Jared Roberts and the CSU football team made sure Homecoming 2014 will be remembered for a long, long time.
Roberts kicked a 46-yard field goal on the game’s final play Saturday night, lifting the Rams (6-1, 201 Mountain West) to a pulsating 16-13 win over Utah State before a delirious overflow crowd of 32,546 at Hughes Stadium. Roberts’ kick capped a furious rally for the Rams, who had not led since midway in the first quarter and appeared to be headed to overtime.
The Rams, though, didn’t need the extra period. Senior quarterback Garrett Grayson’s 46-yard pass to wide receiver Rashard Higgins to the Utah State 22-yard line with seconds remaining put Roberts in position to kick his third field goal of the game and make the Rams bowl-eligible for the second consecutive season.
The rousing victory capped a huge weekend in which CSU celebrated “100 Years of Homecoming.” See how students, alumni and fans celebrated!
- The annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on Thursday night.
- A ceremony Friday morning renaming West Drive on campus Amy Van Dyken Way.
- The annual Homecoming Parade on Friday afternoon, with Amy Van Dyken-Rouen serving as grand marshal.
- The RamFest concert, featuring Nico & Vinz, on Friday night at Moby Arena.
- The Homecoming 5K on Saturday morning, with more than 2,000 runners and walkers participating.
Party on the turf
The celebration’s high point came when the football team scored twice in the final two minutes to beat Utah State. After Roberts’ kick perfectly split the uprights, CSU’s student section stormed the field – a sight not seen at Hughes Stadium in more than a decade.
“It’s something you dream about, to see the crowd rushing the field,” Roberts said. “I can’t thank the crowd enough for coming out and supporting us. It means the world to us. We want them to be a part of this season with us. We’re 6-1 and we want to represent the university, represent Fort Collins and the alumni, so to put on a good show for the crowd means a lot to us.”
CSU’s top passer
Grayson, who completed 20 of 31 passes for 243 yards, became CSU’s all-time leader in passing with 7,250 yards, moving past Kelly Stouffer, a former first-round NFL draft pick. Stouffer’s record of 7,142 yards had stood for 28 years.
On a night when former CSU swimmer and six-time Olympic gold medalist Van Dyken-Rouen was honored for her courage and resilience, the Rams found a way to win despite Utah State’s dominant defense. In the end, CSU made just enough plays on both offense and defense to extend its winning streak to five games – the Rams’ longest since 2002.
Border War next
The Rams return to action at 5 p.m. Saturday, hosting Border War rival Wyoming. Tickets are on sale, with a second consecutive sellout expected.
“The atmosphere was just outstanding, and I can’t praise our fans enough for coming out and supporting a group of guys who won’t say die,” coach Jim McElwain said. “That’s a good football team we just beat; that’s a really good football team we just beat. I’m really proud for our team, our coaches, the organization and the people in the state of Colorado. We’ve got a winner here.”