That's the average score of a Utah-Colorado State game from 1995 to 2005. During that span, the Utes were only 2-6 against the Rams (with those two wins coming under Urban Meyer in 2003 & 2004). The average score, though, is actually in Utah's favor by .5-points due to their complete and utter domination of CSU in 2004 (63-31). But even if you take that game out, one thing is clear - for much of the 90s and the early 00s, neither team rarely blew the other out. In fact, the Rams' largest margin of victory over Utah during that span was eight from their 2002 game.
Much has changed since 2005 - a Utah loss that happened after a CSU goal line stand. For starters, Colorado State isn't coached by Sonny Lubick anymore. He retired after the 2007 season. Instead, they're now coached by Steve Fairchild, who guided the Rams to a New Mexico Bowl win in his first season.
The other major change in this series has been the dynamics of each of the last three contests. The Utes are 3-0 since 2006, more wins than they recorded during the eight meetings prior. But beyond that, the way Utah has won is different than anything we've seen in this rivalry for a long time. Because they've not only won, they've pretty much dominated.
That's the average score over the last three games. A stark contrast to what we saw over the decade prior. A lot of that has to do with the downfall of CSU football in the waning years of the Lubick era. In fact, much of it does. They just weren't very good in 2006 and 2007. Yet their best team in a while, the '08 Rams, were run off the field against Utah. It was a lopsided loss and arguably Utah's best performance of the season overall outside of the Sugar Bowl.
What this means for Saturday I really don't know. But it's interesting how fast this series shifted in Utah's favor. Especially when you realize they're 5-1 since the McBride-era ended. Which is fitting, because McBride could never get over the hump against the Rams. Something I always found interesting because one of his defining victories came in 1994 against a ranked Colorado State team on the road. That was one of the greatest games in WAC history (hell, the greatest) and after that, his Utes wouldn't beat them again. Sure, they challenged and often lost in the closing minutes, but 0-5 is 0-5 regardless of how close the games actually were.
So the tables have certainly turned in this series. It went from one where the Rams were barely edging Utah to a series dominated by the Utes. My hope is that this carries over to Saturday and we see a performance similar to 2006, 2007 and 2008 - all easy Utah victories.
If that happens, you've got to wonder if those close and heated games of yesteryear will ever return.