Colorado State scored 18 points in the final minute and a half of Saturday’s Gildan New Mexico Bowl, rallying to a 48-45 win over Washington State.
The Rams’ late-game heroics started with 4:17 left on the clock. Down 45-30, CSU capped a 72-yard drive with quarterback Garret Grayson’s 12-yard pass to Jordon Vaden.
Cougar quarterback Connor Halliday appeared to fumble the ball but he was ruled down after an official’s review. On the next play, running back Jeremiah Laufasa fumbled and Colorado State linebacker Shaquil Barrett recovered it at the Cougar 33-yard line.
CSU then used a eight-play drive capped by a 1-yard score from running back Kapri Bibbs to cut the margin to 45-43. A successful two-point conversion from running back Donn Alexander, coming on a trick Statue of Liberty play, tied the game.
WSU’s Teondray Caldwell fumbled the ball again on the ensuing kickoff, once again recovered by Colorado State’s Jake Schlager. Kicker Jared Roberts sealed the game with a 41-yard field goal, and the Colorado State players and fans stormed the field.
The Rams overcame a 21-10 first-quarter deficit and trailed 35-23 at halftime, outscoring the Cougars 25-10 in the second half.
Though Grayson was the game’s winning quarterback, Halliday earnedthe offensive player of the game award after passing for 410 yards and six touchdowns. He found receiver River Cracraft nine times for 125 yards. Grayson countered with a 369-yard performance with two touchdowns.
Bibbs rushed for a game-high 169 yards and three touchdowns. No Washington State ballcarrier ran for more than 17 yards.
Barrett received the defensive player of the game honors. In addition to his key fumble recovery, Barrett made six tackles.