Rams upset by FCS opponent on Ag Day

Orange you glad that it is almost basketball season? Wearing the team’s alternate Ag Day uniforms, Colorado State football concluded what has been a brutal nonconference slate with a 16-point loss to Illinois State at Canvas Stadium Saturday (35-19). The loss to the Redbirds is CSU’s first-ever defeat while wearing the orange and green uniforms and drops the Rams’ overall record to just 1-4.

The Rams struggled to get anything going offensively in the first half and trailed by double digits for much of the contest. As a result, both Collin Hill and K.J. Carta-Samuels were given opportunities to lead the offense.

Carta-Samuels played the majority of the snaps Saturday, and the veteran quarterback had moments he was able to show off his big arm. The most successful offensive plays of the day were both throws downfield from Carta-Samuels to senior wide receiver Olabisi Johnson. Overall, it was a relatively quiet day for the graduate transfer though, as Carta-Samuels finished 15-of-27 for 142 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Hill led one series in the second quarter, before taking over for the rest of the game in the fourth quarter. Although Hill did not lead the team to a comeback victory, it was the best he has looked since returning from a torn ACL last spring. In total, Hill completed nine of his 17 pass attempts and finished the brief outing with 115 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception.

On the outside, Johnson led CSU with seven catches for 107 yards and one touchdown. Nikko Hall also made an impact with three catches for 33 yards and his first career touchdown.

Defensively, it was another long day for CSU football. From start to finish, the Rams struggled to slow Illinois State’s rushing attack. James Robinson did the majority of the damage, carrying the football 22 times for 184 yards and two touchdowns.

When the final cannon sounded Saturday, Illinois State outgained CSU 538-369 in total yardage.

Following Saturday’s deflating loss to an FCS opponent, the Rams will be on a bye next weekend, before traveling to San Jose State on October 6.