Week 3 of the 2020 DII football season featured the first RMAC action of the year. Colorado Mesa edged Chadron State in overtime 10-7. Here are 7 notable numbers from the game:
Colorado Mesa 10, Chadron State 7 (OT)
Saturday was the 30th meeting between Colorado Mesa and Chadron State, ending in a 10-7 overtime win for the Mavericks. CMU broke a scoreless tie on Jesse Rodriquez's 61-yard run in the third quarter, nearly hanging on for the shutout before CSC quarterback Dalton Holst found Jalon'e Rice for a 9-yard strike with 25 seconds remaining. After Holst was intercepted in overtime, placekicker Lucas Ruiz Diaz sealed the victory with a 38-yard field goal. Here's a look at the Mavericks' win, by the numbers:
1 — As in a 1-0 record for Tremaine Jackson as a head coach. Colorado Mesa appointed Jackson as its head coach following stops as a defensive coordinator and assistant at FBS (Texas State) and FCS (Abilene Christian) programs. Jackson's defensive pedigree was on full display Saturday when the Mavericks held Chadron State to 7 points and 58 rushing yards while piling up four sacks and two blocked field goals.
2 — Speaking of kicking, Saturday's game came down to a field goal. Lucas Ruiz Diaz drilled the game-winner from 38 yards out. But leading up to that point, he'd previously missed twice from 45 and 28 yards. Chadron State kicker Drake Holdren missed once as well in addition to having two attempts blocked.
4 — Through 29 years of this series, Colorado Mesa was just 3-11 at home. Believe it or not, the Mavericks won at home the first time they played Chadron State, way back in 1993. It would be another seven years before CMU beat CSC in Grand Junction again followed by a 16-year drought. The Mavericks have now won two of their past three home games against the Eagles and five of the past six meetings overall.
15 — Dating back to the start of the 2018 season, Colorado Mesa has forced multiple turnovers in 15 games, including its 2020 season opener. Jordan Ellis played a part in both takeaways Saturday, first falling on a muffed punt in the third quarter before intercepting Holst in overtime. Those takeaways arguably were the difference in Colorado Mesa's win and that's before you factor in the four sacks and two blocked field goals from the Mavericks' defense in Tremaine Jackson's debut.
22 — CMU nearly posted its first shutout since 2013 before Holst marched the Eagles downfield to force overtime. His touchdown pass to Rice was the quarterback's 22nd consecutive game with a passing touchdown.
23 — Defense is not usually a prevalent theme in the RMAC. But CMU held Chadron State to seven points after the Eagles averaged more than 37 per game last season. The Mavericks' 2020 opener was the first time in 23 games that the program held a team to fewer than 10 points. CMU came within 25 seconds of a shutout, which would've been their first since blanking Fort Lewis in 2013.
173 — A year ago, Colorado Mesa's backfield was a three-pronged rushing attack consisting of Isaac Maestas, Jesse Rodriquez and Trey Windham. After Maestas exited the Chadron State game on the first play from scrimmage, Rodriquez took over. The redshirt sophomore had 22 carries, 173 rushing yards and a 61-yard touchdown. Rodriquez accounted for half of Colorado Mesa's total yardage on Saturday and produced the team's lone touchdown.