GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Colorado State needed a nearly perfect game Saturday to steal a victory at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida made sure the Rams did not have one.
The Rams lost three fumbles and committed five miscues on special teams, and Feleipe Franks threw for two touchdowns to help Florida rout Colorado State 48-10.
Colorado State (1-3) tried to follow up a 34-27 victory over Arkansas with another win against an SEC team. However, Florida (2-1) succeeded in erasing the foul taste of a 27-16 loss to Kentucky that ended a 31-game win streak against the Wildcats.
Two mistakes on punts contributed to the Rams’ demise. Colorado State also gave up an 85-yard punt return to Freddie Swain and missed two long field-goal attempts.
“I give Florida a lot of credit,” Colorado State coach Mike Bobo said. “You can’t have turnovers. They basically got 27 points off turnovers. Even though all that happened, we’re still in a position, down 17, to make something happen (going into the fourth quarter).”
Colorado State also lost three fumbles — all of which led to points. The first two, a fumbled punt snap and a bobbled snap on offense, led to two field goals by Evan McPherson. The last led to a fourth-quarter touchdown that clinched the victory.
It would’ve been worse had not V.J. Banks broken up a pass in the end zone and picked off another Franks pass in the first quarter.
“I had two verts,” Banks said of his interception. “I think someone had a mental error. I saw a guy open and just made a football play.”
While McPherson’s 24- and 48-yard field goals gave Florida a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, CSU’s Wyatt Bryan missed 41- and 53-yarders that could’ve tied it.
Florida’s offense, maligned against Kentucky, broke loose in the second quarter. Jordan Scarlett ran for 56 yards on six carries and a 30-yard touchdown. Florida’s Daveon Pierce led all rushers with 87 yards on five carries, including a 68-yard touchdown with 6:17 left to play.
Franks struggled in the first quarter, but he also threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Swain for a 27-0 lead. He finished 8-of-15 for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Van Jefferson caught two passes for 62 yards and a touchdown.
Florida’s defense kept the pressure on Colorado State quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels most of the game, sacking him five times. Defensive end Jabari Zuniga led with 2.5 sacks.
Carta-Samuels completed 21-of-33 passes for 217 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown pass up the middle to Trey McBride.
The Rams had a couple of chances to hit long gainers, but either Carta-Samuels overthrew them or Rams receivers dropped them.
“They are a good team, but we made too many mistakes,” Carta-Samuels said. “You play a good team, you can’t make those mistakes.”
The game turned on a 7-minute stretch of the second quarter. After Wyatt Bryan missed a 53-yard field goal, Scarlett’s 30-yard touchdown turned a 6-0 lead into a 13-0 edge.
On the next series, an illegal-shift penalty erased CSU downing Florida on the 20. On the repunt, Swain returned the kick 21 yards to the CSU 44. Five plays later, Franks hit Swain on a post route for an 18-yard touchdown to make it 20-0.
On CSU’s next series, Florida’s Amari Burney blocked CSU’s punt into the end zone. Tyrie Cleveland recovered it before it rolled out of the end zone for a 27-0 Gators lead.
Bobo said the victory against Arkansas and challenging Florida have set up the Rams going into next week’s game against Illinois State and two weeks later at San Jose State.
“The score was not indicative of how close the game was,” Bobo said. “We’re right there. We don’t know how good we can be as a football team. We have to take the next step.”
Source : https://www.denverpost.com/2018/09/15/csu-rams-lose-florida-gators/