BOULDER, Colo. – Utah’s stranglehold over the West continued Saturday with the Utes’ lopsided victory over the previously undefeated Buffaloes. The other result in the Rocky Mountains wasn’t surprising in terms of Colorado State’s victory, but the manner in which the Rams beat Air Force turned a few heads.
No. 6 Utah vs. No. 17 Colorado
In a match played at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo., Utah overcame a slow start to eventually hammer Colorado, 64-22.
The Buffs used an unconverted try and a penalty to grab an early 8-0 lead in the early goings of the match. Reliable All-American Taylor Thomas shrunk Colorado’s lead with Utah’s first try of the day, and scrum half Nate Kingsford added a score for the Utes’ initial lead, which they wouldn’t relinquish. Colorado would earn a second try prior to the halftime whistle, but still trailed the Utes, 26-15, at the break
BYU-transfer and new Utah fly half Josh Webber scored a first-half try and kept space between the Utes and Buffs with some phenomenal placekicking from the tee. Utah’s big guns, aided by Colorado’s poor tackling, had a massive second half. All-American hooker Chad Gough got beyond the end line twice, and Kingsford and Thomas added second tries of their own.
The Buffs will look to rebound against Air Force Oct. 24. The match, set for an 11 a.m. MT kickoff, will be game one of a West doubleheader at Infinity Park. After Colorado takes on the Zoomies, Colorado State will butt heads with Wyoming. Both matches will be streamed live via Infinityparkglendale.com.
Utah will be off next weekend, but will seek a 4-0 start to the season when it hosts Air Force Oct. 31.
No. 19 Colorado State vs. No. 12 Air Force
All-American Ben Pinkelman, who was featured in the back row in his team’s loss to Colorado, moved to outside center against Air Force, and stole the show in this in-state rivalry.
By the time Pinkelman scored his first try in the 37th minute, the Rams had already built a 13-6 lead following a penalty from Lance Eberhard and tries from Evan Giest and Eric Pettis.
Down, 20-16, entering the second frame, Air Force put itself on the front foot and scored a converted try to open the half. Colorado State’s Estevan Crispin was subsequently red carded following the try, but having to continue with only 14 players seemed to fuel the Rams, who put their foot on the gas from the 43rd minute on.
Pinkelman would score the next two tries of the game, and fellow Ram Oliver Jenkins did his best Pinkelman impersonation by scoring back-to-back tries of his own. Before fulltime, prop Duncan Frost would touch down for Colorado State, and Pinkelman would get his fourth to push the Rams to a dominant, 56-13, win.