DENVER --The Colorado State Rams dominated the Colorado Buffaloes with an impressive second half performance to kick off the college football season in Denver Friday night.
The two rivals met in the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The underdog Rams won 31-17 after scoring 24 unanswered points.
It's the 86th meeting between the rivals, with the Buffaloes leading 62-21-2, including 8-5 in games in Denver. CU has won three of the past four meetings, including 41-27 last year in coach Mike MacIntyre's debut. In 2012, CSU beat CU 22-17 in coach Jim McElwain's debut.
63,000+ showed up for the rivalry game at the Broncos' stadium.
CSU was down 10-0 in the 2nd quarter with Dee Hart showed that a little guy can sure be one tough running back. His touchdown brought the Rams within 3 at 10-7.
The Buffaloes caused a turnover at the start of the 3rd quarter and then Sefo Liufau threw to Nelson Spruce for a one-handed grab. CU had a 17-7 lead.
But it was time for the Rams to come roaring back.
Treyous Jarrells ran the ball into the end zone for the Rams to make it 17-14. CSU's running game looked strong against CU Friday night.
The Rams defense stood tough and then CSU QB Garrett Grayson lobbed it to Rashard Higgins for another TD. CSU scored yet again and with time winding down in the 4th quarter, the Rams had a 28-17 lead. A late field goal of 52 yards extended the lead to 31-17 with 2:39 left in the game.
CU is coming off a 4-8 season. It has not had a winning since 2005 and last went to a bowl in 2007, when it lost to Alabama 30-24 in the Independence Bowl.
The Buffs are 0-1 as they travel to UMass for a game next weekend.
CSU lost three of its first four games last season, but then went 6-3 to claim a bowl berth and rallied to beat Washington State 48-45 in the New Mexico Bowl to finish 8-6. The Rams head to Boise State next Saturday.