Colorado State decided that one Hail Mary game-winner wasn’t good enough for Week 7 of the college football season.
On Thursday night, Houston shocked West Virginia by connecting on a Hail Mary as time expired. And then on late Saturday night, Colorado managed to do the same to stun Boise State, 31-30.
Boise State had a 30-24 lead with six seconds remaining in regulation when Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi lobbed one into traffic in the end zone. Boise State’s defensive backs did what they were supposed to do. They knocked the ball down. However, it landed right into the waiting arms of Dallin Holker for a touchdown.
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That miracle play tied the score at 30-30. And as the Rams celebrated, they were hit with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to push the extra point back. It wouldn’t matter. Jordan Noyes calmly knocked through the game-winning PAT to give Colorado State an improbable victory.
It was a stunning turn of events for the Rams, who trailed 30-10 with 6:12 to play. Despite the 20-point deficit, Colorado State was able to embark on a wild comeback. First, CSU went 75 yards in six plays and scored at the 4:01 mark to cut Boise State’s lead to 30-17.
An onside kick followed, and Colorado State recovered it. The Rams quickly drove deep into Boise State territory and had a first-and-goal at the 7. A few plays later, though, it looked like Boise State had finally gotten the stop it needed, but a pass interference penalty in the end zone on fourth-and-goal kept CSU’s drive alive.
On the play that followed the penalty, Fowler-Nicolosi hit Dylan Goffney for another touchdown that cut Boise State’s lead to 30-24 with 1:53 remaining.
Colorado State then tried another onside kick. The first try was recovered, but a penalty took the recovery off the board. The penalty forced a retry, and Boise State came up with the ball the second time around. The Broncos tried to close out the game but were unable to run out the rest of the clock and had to punt it back to CSU with 33 seconds to play.
That allowed Fowler-Nicolosi to go back to work. He hit Goffney for 11 yards and then found Tory Horton behind the defense for a 44-yard gain to the Boise State 33. Fowler-Nicolosi then spiked the ball with six seconds remaining to stop the clock, opening the door for the miracle finish.
With the win, Colorado State improved to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in Mountain West play on the season. CSU has won three of four since its high-profile double-overtime loss at Colorado back on Sept. 16.
Boise State, meanwhile, dropped to 3-4 after an unthinkable loss. The Broncos had losses to Washington, UCF and Memphis in non-conference play. Last week, they overcame a 27-7 deficit to San Jose State and won 35-27 to improve to 2-0 in Mountain West play. Now, Boise is 2-1 in conference play heading into the bye week.
With the loss, Boise State head coach Andy Avalos has a 20-13 record in three seasons. The Broncos have at least four losses in each of Avalos’ three seasons on the job. Before the Broncos went 7-5 in 2021, Avalos’ first season, they had four losses just twice in the previous 15 years.