CSU erases 18 point deficit in comeback victory over Arkansas

Colorado State football (1-2) appeared to be dead in the water against the visiting Arkansas Razorbacks (1-1) Saturday night, but the Rams rallied to erase an 18 point second half deficit and win the ballgame 34-27. The victory over Arkansas is CSU's second-ever over an SEC opponent and first of the 2018 season. 

Looking at CSU's performance, it was a much improved defensive effort from the Rams, and had it not been for a slow start offensively, the home team likely would have been in this game from the start.

"I'm so proud of this football team for the fight that they showed tonight," head coach Mike Bobo said. "I told them after the game I would not have wanted to win it any other way. Your back is against the wall, things aren't going great, but they continue to fight and continue to believe. We talked about it all week-not words, but action. "

CSU gave up 421 yards through the first three quarters Saturday night, but the Rams did not give up a large amount of explosive plays like they did in the first two games. And when the game mattered most, the defense was able to buckle down and get a pair of crucial third down stops in the fourth quarter to keep the comeback hopes alive. 

Given the chance to stay in the game, CSU's offense, led by senior quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels, outscored the Razorbacks 17-0 and controlled the football for 10:20 in the fourth quarter. Carta-Samuels completed 22-of-27 pass attempts in the second half and threw a pair of touchdowns to wide receiver Preston Williams. Williams finished with 12 receptions for 154 yards and two receiving touchdowns in the comeback. 

CSU had three total scoring drives in the fourth quarter, including a six play 67-yard game-winning series, which was capped off with a rushing touchdown from senior back Izzy Matthews. Following the team's first win of the season, Matthews said that scoring the game-winning touchdown was euphoric and that the team's victory was so unbelievable it could not have been scripted better in Hollywood. 

Senior running back Izzy Matthews scores the game-winning touchdown against Arkansas Saturday night.   PHOTO:   Joe Oakman | Rocky Mountain Collegian

Senior running back Izzy Matthews scores the game-winning touchdown against Arkansas Saturday night. PHOTO: Joe Oakman | Rocky Mountain Collegian

"Senior year, SEC opponent, and you're the one that gets to lead in and score the game-winning touchdown. Lift up your linemen and everyone's eyes are on you," Matthews said. "After the game, the crowd and entire community is going crazy. That's what football is about and you've got to love it. I am still at a loss for words."

When the final cannon blew, Matthews had nine carries for 41 yards and one extremely important rushing touchdown. Through the air, Carta-Samuels completed 32-of-47 pass attempts for 389 yards and two touchdowns. 

After the defeating the Razorbacks in a season changing victory Saturday, CSU will travel to Gainesville, Florida for a matchup with the Gators in the swamp next weekend.