What a game this was, and if you liked offense then this was the game for you. As expected the running backs dominated the offense. Gattrell Johnson III from Colorado State was named the games MVP because of this stat line: 27 carries, 285 yards, 2 touchdowns plus he caught 5 passes for 90 yards for a total of 375 of total offense. On the Fresno State side they had two backs over 100 yards wit Anthony Harding who had 2 scores and 120 yards, and then Lonyae Miler also had two scores plus 113 yards.
Fresno was the team that got off to the fast start by scoring their first score within four minutes, and then the Rams countered with a similar drive and scored very quickly. The game went back and forth through the first three quarters, but it was the fourth quarter that separated the two teams. The Rams down 28-20 going into the fourth quarter and scored 20 unanswered points to put the game out of reach.
The rushing game gave up big yards per play, but the Rams nearly averaged a first down per play with 9.6 yards per rush attempt. Fresno was no slouch as they were able to rush for 6.4 per rush.
The difference in this game was that Colorado State quarterback Bill Farris played an exceptional game going 17 for 29 with 257 yards along with one score and pick. The passing game for the Rams yielded 15.11 yards per catch with 5 catches that went 69, 57, 22, 21, and 19 yards. Farris was also able to spread the ball around to eight different receivers, as well. The success in the rushing game was no surprise for the Rams, because running up the middle was Fresno’s achilles, but they supposedly had great defensive speed and the Rams were able to still swing the ball to every part of the field.
Fresno State on the other hand was unable to beat the Colorado State secondary in the passing game. The Rams were well prepared after playing in the Mountain West where four of the teams pass the ball around and spread the field in their offense. That was the real difference because Colorado State was able to pass when they needed to and had big catches by Rashaun Greer who only had one catch but it was a 69 yard touchdown, and then super tight end Kory Sperry caught a 22 yard touchdown reception while being double teamed in the corner of the endzone.
The 77 yard rushing touchdown by Gattrell Johnson with 1:46 remaining, and this was the Rams first bowl win in seven years, and this was the first bowl win by a first year head coach at Colorado State. The Rams look to be in safe hands in the future after turning the program over from legend Sunny Lubbick to current head coach Steve Fairchild.