Game 97: Minnesota @ Colorado State

Colorado State likely held the most anticipation for getting their first home game of the season underway. Having started the season with a heartbreaking loss to rival Colorado in Boulder and a crushing shutout loss to top ranked USC, playing in front of a friendly bunch of folks could prove to be the best remedy for their woes. The Golden Gophers travel from Minneapolis with an undefeated record attached to their luggage. The Rams may be glad to be home, but Minnesota may have not been the most welcome guest. The Gophers come in with an impressive running game, while Colorado State still searches for corks to plug their leaky defense.

The party started early outside Hughes Stadium with cars covering every grass blade on the parking lawn. Traditional college antics intensified as kickoff grew near. The Rams certainly made a noticeable entrance into the stadium with canon fires and clouds of smoke. Although the fans emoted great enthusiasm for their team early on, there would be less to cheer for as the evening progressed. A wealth of Gopher fans offered a conspicuous showing both in the tailgating lots and in the stadium. Their journey would be well worth each mile.

Minnesota shot off to a fast start with tailback Marion Barber running the show and running for two immediate scores. By mid-third quarter, the Gophers had amassed a 31-10 advantage and a clear domination of the playing field. Colorado State had few weapons to return the punches thrown by the Gophers. From here, Minnesota defended the scoreboard and quietly ran out the clock. Taillights could be seen in a long steady line exiting the parking lot early.

The Rams fell to 0-3 with the 34-16 defeat and even the most devoted fans projected pictures of dejection. Outside the stadium, an angry silence would be interrupted every so often by a belligerent Gopher fan screaming out wildly. The party was crashed and as Minnesota fans moved toward their conference season undefeated, the Rams found themselves still picking up broken pieces.

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