For Colorado State, this stood as the team's biggest game of the year.
Alabama is the reigning National Champion for multiple reasons; they're a dominating football team on defense, undoubtedly the best in the nation all-around.
But the Rams defense came out strong, forcing a field goal – which was missed – on 'Bama's first drive, then CSU forced a punt.
Unfortunately, Colorado State's offense was stagnant, much as it has been all season long, and they couldn't capitalize on the hard hitting and tough tackling by the defense.
Alabama finally got it going late in the first quarter and Kenyan Drake scored up the middle on a run for the 7-0 lead.
After another poorly executed drive by the Rams, 'Bama busted through a blown blocking scheme and blocked a punt, Dillon Lee scooped it up and scored to push their lead to 14-0.
Colorado State's offense finally converted a couple of third downs, and on the same drive, but they had to punt yet again.
Just before halftime, 'Bama's Cade Foster pushed a 46-yard field goal over the crossbar to push the lead to 17-0.
After halftime, the Rams were rejuvenated; they started by three-and-outing Alabama's offense and on the Crimson Tide's second drive, Bernard Blake came up with a timely interception.
Finally, with momentum on their side, the Rams offense came alive. Garrett Grayson connected with tight end Crockett Gillmore for 25 yards that put the team in field goal range, which was also the first time they crossed mid-field all night. But when it came down to a crucial third-and-eight playcall, the Rams went with a run up the middle which was stopped and killed the drive dead. Jared Roberts came in a drilled the 45-yard field goal to give CSU their first points of the night, down 17-3.
When Alabama got the ball back, they were stopped for the sixth straight time on third down, punting the ball right back to a confident Colorado State team.
Grayson completed multiple screen passes to freshman wide receiver Rashard Higgins and running back Kapri Bibbs, which each resulted in first downs. After a Rams timeout, Grayson hit Joe Hansley for a 14-yard gain that moved the Rams to the 'Bama 17 yard line, where the drive would ultimately stall after two failed runs and a desperation rush by the quarterback on third and long.
Again, Roberts came in and made the field goal, this one of 31 yards, but Colorado State really would have liked a touchdown there. As it stood, the Rams were the only team to score in the third quarter, though they were still down 17-6.
Alabama turned it on in the fourth, though, capitalizing quickly on Grayson's fumble to score on the next play. A.J. McCarron connected with DeAndrew White for the 30-yard touchdown and nail in the coffin. The Crimson Tide added another athletic touchdown when Chris Black took a short pass and quickly went upfield for the final score, 31-6.
Next up for Colorado State is a home contest against UTEP on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. MT.
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Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist. Follow Rich on twitter (@RichKurtzman) for all your CSU Rams news and opinion.