Colorado State came out as a team on a mission, Saturday.
That mission? To win their first game of the season.
On their first drive, the Rams rambled down the field, 75 yards that were capped off by a Donnell Alexander touchdown run. Alexander gutted through a broken hand and had lively legs on that first drive that gave CSU the 7-0 lead.
The green and gold actually scored on their first three drives, including field goals of 33 and 39 yards, to push their lead to 13-3.
Meanwhile, Colorado State's defense was consistently stopping Cal Poly's triple option offense, holding them to a field goal and then forcing a three-and-out.
Then, Cal Poly answered with an amazing 48-second drive, punctuated by a 38-yard bomb down the middle of the field from Mustangs' QB Chris Brown to Willie Tucker and a 34-yard run touchdown run by Akaninyene Umoh to bring the game to 13-10.
CSU answered with a long drive, eating up time and eventually scoring with a Kapri Bibbs run up the middle to widen that lead to 20-10.
After a Mustangs' drive was stopped, Shaquil Barrett jumped up and blocked a field goal attemt to keep the 20-10 lead.
Just before halftime, with a third-and-one staring them in the face, Grayson calmly dropped back and tossed a precision pass to true freshman Rashard Higgins, 36 yards for the touchdown.
At halftime, CSU led in nearly every major category; 27-10 in score, 353-180 in yards and 18-12 minutes in time of possession.
Back to back three and outs for both teams to start second half signaled a much slower pace, and the scoring halted for much of the third quarter until Cal Poly got it going again.
Brown hit an open Tucker as he found a soft spot in CSU's zone for the touchdown to close the game to 27-17 with 3:46 remaining in the third.
After multiple punts, the Rams capitalized when Grayson rolled right and threw back left to a wide open Kivon Cartwright to push the lead to 34-17.
Grayson finished with 297 yards and two touchdowns thrown while Nwoke rushed for 133 yards and both Alexander and Bibbs scored a rushing TD.
The Rams dominated to the tune of 533-367 total yards and played their best complete football game in a long time.
Following the win, an exuberant Jim McElwain said, "That's a win we really needed. And a win that I'm just so happy for our coaching staff and our players for finding a way to dig down and get a win. I think it was a total team victory. They picked each other up when they needed. I thought the defense came up with some big stops, gave up some big plays, but you're going to against that type of offense. And offensively, we got in our groove a little bit."
Next up for CSU is a road contest against National Champion Alabama, Saturday at 5 p.m. MT.
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