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Dedicated to the Preservation of Athletic History at Colorado State University
November 2009 Feature
There have been 41 football games between the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University since the Bronze Boot was established
as a traveling trophy in 1968. The all-time record for games in the Border War when the Bronze Boot has been on the line stands at 21-20 in
favor of the Rams to make this one of the closest rivalries in the nation. The term “Border War” has only been common with this rivalry since
the early 1980s (let’s face it Kansas and Missouri are the original border war dating to before the game of football was created.), but the
Bronze Boot has become a cherished trophy for both schools and the battle for it has created some amazing football games.

We asked CSU and Wyoming fans what they think are the best games in which the Bronze Boot has been on the line. In chronological order,
we have listed what those fans feel rank as the greatest battles for the Bronze Boot.
Great Battles for the Bronze Boot 1968-2008
October 10, 1970
CSU 6 Wyo 16
at Hughes Stadium
CSU head football coach Jerry Wampfler stated before the 1970 game against the Pokes, “You can throw all the records out the window when
these two schools meet.” Wampfler was so right, because the University of Wyoming football team had been in a seven-game losing streak due
to the “Black 14” incident in 1969 when 14 Wyoming players had been kicked off the team after a racial protest against BYU. With the Cowboys
and their embattled coach Lloyd Eaton in a struggle, Wampfler also stated, “I don’t think I’ll have to get them up, they realize the importance of
this game.” On a wet day, Lawrence McCutcheon and the Rams gave it their best in front of 24,430 fans at Hughes Stadium, but a determined
Cowboy team intercepted CSU quarterback Wayne Smith four times for a 16-6 win. Wyoming did not win another game in 1970.
October 29, 1977
CSU 13 Wyo 29
at War Memorial Stadium
The greatest season in 11 years unfolded for the Rams in 1977 and only one loss to BYU still kept them in the hunt for their first WAC title. The
CSU “Big Green” defense ranked eighth in the nation in rush defense going into Laramie on October 29th, but it was not only the 215 yards of
rushing by Cowboy Myron Hardeman that steam rolled the Rams, but five field goals by Wyoming kicker Dan Christopulo that took CSU out of
the WAC race. A crowd of 25,584 at War Memorial Stadium also watched CSU quarterback Dan Graham throw three interceptions. This game
marked the second and final loss for CSU in 1977 and had they won, they at least could have gone to the Fiesta Bowl. This game helped fuel the
fire of the Border War for years to come.
October 28, 1978
CSU 3 Wyo 13
at Hughes Stadium
Rarely does a game go down in history for what happened before the coin toss, but the 1978 game is one of those that has legendary written all
over it for the pregame brawl. With the Rams down on the season, CSU coach Sark Arslanian wanted to do something different to help stimulate
the team. First, he declared the entire team the captains for the coin toss. Next, the Rams were absent for the pre-game warm ups and did not
show up at Hughes Stadium until moments before the game. Then, the Rams and their coach ran onto the Hughes Stadium field not through the
tunnel on the south side of the stadium, but rather from the top of the east side stands where the CSU Students sat and still sit today.

When the Rams ran down the steps and then onto the field, all players ran to the center of the field for the coin toss. Not knowing Coach Sark
had declared the entire team captains (which was legal at that time) the Wyoming players, who were already on the sideline getting ready for the
game, thought the CSU players were going to rush them. All Wyoming players then ran to the middle of the field and stood toe to toe with the
Rams. Cowboy players jeered the Rams and Ram players taunted the Cowboys.

Then the first punch was thrown (too many stories say who really threw the first punch) and a fight between players broke out before the coin
had been tossed. Three separate times the fights came and when it was all over, the Rams received a 15 yard penalty and the NCAA later
adopted a new rule about how many players could act as team captains.

Few people remember the Rams lost the game partly because of a questionable call by the referees. After the game ended, CSU offensive
coordinator Charlie Armey followed the referee that made the bad call to the locker room and is reported to have punched him. Nothing has ever
topped the pregame brawl for wackiest Border War games.
November 1, 1980
CSU 28 Wyo 25
at Hughes Stadium
Few games are remembered for the final drive and even fewer drives take less than 50 seconds, but on November 1, 1980, one of the greatest
80-yard touchdown drives in CSU history took place at Hughes Stadium when Ram quarterback Steve Fairchild took control of his offense.
Back up to the beginning of the fourth quarter when the Rams led Wyoming 21-10 and in control, but as the rival games go, the Cowboys
poured on the steam to jump ahead of the Rams 25-21 with just 48 seconds left in the game. Fairchild took over at the 20 yard line with 43
seconds left and on five passes, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Mike Camp to win the game with only four seconds on the clock, the
Rams took home the Bronze Boot for the second year in a row.
October 25, 1986
CSU 20 Wyo 15
at Hughes Stadium
The Rams seemed to be heading to a Cinderella season in 1986 and the annual Border War looked to be a major hurdle in the march toward the
first WAC championship for CSU. With 31,856 reported fans in attendance, a 58-yard field goal by Steve DeLine, touchdown by Steve Bartalo
and key interception of Wyoming QB Scott Runyan by CSU’s Jim King helped lead the Rams to a 20-15 win. Bartalo’s touchdown made him the
all-time WAC leader in career touchdowns to that date and Ron Cortell’s 13 tackles helped save the day. This game also mars the last time
anybody sat in the grass on the north end of Hughes Stadium after a student slipped and fell down to the bottom of the hill and cracked his head
open. An ambulance had to be brought on the field, the game placed on hold and during the retrieval of accounting major Christopher Kerlin from
his bloody mess, drunk students pelted the ambulance with sod.
November 3, 1990
CSU 17 (#19)Wyo 8
at Hughes Stadium
Earle Bruce had revitalized the Rams in 1990 and with the 19th ranked Cowboys at Hughes Stadium for a crucial game, he pulled out all of the
stops to smash them in the mouth for a win. In front of 30,111 fans at Hughes Stadium, the unbeaten Wyoming Cowboys entered Fort Collins
with the Rams on a four-game home winning streak. The game featured Bruce’s best smash mouth football and an exciting game in which the
Cowboys came very close to beating CSU only to lose a fumble at the three-yard line with 6:15 left in the game to preserve a Ram win. CSU
safety Adolf Renaud, filled in for Andy Byrne and forced the fumble that brought Ram fans onto the field to tear down the goalposts afterward.
The win helped propel CSU to their first bowl game since 1948 and Wyoming did not win another game, including the Copper Bowl, the rest of
November 20, 1993
CSU 41 Wyo 21
at War Memorial Stadium
New CSU head coach Sonny Lubick had new momentum in his rebuild of the Rams in 1993. He had not lost a game in the month of November
and with several Earle Bruce veterans, Lubick knew how important the Border War was to finish the season. ABC picked up the game on
regional television in a day before satellite dishes on every home, and the game was carried in a rare TV appearance. Behind quarterback
Anthoney Hill, running backs EJ Watson and Leonice Brown, the Rams scored 41 points and the Ram defense held Wyoming to 21. The game is
seen as the breakout of Lubick’s career at CSU and helped propel the Rams into their great 1994 season.
November 5, 1994
(#14)CSU 35 Wyo 24
at Hughes Stadium
The Rams entered their November 5, 1994 game against Wyoming ranked 14th in the nation and with only one loss on the season. A national
television audience watched a night game at Hughes Stadium and the Rams looked as if they would fall before the 35,514 fans in attendance with
the Cowboy’s Ryan Christopherson running all over the CSU defense. With the Rams down 24-7 and on their own 33-yard line, Ram punter
Matt McDougal  faked his punt and threw to an wide open Andre Strode who ended up at the Wyoming 32-yard line. That play could possibly
be the Bronze Boot era equivalent of the 1966 Cowboy Special and it woke up the lack-luster Rams as they beat the Cowboys 35-24. Ram fans
(especially students) were so excited they tried to rush the field before the game ended. They did eventually tear down the goal posts and the
Rams went on to their greatest season and first 10-win season in school history, including their first WAC championship.
November 16, 1996
CSU 24 (#23)Wyo 25
at Hughes Stadium
Ranked 23rd in the nation with a 9-1 record, the Wyoming Cowboys came to Hughes Stadium to face 33,701 fans and the possibility of losing
the WAC Pacific Division if they lost to CSU. The Rams, with a 7-4 record tried to win the WAC Pacific Division with a win over Wyoming and
possibly head toward their third WAC championship in a row. An epic game that both CSU and Wyoming fans agree was the Border War battle
of the decade with Ram running back Calvin Branch rushing for 172 yards. The Rams fell behind 0-13 in the first half before exploding to 24
unanswered points in the second half behind Branch and quarterback Moses Moreno. Wyoming quarterback Josh Wallwork and the Cowboys
cut the ram lead to 24-19, but with 8:05 left in the game the Rams were forced to punt. Matt McDougal dropped the ball to the Wyoming
four-yard line and the Cowboys stood 96 yards to the promised land. Wallwork led the Pokes on a 14-play drive and with the extra point
Wyoming went ahead for good 25-24. It marked the first time since 1958 a CSU/Wyoming game ended with a margin of one point. Wyoming
went on to win the division, but lose to BYU in the championship game.
2000 to 2008
Several CSU fans gave their idea of the best game in the 2000 with 2001, 2004 and 2007 as the leaders. Wyoming fans give the 2006 shutout in
Laramie as their favorite game this decade. The war goes on and the Bronze Boot is still the most prized trophy for both schools.
Leonice Brown - 1993
Steve Fairchild - 1980
#68 Broderick Lancaster - 2001
Tony Alford - 1990
Sark Arslanian (right) and Wyo coach - 1978
Sonny Lubick & Nate Knamme-1996
Wyoming Helmet- 1976
Lawrence McCutcheon-
Dan Graham- 1977
Mike Bell- 1978
Coach Sark- 1978
Steve Fairchild- 1980
Steve Bartalo- 1986
Earle Bruce- 1990
Sonny Lubick- 1993
Anthoney Hill- 1994
The Bronze Boot