Rams Shut Down by Louisville

At the end of last season, the Conference USA Champions, the Louisville Cardinals, and the Mountain West Champs, the Colorado State Rams, met and battled through four quarters of entertaining football in the Axa Liberty Bowl. The Rams finally won that contest 22-17. The two teams met against Thursday night in Louisville, and the winning team was not all that was very different.

In a mistake-filled game not suited for prime time viewing, the Cardinals shut out the CSU offense, and won 7-2. It was just about that well played.

The Rams managed just 148 yards of total offense and 11 first downs, most of that after halftime. It was their lowest offensive output since 1993. CSU failed to get on the scoreboard until Andre Sommersall blocked a Louisville punt that rolled out of the end zone for a safety with just under six minutes to play to get the Rams on the scoreboard.

Starting quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt completed just 10 of 23 passes for 87 yards, lost fumble and was intercepted three times. He was actually picked off on consecutive plays in the third quarter...after the first INT, the Cardinal's fumbled the ball back to CSU during the return. An errant Van Pelt pass gave it right back to Louisville again on the next play. The Rams also had a punt blocked, and suffered a couple of painful dropped passes.

The sloppiness worked both ways.

The Cardinals did manage a second quarter touchdown pass from Quarterback Dave Ragone, but also lost a fumble on the Rams' three yard line, lost the other fumble after the interception of Van Pelt, and had two of Ragone's ill-advised passes picked off.

The final Rams interception came when Louisville inexplicabily opted to pass with less than two minutes to go. Ragone's pass into the flat was picked off by Ameer Lowe, who set the CSU offense well into Louisville territory. But even with the gift, CSU could not get on the board - Van Pelt's fourth down pass was intercepted in the end zone.

Louisville managed just 32 rushing yards on 32 attempts, and only 5 first downs against the Rams defense. CSU now has some extra time to gear up for a visit by the 10th ranked Fresno State Bulldogs on October 13th.


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