

(Averett would go on to get picked in the 4th round by Baltimore.)

17-10, we’re back in it!!! (Alabama would score the next 24 points and go up 41-10.)

Rams eventually score again in the 4th quarter with an eleven play drive capped off by a Nick Stevens touchdown. Alabama goes three and out and the Rams drive right back down the field and enter the red zone.

On first and goal, Michael Gallup gets his own You Got Mossed! touchdown, but he was robbed by the officials:

That’s a touchdown. Are we trying to protect Anthony Averett’s feelings or something?

Next play we just go back to Warren Jackson who scores over Dallas Cowboy second round pick Trevon Diggs:

Rams go with an onside kick that doesn’t get recovered and Nick Saban is forced to re-insert his first team offense to finish out the game. He was pissed, or at least pretending to be pissed to prove a point. (The message was received as Alabama beat Vanderbilt 59-0 the next week.)

Only three teams scored more than 20 points on that Alabama team: CSU, Mississippi State, and Georgia.

If memory serves me correctly, this was the third time the Rams would play the eventual national champion along with ’84 BYU and ’04 USC. (I’m probably missing one, but I’m too lazy to look it up.)

A condensed version of the game is here:

Tomorrow, the winning starts!!!

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #30, 2019 Boise State

  • Final Score: Colorado State: 24, Boise State 31
  • Line: Colorado State +13.5
  • Venue: Canvas Stadium Snow Globe

The final loss of the Mike Bobo Era. (Not the final loss of this countdown, but close). The stadium was entombed in snow, three-quarters empty, and sad. It was kind of appropriate.

How bad are things going when your stadium gets blasted by a winter storm, the 20th team in the nation visits your stadium, and you’re like “screw it, just leave the snow.”

The Rams wore their green on green, and I’ve never heard it confirmed by anyone in the athletic department, but I guarantee they do this to troll Boise in response to their blue on blue on the blue. Rams wearing green on green versus Boise is one of my favorite things in college football.

CSU scored a touchdown on their first drive to go up 7-0. One of the wacky things about the 2019 team is that they consistently scored on the first drive of the game. They scored a touchdown on their first possession in 9 of their 12 contests. Most in spectacular fashion: bombs to Dante Wright against CU and Western Illinois, bombs to Trey McBride against Fresno and New Mexico, Marvin Kinsey’s 75-yard run at Arkansas, Anthony Hawkin’s kick return vs UNLV.

When we got up 7-0, I actually got the idea in my head that we were going to win. The season was over, we were coming off back-to-back loses against Air Force and Wyoming, no one really cared any more… it just felt like the perfect timing for Coach Bobo to finally beat someone important. How appropriate would it be to get your signature win in the final game of your career?

Instead, it would turn out to be another classic Mike Bobo loss. A bunch of turnovers turned into a bunch of points for Boise. Fast forward to the 4th quarter, Rams down 10 at the Boise 20. Drive stalls, field goal, 7 point game.

Defense needs to get a stop so we get the ball back and almost blow it on a 3rd and 11:

Ugh… that’s a “throw your TV remote at the wall” type of play. Luckily, the refs called the Boise runner down a yard short of the first down. Boise lined up to go for it on 4th and 1 but got called for a false start. A very un-Boise penalty, and almost got me believing again that we’d win this one.

Ensuing Ram drive, and we’re rolling. Into Boise territory when:

Ah yes, the vaunted left side of our offensive line. Good job, traitors! Enjoy your conference-only P5 season. You’re dead to me!

That play basically ended the game. The Rams would punt with 2 minutes left because Coach Bobo wanted to fit in one last kicking game boner for old time’s sake:

Stonehouse’s leg is too strong for his own good! Not ideal.

Boise takes over from the 20 and the Rams never see the ball again. The Mike Bobo Era ends with a whimper. The End.

There is a replay of the game here:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #31, 2016 Minnesota

  • Final score: Colorado State 24, Minnesota 31
  • Line: Minnesota +17
  • Venue: TCF Bank Stadium

It would have been really cool to knock off a Big 10 opponent in their stadium, but it’s hard to get upset at a loss when you have a true freshman making his first start in a road game. That’s why this game doesn’t rank higher (lower?).

Collin Hill was okay in this game, but Minnesota had a true freshman of their own who almost took Collin Hill’s head off:

Just imagine being Collin Hill. It’s your second start, broadcast all over the country on ESPNU. Then this happens and you know that a video of you getting nearly decapitated will be the lead on SportsCenter for the entire weekend. How do you deal with this when you’re a friggin’ teenager? I’m telling you, the older I get the more respect I have for these college kids. They go out there and put it all on the line so millions of dorks like me can sit on our couches and critique them.

Over the years I’ve gotten a lot softer on my criticism of college kids and way more tough on the coaches. Like this play, whose idea was it to leave a tight end one-on-one with Minnesota’s best pass rusher? 100% the coach’s fault.

The true freshman pass rusher for Minnesota was Tai’yon Devers. The guy had three sacks and three forced fumbles in the first three games of his college career. I’m sure Minnesota fans were stoked. Devers looked like a “can’t miss” prospect, but he did absolutely nothing the rest of his career:

Moving on… Nolan Peralta is one of my favorite Rams ever and this game featured one of my favorite Nolan Peralta plays ever:

LOL. Poor #5, just an innocent bystander, adjusting his chinstrap and then BOOM, sit your ass down! Never fails to crack me up.

Minnesota led the entire game, but the Rams were able to hang around. It wasn’t until the 4th quarter that the Gophers were finally in a position to put the game away. 31-17 with 9 minutes left, Rams are forced to punt. Game over…


A couple plays later:

Gallup touchdown! (Rams picking on poor #5 again.)

Defense forces a Minnesota 3-and-out and CSU gets the ball back with four minutes left, down seven, all three timeouts.

And the Rams took their sweet-ass time on this drive. They started the drive off with some Faton Bauta wildcat plays. Is it really the time and place for that? “What the hell are we doing?” I shouted at my television set. It took CSU two minutes just to get to the 50 yard line!

Rams miss on a 4th and 5 from the 50 with two minutes left, game over. (For real this time. Hayden Hunt can’t save us now.)

You can watch a replay of the game here: