The Colorado State Rams and Oregon State Beavers kicked off the major college football season on Saturday, and the Rams won by three touchdowns, 58-27.
Their meeting at the Rams’ brand-new Colorado State Stadium was the first FBS game of the 2017 season. CSU was the better team, but it wasn’t quite as lopsided as the final score suggests. The Rams’ yardage edge was 525-456, and the biggest difference was turnovers. CSU scored 27 points off of those, compared to 10 for OSU.
CSU quarterback Nick Stevens was 26 of 39 for 334 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. The Rams rushed for 191 yards on 43 carries, an efficient (if not explosive) ground effort. All in all, it was a great start for Mike Bobo’s Rams.
Here was our running diary from the game.
Colorado State 58, Oregon State 27 (Final)
A win to remember. pic.twitter.com/ooBrFBjQhA— CSU Rams Football (@CSUFootball) August 26, 2017
Colorado State 51, Oregon State 27 (6:29 4Q)
CSU scored another touchdown, this one on a 15-yard pass from Nick Stevens to Cameron Butler. It came after this hilarious turnover:
Oregon St called a Crying Jordan play then fumbled pic.twitter.com/Ckc2IcCfhy— That Dude (@cjzer0) August 26, 2017
Colorado State 44, Oregon State 27 (8:57 4Q)
Things aren’t going well for Oregon State.
Togiai fumbles. I think I can call it now. Time to start putting the section together.— Steve Gress (@stevegress19) August 26, 2017
Colorado State 44, Oregon State 27 (10:23 4Q)
The @CSUFootball offense is explosive.— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) August 26, 2017
What a response! pic.twitter.com/8eXrYXakIf
Colorado State 37, Oregon State 27 (11:52 4Q)
After a CSU muffed punt:
Not so fast...@BeaverFootball turns a turnover into a TD and it's a 10-point game! pic.twitter.com/P23pLo52lN— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) August 26, 2017
Colorado State 37, Oregon State 20 (12:00 4Q)
Oregon State gets a break, with a muffed punt recovery deep inside CSU territory. Those can’t be advanced for touchdowns, which is a shame for the Beavs.
Colorado State 37, Oregon State 20 (14:42 4 Q)
The Rams are pretty much cruising now. A 41-yard field goal by Wyatt Bryan just made this a three-possession game with not much time left. CSU’s in good position to open up its new building with a win against a Power 5 opponent. Not bad!
Colorado State 34, Oregon State 20 (End of 3 Q)
The Rams enter the final 15 minutes of the game still holding a 14-point lead. CSU is threatening to make it a three-score game, with the ball on Oregon State’s 26 yard line. Kirk Herbsreit likes what he’s seen from the Rams so far today, too.
Liking the look of the @CSUFootball Rams!!! QB solid and lots of skill around him. Up 34-20 on Oregon St!— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) August 26, 2017
Colorado State 34, Oregon State 20 (4:10 3 Q)
OSU quarterback Jake Luton throws his second interception of the day, both of them happening on consecutive drives. Rams cornerback Anthony Hawkins caught Luton’s second interception in the end zone.
Colorado State 34, Oregon State 20 (5:39 3 Q)
Rams linebacker Tre Thomas picks off Beaver quarterback Jake Luton on a deflected pass and returns it for a touchdown, our first pick-six of the 2017 season.
Colorado State 27, Oregon State 20 (8:50 3 Q)
The Rams add to their lead with a 25-yard field goal after an impressive second half drive. CSU quarterback Nick Stevens already has over 200 yards on the day, along with a touchdown and one interception. Beaver fullback Ryan Nall has 116 and a TD, too.
Ryan Nall today: 116 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving.#GoBeavs pic.twitter.com/XfVmEd6E8z— OregonStateFootball (@BeaverFootball) August 26, 2017
Colorado State 24, Oregon State 20 (14:19 3 Q)
Oregon State starting defensive end Titus Failauga is carted off the field early in the second half, which will be a loss for the Beaver’s defense.
Starting defensive end Titus Failauga is being carted off the field. That's a blow to the defensive line that's still searching for depth.— Gina Mizell (@ginamizell) August 26, 2017
Colorado State 24, Oregon State 20 (Halftime)
The Rams go to the locker room with a seven-point lead, despite Oregon State seemingly completing a touchdown pass that was somehow called incomplete even after review at the end of the half.
Colorado State 24, Oregon State 17 (1:19 2 Q)
Dawkins gives the Rams the lead with a three-yard touchdown to cap off an eight-play scoring drive.
The @CSUFootball offense is electric.— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) August 26, 2017
The Rams take a 7-point lead. pic.twitter.com/3KJTFmhN6d
Oregon State 17, Colorado State 17 (4:25 2 Q)
The Beavers’ 52-yard field goal attempt was no good, which will give the Rams a chance to take the lead late in the first half.
Oregon State 17, Colorado State 17 (8:15 2 Q)
Colorado State ties thing up with a field goal set up by an Oregon State forced fumble by Rams linebacker Josh Watson. Watson had textbook helmet-to-ball form on the play.
Oregon State 17, Colorado State 14 (10: 57 2 Q).
Beaver running back Ryan Nall takes back the lead with a nice 75-yard touchdown on Oregon State’s first ensuing play after the Rams’ score.
Oregon State football’s Twitter account was pleased, too.
HE CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING NALL. #GoBeavs pic.twitter.com/rhkR8LrXMG— Go Beavs (@BeaverAthletics) August 26, 2017
Colorado State 14, Oregon State 10 (11:10 2 Q).
The Rams take the lead with an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Steven to Dalyn Dawkins.
Here comes @CSUFootball.— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) August 26, 2017
This TD looked sooooo easy. pic.twitter.com/xvWtuTKyHi
Oregon State 10, Colorado State 7 (End 1 Q).
The first quarter took an hour. College football is truly back.
Oregon State 10, Colorado State 7 (2:09 1 Q).
While we wait, a brief reprieve to talk about COlorado State’s gorgeous stadium. It’s brand spankin’ new. The joint has a beer sign over a party deck. Beer signs are good. Party decks are also good.
Oregon State 10, Colorado State 7 (2:09 1 Q).
Choukair splits the uprights for a 40-yard FG and we've got a 10-7 lead with 2:09 left in the first quarter. #GoBeavs pic.twitter.com/L0PmAScTF5— OregonStateFootball (@BeaverFootball) August 26, 2017
Oregon State 7, Colorado State 7 (5:47 1 Q).
Good heavens, this is a huge hit on CSU QB Nick Stevens.
A huge hit and a huge interception. @BeaverFootball's defense is looking strong. pic.twitter.com/8DkR7iHVMB— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) August 26, 2017
He went down after being sawed in half here, but would return to the game.
Oregon State 7, Colorado State 7 (8:09 1 Q).
It has come to my attention that the head referee is Mike Defee. You may remember him as the physically fit ref from the national championship game.
Welcome back, beef ref.
Oregon State 7, Colorado State 7 (8:09 1 Q).
First drive for the Rams did not feature Mike Bobo running the dang ball.
Mike Bobo not running the dang ball. pic.twitter.com/8Ik1XRhurY— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) August 26, 2017
My name is:— Adam Henderson (@AdamATVS) August 26, 2017
⚪️ Slim Shady
And I should:
⚪️ Thank you
⚪️ Go out more
Run the dang ball
On the second drive, Colorado State’s Izzy Matthews’ 1-yard one run proves that good things happen when you tote the rock.
IZZY MATTHEWS! Just like that @CSUFootball ties it up. pic.twitter.com/Ci3S6GBOaE— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) August 26, 2017
Oregon State 7, Colorado State 0 (11:31 1 Q).
First FBS TD of the season, Jake Luton hits a quarantined Timmy Hernandez for a 39-yard score.
Oregon State 0, Colorado State 0 (15:00 1 Q).
We made it.
WE MADE IT pic.twitter.com/WJoJsAUYJy— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) August 26, 2017
And we got us a sweet tifo in the crowd too.
The student section is @Ram_Ruckus pic.twitter.com/7GRCtZ7E7d— CSU Rams Football (@CSUFootball) August 26, 2017
2:30 ET: You are looking LIVE at the FBS season opener. It’s finally back. Catch the game on CBS Sports Network if you’re looking through your TV guide. You may or may not be able to stream it though, that depends on your cable provider.
This could be a huge year for Colorado State. Along with Boise State and San Diego State, they’re in the Mountain West’s top tier. Mike Bobo’s team has a favorable schedule setup, without a single game that stands out as an obvious loss. In addition to this home game against OSU, the Rams get Boise State at home and Colorado at a neutral site. Everyone else on the slate is beatable in any venue.
Oregon State is heading in the right direction under Gary Andersen. The Beavers’ running back corps looks excellent, and last year’s team was a respectable 5-7 after a really bad 2015. But the schedule for OSU is so difficult, with only one slam-dunk win (against FCS Portland State) on it. The Beavs will have to scratch and claw for every other win they get, and if they can reach 6-6, it’ll be a real achievement.
These teams might be difficult matchups for each other. CSU’s strength is its offense, led by a third-year starting quarterback, Nick Stevens. The Rams move the ball well whether on the ground or in the air. They’ll face a decent Oregon State defense, which finished 49th in S&P+ last season and has most of its production back this year.
On the other hand, Colorado State had a bad defense last year, and Oregon State’s offense wasn’t any good despite having a stable of nice running backs. Both the OSU offense and CSU defense have a lot back this year, and neither unit should be as bad as it was in 2016. We’ll probably learn more about both of these teams when the Beavers have the ball. The quality of play is likely to be better when it’s the other way around.
The big thing here, though, is CSU Stadium. It’s a beautiful venue, seating more than 40,000 people in the foreground of a postcard-like mountain range. The Rams held a green-and-white stripe-out, and the atmosphere was unique. You only get to open up a new building one time, and this is was moment for CSU. There’d be nothing better than to pair the stadium’s debut with an MWC run in its first season.