FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Linebacker Tre Thomas scored on a 44-yard interception return to lead a Colorado State defense that forced five turnovers, Nick Stevens threw three TD passes and the Rams opened their new on-campus stadium with a 58-27 win over Oregon State on a steamy Saturday.
Colorado State moved into its new digs this season after nearly five decades of playing down the road at Hughes Stadium. A raucous 37,583 fans showed up to catch a glimpse of the $220-million facility.
Stevens did his part to make sure it was a successful unveiling by throwing for 334 yards — his third career 300-yard passing game.
The Beavers fumbled twice and threw three interceptions on the way to losing their 14th straight road game.
Oregon State’s Jake Luton finished 27 of 47 for 304 yards and two scores. He also threw three interceptions, including the game-changer in the third quarter. Thomas grabbed a tipped pass out of the air and raced 44 yards for the score to make it 34-20.
For a while, all the “firsts” in the new stadium appeared to be going the way of Oregon State:
— Winning the inaugural coin flip.
— Hauling in the first TD pass (Timmy Hernandez).
— Picking off the first pass (Kyle White).
But Colorado State ended up earning the biggest first of all in its new facility — a win.
OREGON STATE: Coach Gary Andersen stressed the importance of the little things in winning on the road. Costly turnovers, missed receivers and allowing 48 points in the red zone added up to another road loss.
COLORADO STATE: Granted, it is way early. But the Rams took a big step toward a run at a fifth straight bowl game. Their nonconference schedule also includes Colorado and top-ranked Alabama.
THIS & THAT
Colorado State director of athletics Joe Parker said he was so eager for the stadium opener that he arrived at 6:45 a.m. ... Rams RB Dalyn Dawkins caught an 18-yard TD pass and scored on a 3-yard run. ... Oregon State RB Ryan Nall rushed for 115 yards, including a 75-yard TD run in the second quarter.
OREGON STATE: Hosts Portland State next Saturday. The Beavers are 4-0 all-time against the Vikings.
COLORADO STATE: Faces in-state rival Colorado in Denver on Friday. Lost 44-7 to the Buffaloes last season.