No. 9 CSU-Pueblo upset in home opener by No. 17 Colorado School of Mines

Posted at 11:17 PM, Sep 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-22 01:30:48-04

PUEBLO — The No. 9 Colorado State University-Pueblo football team had its 15-game home winning streak snapped at the hands of the No. 17 Colorado School of Mines, Saturday at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl. The ThunderWolves lost the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest, 34-14.

The Pack (2-1, 2-1 RMAC) scored on the opening drive of the game, which saw the team go 75 yards in five plays with just 1:22 off the game clock. Quarterback Jordan Kitna (R-So., Dallas, Texas) capped the drive with a 13-yard keeper to the end zone.

Mines (3-0, 3-0 RMAC) responded on their first possession, traveling 75 yards in 10 plays, and it appeared the top-25 matchup was going to be a shootout. Unfortunately, the Pack offense failed to keep their momentum rolling, while the Orediggers stayed in rhythm to score three more times before half and take a 28-7 lead into the locker room.

Pack penalties aided two more long drives by Mines, which included a penalty negating an interception that would have ended a scoring drive. Also, a blocked punt right before half handed the ball on the Pack's 11 yard-line, allowing them to punch one in before the break.

Neither team scored in the third, but Mines put an exclamation point on their RMAC road win 56 seconds into the fourth to push the score to 34-7. Kitna hit senior running back Austin Micci (Colorado Springs, Colo.) on a dump pass that the senior took 32 yards to the paint to move the score to 34-14 with 9:38 remaining. The score would be the last for the game.

Mines finished with 401 yards on 76 plays, while the ThunderWolves totaled 278 yards on 50 plays. The road team finished with a balanced 201 yards passing and 200 rushing. The Orediggers shutdown the Pack run game and allowed just 27 yards on 20 carries to a team averaging 269.5 rushing yards per game entering the contest. Mines came into the game leading the nation in rushing defense after allowing -0.5 yards per game in the first two weeks.

Penalties were an issue, as the home team totaled 96 yards on nine infractions. CSU-Pueblo had been disciplined in the first two weeks and had a league-low nine penalties that ranked 13th nationally.

Sophomore wide receiver Nick Williams (Aurora, Colo.) posted a career game with six receptions for 102 yards. His long reception went for 43 yards.

Kitna finished 20-for-30 for 251 yards with one touchdown and one interception, his first of the season. He netted nine yards rushing with a score on the ground.

Next up will be a home matchup with the 2-0 and No. 12 University of Texas A&M-Commerce Lions, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. at the ThunderBowl. Last season the Pack rebounded from a road loss to the Orediggers and went to Texas and defeated the then-No. 1 Lions, 23-13.