No. 2 CSUP Holds Down Oredigger Offense In 35-21 Win
GOLDEN – Visiting and second-ranked CSU-Pueblo held the second-ranked Colorado School of Mines offense to season lows in total offense and passing yards in posting a 35-21 victory on Saturday at Campbell Field in Golden.
Mines (4-3, 2-3 RMAC) also posting a season-low in plays with 71 after averaging 92.5 per game through six contests. CSUP (7-0, 5-0 RMAC) posted over 36 minutes of possession time while racking up 249 rushing yards. The win at Campbell Field was CSUP's first victory in Golden since the 1982 season.
Mines opened the game with possession, and put points up right away with a five-yard touchdown pass from Matt Brown to Cody Renken to cap off a 17-play, 84-yard drive. Avery Llewellyn's point after attempt would be good, giving Mines a 7-0 lead with 10:26 to play in the first quarter.
Trevor Stubbs forced a fumble by CSUP quarterback Ross Dausin that was picked up by Ryan Wood on the ThunderWolves' 16-yard line, and Mines increased its lead on a two-yard touchdown from Brown to Jerrod Doucet – putting Mines up 14-0 with 2:41 to go in the first quarter after Llewellyn's extra point.
CSUP recorded its first takaway of the ballgame with an interception of Brown on the Mines 37 yard line. CSUP used the opportunity to get on the board for the first time with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Dausin to Paul Browning – trimming the Oredigger lead to 14-7 with 12:29 to play in the first half.
The ThunderWolves turned a sack fumble into more points with a 38-yard field goal by Greg O'Donnell with 5:46 to play in the quarter.
Mines needed just one play from scrimmage to add to its lead after Brown dumped off a short pass to Renken, who broke free from multiple would-be tacklers in scampering 81 yards for his second touchdown of the half to put Mines up 21-10 with 5:24 to play in the first half.
CSUP nearly added three more points at the end of the first half when O'Donnell buried a 48-yard field goal, but the play was nullified by a facemask penalty by the ThunderWolves, forcing the team to punt to end the half.
After the break, the weather turned in favor of the run-oriented ThunderWolves' attack, and CSUP used it to its advantage in posting 248 yards of offense in the third quarter, compared to 24 by Mines. After a lights-out first half on offense, the vaunted Oredigger pass attack was hampered by wet conditions and could not roll over its success from the first half.
Cameron McDondle notched a three-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 21-17, and two Dausin scoring tosses – a 34-yarder to Roger Pfannenschmid and a 45-yarder to Marcial Williamson put the visitors up 35-21 and after a scoreless fourth stanza, the score would hold up as the final.
Brown finished with 239 passing yards on 25-of-49 passing with three touchdowns, but was intercepted once and fumbled on a sack for two turnovers in the game.
Renken, the reigning RMAC Offensive Player of the Week, added to his season totals with seven receptions for 128 yards and two scores during the contest. The senior now leads the team in touchdown receptions with nine.
Doucet added seven catches for 56 yards and a score, while tight end David Pawelek was held under season averages for both categories with five catches for 24 yards.
Junior Tyler Denson led the defense with a career-high 19 tackles, including a sack, a forced fumble, and 1.5 tackle for loss. His 19 tackles fell two short of tying the school record and stands as the most by an Oredigger since Jared Heath set the school record against South Dakota in 2005.
Kelly Zimmerman and Wood each added nine stops and 0.5 tackle for loss while Wood added a fumble recovery.
Senior punter Taylor Accardi had another strong game despite the wet conditions with seven punts at an average of 52.6 yards per kick, including a 74 yarder that bounced into the end zone for a touchback and a 71 yarder that was downed at the CSUP six yard line. He put two of his kicks inside the CSUP 20-yard line after entering the contest as the national leader in punting average.
Mines will continue its two-game home swing on Saturday when the squad hosts Colorado Mesa at Campbell Field at noon.