Rocky Mountain Showdown: Nearly 74,000 tickets sold as Rams and Buffaloes fans pack Mile High

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It was a late-arriving crowd at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, but fans from the University of Colorado and

It was a late-arriving crowd at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, but fans from the University of Colorado and Colorado State showed out in full force Friday night for the Rocky Mountain Showdown.

A total of 73,932 tickets were sold, and by halftime, more than 65,000 had been scanned. That number was expected to rise, though, as a 6 p.m. weekday kickoff delayed attendance for many just leaving work. A final count was not immediately available.

The Showdown had cracked 70,000 in attendance just five previous times in the game’s history: 2003 (76,219), 2002 (75,531), 2001 (75,022), 1999 (73,438) and 1998 (76,036).

Buffaloes strike first.

CU began its second offensive possession at its own 6-yard line, but reached consecutive first downs on Shay Fields receptions, plus an additional 15-yard penalty against CSU defensive end Jakob Buys for roughing the passer. The Buffaloes took full advantage four plays later when running back Phillip Lindsay ran 45 yards, almost untouched, for a score. It marked the longest first touchdown to open a CU season in program history.

Lindsay finished the game with 19 carries for 140 yards.

BOX SCORE: Colorado 17, Colorado State 3

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 1

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado Buffaloes running back Phillip Lindsay (23) kisses the Rocky Mountain Showdown trophy as its held by wide receiver Shay Fields (1) after their win over the Colorado State Rams 17-3 on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field.

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    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado Buffaloes head coach Mike MacIntyre laughs as he walks off the field with Colorado Buffaloes punter Alex Kinney (89) after their wing over the Colorado State Rams 17-3 in the Rocky Mountain Show down on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field.

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    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado Buffaloes head coach Mike MacIntyre shakes hands with Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Ryan Moeller (25) on the bench late in the fourth quarter during the Rocky Mountain Show down on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field. The Buffaloes defeated the Rams 17-3.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 4

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams wide receiver Warren Jackson (9) catches a pass in front of Colorado Buffaloes Trey Udoffia (8) in the fourth quarter during the Rocky Mountain Show down on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field. Udoffia forced a fumble on the play and recovered by Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Afolabi Laguda (1) and returned for 11 yards. The Buffaloes defeated the Rams 17-3.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 5

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams wide receiver Warren Jackson (9) catches a pass in front of Colorado Buffaloes Trey Udoffia (8) in the fourth quarter during the Rocky Mountain Show down on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field. Udoffia forced a fumble on the play and recovered by the Buffaloes. The Buffaloes defeated the Rams 17-3.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 6

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams quarterback Nick Stevens (7) hurry his throw as he gets pressure from Colorado Buffaloes defensive end Leo Jackson III (52) in the fourth quarter during the Rocky Mountain Show down on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field. The Buffaloes defeated the Rams 17-3.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 7

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado Buffaloes linebacker Drew Lewis (20) puts a big hit on Colorado State Rams quarterback Nick Stevens (7) after his throw during the fourth quarter during the Rocky Mountain Show down on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 8

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams quarterback Nick Stevens (7) is sacked by Colorado Buffaloes linebacker Jacob Callier (44) during the second quarter on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 9

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams wide receiver Olabisi Johnson (81) caches a pass in front of Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Anthony Julmisse (8) during the second quarter on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 10

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams quarterback Nick Stevens (7) is sacked by Colorado Buffaloes linebacker Jacob Callier (44) during the second quarter on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 11

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams wide receiver Olabisi Johnson (81) caches a pass in front of Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Anthony Julmisse (8) during the second quarter on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 12

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams quarterback Nick Stevens (7) is brought down by Colorado Buffaloes linebacker Drew Lewis (20) and Colorado Buffaloes defensive end Leo Jackson III (52) who grabs him by the facemark during the second quarter on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 13

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams wide receiver Michael Gallup (4) stretches out for a pass but can't hang on as Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Isaiah Oliver (26) defends on the play during the second quarter agains the Colorado Buffaloes on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 14

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams quarterback Nick Stevens (7) launches a pass down field during the second quarter agains the Colorado Buffaloes on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 15

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Steven Montez (12) looks to throw downfield agains the Colorado State Rams defense during the second quarter on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 16

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams quarterback Nick Stevens (7) hands off to Colorado State Rams running back Rashaad Boddie (28) during the second quarter agains the Colorado Buffaloes on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver.

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    Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Steven Montez (12) scrambles out of the pocket against the Colorado State Rams during the second quarter on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 18

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado Buffaloes running back Phillip Lindsay (23) picks up some yards on a run against the Colorado State Rams defense during the first quarter on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 19

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado Buffaloes running back Phillip Lindsay (23) picks up some yards on a run as Colorado State Rams safety Jamal Hicks (7) moves in during the first quarter on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 20

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado Buffaloes running back Phillip Lindsay (23) picks up some yards on a run agains the Colorado State Rams defense during the first quarter on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 21

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams wide receiver Michael Gallup (4) picks up a few yards after catch as Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Isaiah Oliver (26) comes in for the tackle during the first quarter on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 22

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado Buffaloes wide receiver Shay Fields (1) walks in to the end zone after catching a 31 yd touchdown pass from quarterback Steven Montez (12) during the second quarter as Colorado State Rams safety Justin Sweet (29) looks on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado during the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 23

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams quarterback Nick Stevens (7) barks out the call at the line of scrimmage against the Colorado Buffaloes on Sept. 1, 2017 during the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 24

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams quarterback Nick Stevens (7) is forced to throw an errant pass by Colorado Buffaloes linebacker Rick Gamboa (32) during the first quarter on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver.

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    Colorado State Rams quarterback Nick Stevens (7) avoids Colorado Buffaloes linebacker Jacob Callier (44) during the first quarter on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 26

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado Buffaloes take a knee with the flag after introductions against the Colorado State Rams on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 27

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado Buffaloes mascot Ralphie heads to the trailer after running the field with the team against the Colorado State Rams on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado during the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 28

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado Buffaloes mascot Ralphie heads to the trailer after running the field with the team against the Colorado State Rams on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado during the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field.

  • rocky-mountain-showdown-nearly-74000-tickets-sold-as-rams-and-buffaloes-fans-pack-mile-high photo 29

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams head coach Mike Bobo and Colorado Buffaloes head coach Mike MacIntyre shake hands before their game on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado during gate Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field.

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    Graham Wadman sport his Rams hat as he tailgates prior to the Colorado Buffaloes Colorado State Rams game on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field.

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    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: Colorado Buffaloes students party on during a tailgate prior to the game against the Colorado State Rams on September 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

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    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Chris Carlson works on some sidewalk chalk art prior to the Colorado Buffaloes Colorado State Rams game on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver.

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    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Colorado State Rams students dance to the music during a tailgate prior to the game against the Colorado Buffaloes on Sept. 1, 2017 in Denver at Sports Authority Field.

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Backyard ball.

Early in the second quarter and facing second-and-10 from the CSU 31-yard line, CU quarterback Steven Montez scrambled on a broken play before settling outside the pocket toward the near sideline. Streaking to the opposite corner of the end zone was receiver Shay Fields, who caught a Montez deep ball in stride to score. With the addition a 39-yard field goal in the first quarter, the Buffaloes led 17-0.

Montez was plenty effective through two quarters, completing 12-of-16 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. He finished the game 12-of-29 for 202 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Rams can’t capitalize.

CSU cornerback Kevin Nutt wrestled the ball away from CU receiver Devin Ross midway through the first quarter with a turnover that gave the Rams possession at the Buffaloes’ 47-yard line. CSU didn’t make them pay. The Rams went for it on fourth-and-2 at the 39, but their pass attempt fell incomplete.

CSU was again in CU territory with less than a minute left in the half, but quarterback Nick Stevens took consecutive sacks as time expired. The Rams’ only points came on a Wyatt Bryan 31-yard field goal.

Gallup held in check early.

CSU receiver Michael Gallup entered Friday’s matchup with at least 100 receiving yards in six straight games — a streak that came to an end Friday. Gallup caught five passes for 67 yards. The senior was blanketed much of the game by CU cornerback Isaiah Oliver. One deep catch by Gallup was negated by an offensive pass interference call.

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