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Woody Paige: Colorado goes 3-0 in weird weekend of college football

October 15, 2017 Updated: October 15, 2017 at 8:31 pm
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photo - Air Force linebacker Shaquille Vereen celebrates after recovering a fumble in the end zone against UNLV late in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, at Air Force Academy, Colo. Air Force won 34-30. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Air Force linebacker Shaquille Vereen celebrates after recovering a fumble in the end zone against UNLV late in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, at Air Force Academy, Colo. Air Force won 34-30. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) 

Heavens to Knute Rockne, that was a wild, weird, wacky, winning weekend for the Falcons, the Buffaloes and the Rams.

Good for them.

All three teams came from behind for victories on Saturday/Sunday. All three really needed those victories. All three hadn’t produced victories on the same day/night since Nov. 19 of last season.

All three still have hopes and bowls.

And all three had players with games dreams are made of.

The Air Force game kicked off at High Noon, and the Colorado State game concluded after midnight – with 12 hours of football, fun and fabulous feats in between.

How about 114 points for the local lads? How about a quarterback from one team, a running back from another and the wide receiver from the third combining for 10 touchdowns?

I was Gorilla-Glued to the sofa for much of the three games.

Started with Air Force.

!-27 to zilch-! Only True-Blue Falcons fans could stay with the potential beatdown. I liked the stealth uniforms.

Finished with Colorado State, up and down all night – 14-point lead, four times tied, 11-point deficit.

Mesmerized by Colorado trailing four late to the worst team in the Pac-12.
The Buffs had dropped three in a row after opening the season with three straight victories. After rising in 2016, CU was falling again in the conference. If they didn’t win against Oregon State in Corvallis, aspirations of a postseason game seemed slim and slight.

The Falcons had been defeated in four consecutive games after an opening victory. A trouncing at home to Nevada-Las Vegas would push the possibilities of a broken season with road games at CSU and Boise State, and the military match with Army at home, ahead.

Meanwhile, the Rams were ascending with two victories after playing respectably in a loss to No. 1-ranked Alabama. CSU was first in the Mountain division of the Mountain West.

It seemed at times on Saturday that three of the state’s major football programs would be frustrated. Colorado and Air Force are trying to reach at least six victories to qualify for at least a lesser bowl, and Colorado State is attempting to be the host of the conference’s championship game in its new stadium.

But, the Falcons set the tone with a rally of epic proportions, scoring the final four touchdowns against the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. With 27 minutes left in the second half, UNLV was ahead 30-7. With 2:14 remaining, it was 34-30 for the Falcons.

Colorado was next in the afternoon, and next to be stunned. Yet, with 4:22 to go, the Buffs scored to surpass the Beavers and hung to win 36-33.

At last, at 8:30 p.m., the Rams breezed away early, then went to sleep while Nevada awakened. Ultimately, Colorado State, behind 42-31, was ahead 44-42 and won its fifth victory. Nationally-ranked San Diego State lost, and, suddenly, the Rams become the MWC favorites, and could get into the Las Vegas Bowl, which takes the No. 1 seed from the Mountain West (unless the conference champions is selected by a New Year’s Bowl).

All three teams had stars:

Air Force quarterback Arion Worthman was worthy of his name with five rushing touchdowns and 166 yards on 30 carries. Only five players in Division 1 football have more than the junior’s 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Colorado’s Phillip Lindsay, who has been a genuine Buffalo out of the backfield in his career in Boulder, rushed 16 times for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He is fifth in the country in rushing yards with 995, and the senior has valid credentials to reach the 2,000-yard level.

Colorado State senior Michael Gallup – probably the premier wide receiver in college football – caught 13 passes – many of them Ringling Bros. aerial acts – for 263 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He is No. 1 in Division 1 with 948 yards on 59 receptions.

Rams quarterback Nick Stevens passed for 384 yards and four TDs, and Dalyn Dawkins rushed for 191 yards.

What a wonderful weekend for CSU and Gallup, Stevens and Dawkins, CU and Lindsay and Air Force and Worthman.

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