Gildan New Mexico Bowl Results: Rams Trampled By Thundering Herd
History prevailed for Marshall as the Thundering Herd took down the Colorado State Rams in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl 31-28. The Thundering Herd scored first, yet their defense proved to be their saving grace, as the Rams fought hard in the fourth quarter to try to overcome a 17-point deficit. However, they came up short for the third year in a row.
Rams Will Travel
The Colorado State faithful showed up in droves to cheer on the Rams. Fans made their presence known as they were the dominant force in the crowd of 26,087 at Dreamstyle Stadium. Unfortunately, Coach Mike Bobo‘s team failed to bring home a victory. The downtime between the end of the regular season and the postseason left the Rams rusty, which played out on the field Saturday. The Rams defense allowed 501 yards of total offense. As a matter of fact, that is the same amount the Rams offense averaged per game in the regular season.
Nick Stevens and All-American wide receiver Michael Gallup were a high powered duo in the regular season, yet failed to have the same impact in the postseason. Stevens targeted Gallup 18 times but only connected six times for 68 yards. Stevens took five sacks as the Herd defense was in blitz mode. Colorado State was held to 70 rushing yards, as the offense was rendered one dimensional when starting tailback Dalyn Dawkins suffered an apparent head injury in the first half. He finished the game with just 10 carries for 50 yards. Bobo spoke about the limited offense “At the end of the day, we’re not built to throw it 52 times.”
Colorado State’s defense was a force to be reckoned with during the regular season, however, on Saturday they were ineffective. The Herd’s vapid regular-season offense sparked to life on the ground and in the air. In the end, Marshall’s explosive plays killed the Rams efforts.
Meanwhile, on the other sidelines, the Thundering Herd were dominating and continued their post-season winning streak. Coach Doc Holliday has 5-0 bowl game record with Marshall. Marshall had a dashing duo of 100-yard rushers with Keion Davis gained 141 yards on 18 carries, while Tyler King had 106 yards in six carries. Marshall has not had two 100-yard rushers in a game since 2014. King had a 90-yard scoring run, the longest in New Mexico Bowl history. Thundering Herd quarterback Chase Litton was 17 of 32, throwing two TDs but also had two interceptions. Litton’s favorite target of the game was receiver Tyre Brady. Brady had six catches for 165 yards and won the offensive MVP honors.
Holliday was exuberant with his post-game comments on Colorado State “I think the entire defense played tremendous. That’s an excellent offensive team. That No. 4 [CSU receiver Michael Gallup], he’s amazing”.
End of An Era
Colorado State’s defensive coordinator Marty English retired Saturday after the New Mexico Bowl. He had a 30-year coaching career that was unlike the majority of coaching careers. Most coaches and their families spend a majority of their free time moving as the coaching carousel spins at a rapid pace. However, English has been lucky. He has been at three schools: Northern Colorado, Wyoming, and CSU or approximately a 100-mile radius. He plans to spend retirement enjoying life with his wife and kids.
Bobo signed a contract extension earlier this week worth $10 million. Meanwhile, his mediocre record and winless postseason play have the fans slightly less than excited. Bobo will have to replace his offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator. His OC Will Friend took a job at Tennessee earlier this month. His DC is retiring, as mentioned above. It is likely there will be more staff changes as the new coordinators bring in their own position coaches. Fort Collins could be in for a struggle as it makes staff adjustments.
The Thundering Herd finished the regular season on a down note as they dropped four of their last five games. Despite the regular season stumble, Holliday has built the Thundering Herd into a consistent Conference USA contender. The early signing day and offseason is always an adventure in any college football program.
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