FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- The Colorado State Rams recaptured
the Bronze Boot and found a few other important elements while they
were at it -- like a running game, a new quarterback and a good deal
of hope for the rest of the season.
Jimmy Green ran for 124 yards and a touchdown Friday in a 30-7
victory over Wyoming in one of the West's longest-standing
rivalries, the game known as "The Border War."
Subbing for the injured Justin Holland, freshman quarterback
Caleb Hanie threw for 167 yards for the Rams (3-4, 2-1 Mountain
West), who recaptured the boot -- originally worn by an American
solider in Vietnam -- after falling to the Cowboys last year for the
first time since 1998.
"The boot is back where it belongs," Hanie said.
After the game, the Rams ran to the Wyoming sideline, snatched
the boot off the table where it sat and paraded it to midfield.
The Cowboys (4-3, 1-2) shuffled off slowly, knowing they gave
away much more than just the boot. They hurt themselves with four
turnovers, a botched fake field goal and some bad clock management
at the end of the first half that cost them points.
"Poor coaching," was how Wyoming coach Joe Glenn described it.
The Rams took advantage behind Green, a junior, who made his
first career start and carried the ball 32 times. He was the first
CSU back to surpass 100 yards this season, and CSU gained a
season-high 233 yards on the ground.
"We were going to grind it out," Green said. "That was our
challenge. We didn't break the big run. It was down and dirty, four
or five yards at a time."
Other stars included Jeff Babcock, who kicked three field goals
to become the school's all-time career leader with 47, and
linebacker Luke Adkins, who returned an interception 35 yards for
his second touchdown in as many weeks.
After a 1-4 start, CSU has won two in a row -- both in conference
-- and enters the heart of the season just one loss behind Utah
(2-0) with a game still to come against the Utes.
"We're still in the race," CSU receiver David Anderson said.
"It's a coin flip from here on in."
Wyoming looked like the better team early, when quarterback
Corey Bramlet led his team on an 80-yard touchdown drive to open
But the Cowboys were error-prone the rest of the way.
Three plays after recovering a fumble deep in Rams territory,
Wyoming lined up to try a fake field goal, but holder J.J. Raterink
received the snap that was supposed to go to the kicker and was
forced to throw an incomplete pass.
Trailing 17-7 at the end of the first half, Bramlet (26-for-38,
256 yards) led the Cowboys from their 20 to the Rams 6. But he had
used his last timeout earlier in the drive and when his final pass
was completed in-bounds, there were only 2 seconds left and the
Cowboys couldn't line up in time to spike the ball and stop the
"We got the right play, got to the line of scrimmage OK,"
Glenn said. "The plays were there and we couldn't get it done."
The Rams, meanwhile, made lots of good things happen, none
better than when tailback Uldis Jaunarajs fumbled into the end zone
and receiver Kory Sperry recovered for a touchdown and a 10-7 lead.
In the preseason, coach Sonny Lubick said Holland, who broke his
leg last week, was the one player the Rams couldn't do without. It
didn't appear that way Friday, and Hanie was a big part of it.
While the freshman from Forney, Texas, was far from perfect, he
managed a good game and threw a couple pretty passes, including a
well-timed 41-yard sideline route to Johnny Walker that set up
CSU's first field goal. The score capped an 88-yard drive that
began at the Rams 1.
"I was nervous as heck the first possession, and then I settled
down," Hanie said. "I needed that drive from our own 1 to get
going. And then the turnovers helped make it easier."
Now, the only debate is whether the win means more to CSU
because of the rivalry, or because of what it means in the
standings -- not a bad discussion to have before next week's game
against New Mexico.
Regardless, the Rams surely righted a wrong from earlier in the
week, when vandals broke into Hughes Stadium and painted a big
"UW" on the middle of the field. The grounds crew worked hard
over the next two days, and there were no signs of the hijinks for
the nationally televised game.
"What they did to our field showed us their disrespect for
us," Green said. "It fired us up."