Lost in the chaos of the Week 8 college football slate was a truly bizarre ending between Colorado State and Utah State on Friday night — one that once again brings Steve Addazio’s time management skills into question.
The Rams were down 26-24 to the Aggies when they received the ball at their 15-yard line with 44 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Colorado State quarterback Todd Centeio (18 of 29, 282 yards, one touchdown, one interception) completed three quick passes to get into Utah State territory before eventually facing third-and-10 at the Aggies’ 39-yard line. He then hit receiver Ty McCullouch for a 15-yard completion to the Utah State 24 with 11 seconds remaining.
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Colorado State, which had no timeouts remaining, could have spiked the ball and attempted one more pass to get closer for kicker Cayden Camper, who had hit his only previous attempt of the game from 40 yards. But miscommunication between the offense and field goal unit forced a rushed attempt; the offense appeared ready to spike the ball, but was forced to rush off the field in confusion as the field goal team came on with the clock winding down.
The kick ultimately sailed left with one second remaining on the clock. College football rules do not allow for consecutive field goal attempts, however, resulting in the Aggies taking over on downs. A victory kneel ended the game with a Rams loss.
Instead of spiking it on first down and stopping the clock, Colorado State rushed their field goal unit onto the field.
With the clock running, they then missed the potential game-winning field goal. Utah State wins the game. pic.twitter.com/vw3sXclgDP
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) October 23, 2021
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Addazio’s explanation of the way events unfolded did little to engender confidence in his late-game management. He said the “fast field goal” unit came onto the field without being sent by anyone on the coaching staff.
“So, we had fast field goal ready down by where the ball was and the guys took off on the field, the fast field goal team,” Addazio said, via The Coloradoan (Fort Collins, Colo.). “They weren’t sent, but they went and it created that confusion at the end, which is just a shame. We really got set up, it wasn’t like we weren’t set up to kick the field goal. We were set up to kick the field goal, we just didn’t strike it. That’s what happened at the end there. No one sent them in, but they took off on the field.”
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Addazio walked back his comments slightly when asked to clarify what happened, saying he took responsibility for what ultimately was a lack of communication.
“Yeah, I would say to you that they got caught up in the emotion of the game and took off on the field. I’m telling you that’s what I think, I can’t tell you for sure because obviously I’m like, ‘Who sent them on?’ and no one sent them on. So, it just happened, which means it’s my responsibility because that can’t happen but it did happen,” Addazio said. “So, I’ll take responsibility for that. Having said that, we were perfectly set up, ready to kick the field goal. So, um, I don’t believe that had any impact on that field goal whatsoever.”
It’s unfortunate the Rams’ game was lost in part to late-game blunders. Colorado State had overcome a 23-14 deficit with 9:23 remaining in the game to set up the potential game-winning field goal. Regardless, the loss dropped the Rams to 3-4 on the season and 2-1 in Mountain West play.
Colorado State will attempt to get back on track against Boise State on Saturday.