Sept. 1, 2012
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Colorado State captures the 2012 Centennial Cup by defeating in-state rival Colorado, 22-17, in the Cinch Jeans Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver.
• It marks Colorado State’s first victory over Colorado since the 2009 Showdown at CU’s Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo. (23-17).
• The win is CSU’s first over CU in Denver since the Rams knocked off the Buffs, 14-10, in Game 2 of the 2006 season at then-INVESCO Field at Mile High.
• Since the annual rivalry began again in 1995 (the two schools met just once – in 1992 – between 1989 and 1995), Colorado State has now captured six victories over CU.
• The Rams’ record vs. Colorado in the 12 neutral-site games played in Denver – at Mile High Stadium, INVESCO Field and Sports Authority Field – is now 5-7, including a stretch of three out of four for the Rams from 1999-2002.
• Five of Colorado State’s last six victories over CU have been by six points or fewer, with the exception being the Rams’ 41-14 victory over then No. 14-ranked CU to open the 1999 season at Mile High Stadium.
Colorado State Head Coach Jim McElwain, the 20th head coach in program history, becomes the first CSU mentor to win his debut game since Jerry Wampfler in 1970.
• Overall, five CSU coaches have now won their debuts with the Rams: Jim McElwain (2012 vs. Colorado, 22-17); Jerry Wampfler (1970 at New Mexico State, 28-9); Bob Davis (1947 vs. Colorado Mines, 20-12); Julius “Hans” Wagner (1942 at Wyoming, 10-0); and Clarence Griffith (1901 vs. Denver, 56-5).
McElwain also becomes the only Colorado State coach to win in his first matchup against rival Colorado.
• Overall, 16 different CSU coaches have led the Rams against the Buffaloes, and seven have picked up wins over the Buffs, but McElwain is the only one to do it in his first attempt.
• Claude Rothgeb, who coached the Rams from 1906-09, led CSU to a 0-0 tie in his first matchup against CU (Nov. 10, 1906), one of two ties in the series.
Sophomore K Jared Roberts, a native of Littleton, Colo., who was awarded a scholarship just nine days ago (Aug. 23), opened up scoring with a 47-yard field goal midway through the first half. Roberts also gave Colorado State its final lead, 19-17, with 6:39 remaining with a 49-yarder at the 6:36 mark of the fourth quarter. He also added a 32-yarder with 2:56 left in the game to cushion the Rams’ lead, 22-17.
• Each of Roberts’ first two field goals marked the longest for Colorado State since Jason Smith’s 52-yarder at Utah on Oct. 18, 2008.
• Roberts became the first Colorado State kicker with three field goals in a game since Ben DeLine went 3-for-4 in the Rams’ 43-10 victory over UNLV on Oct. 16, 2010.
Colorado State was 5-of-8 on third-down conversions in the second half after going 0-for-7 in the first half. On the other side of the ball, CSU’s defense allowed just one third-down conversion (on seven attempts) by CU in the second half, after the Buffs converted 4-of-9 attempts in the opening half.
• CSU finished the game 5-of-15, while CU was 5-of-16 in the final tally.
Colorado State’s defense recorded five quarterback sacks in today’s victory over Colorado, led by redshirt freshman LB Cory James who notched three (including a forced fumble).
• It marks the most sacks by CSU’s defense in a single game since the Rams racked up nine in a season-opening victory at New Mexico in 2011.
• James’ three sacks are the most by an individual in a single game since Nordly Capi’s 3.5 sacks in that same victory over the Lobos.
Eight Colorado State players made their first-career starts today:
• Offense – OL Brandon Haynes, OL Jared Biard and WR Dominique Vinson.
• Defense – LB Aaron Davis, LB Cory James, DL Lanston Tanyi, DL Alex Tucci and CB Bernard Blake.
The Rams’ roster featured 17 players who made their Colorado State debut: freshman RB Donnell Alexander, sophomore K Jared Roberts, freshman DB Jasen Oden, freshman RB Tommey Morris, freshman DB Nick Januska, freshman WR Joe Hansley, senior RB Mark Woodbury, freshman LB Kevin Davis, freshman LB Nu’uvali Fa’apito, junior LB Jedidiah Teofilo, junior DL Calvin Tonga, junior DL Eli Edwards, senior DL Lanston Tanyi, sophomore DL Alex Tucci, freshman DB Kevin Pierre-Louis, freshman LB Cory James and freshman DB Trent Matthews.
Sophomore QB Garrett Grayson went 14-of-21 for 173 yards and two touchdown passes.
• Grayson’s touchdown passes were each long strikes – a 20-yard pass to senior WR Dominique Vinson just before halftime, and a 32-yarder to freshman WR Joe Hansley midway through the third quarter.
• Grayson threw two touchdown passes in the final four games of the 2011 season after taking over for injured starter Pete Thomas, bringing his career total now to four.
• Three of those touchdown passes have been strikes of 20 yards or longer, including today’s pair and the 66-yard touchdown strike at TCU last season.
Freshman WR Joe Hansley, a native of nearby Highlands Ranch, Colo., recorded his first-career receptions against Colorado.
• His first catch, an eight-yard reception for a first down, came on Colorado State’s second drive of the game and kept alive CSU’s scoring drive that resulted in a 48-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
• Hansley finished with two catches for 40 yards, hauling in a 32-yard touchdown pass from Garrett Grayson with 8:37 left in the third quarter, giving CSU a 16-14 advantage.
Chris Nwoke’s streak of consecutive games with a catch is now at 14, after the junior running back hauled in a 13-yard pass out of the backfield for a first down late in the second quarter.
• Nwoke recorded a catch in each of the Rams’ 12 games during his sophomore campaign in 2011, and capped his freshman season with three receptions against Wyoming.
• Nwoke, a preseason all-MW selection, also carried the ball 11 times for 47 yards, all in the first half on Saturday. He did not see action in the second half because of an injury to a lower extremity.
With Nwoke limited, three Rams’ running backs recorded their first-career carries in today’s game.
• Redshirt freshman Donnell Alexander had eight carries for 66 yards.
• Freshman Tommey Morris recorded three carries for just four yards.
• Junior TE/H-Back Joe Brown also carried the ball out of the backfield for the first time in his career, notching 11 carries for 21 yards, including key totes with the Rams backed up against their own goal line late in the third quarter.
Senior P Pete Kontodiakos, a candidate for the Ray Guy Award, booted a 69-yard punt after the Rams’ first possession of the game.
• It marks Kontodiakos’ second-longest career punt. (76 yards; vs. New Mexico, Oct. 30, 2009).
• The 69-yarder narrowly misses CSU’s all-time top-10 list by one yard.
• Kontodiakos finished the day with six punts for 287 yards, an average of 47.8 yards.
Senior WR Dominique Vinson, a former Rams defensive back, scored a touchdown just before halftime to cut the CSU deficit to 14-9 (PAT blocked).
• The reception, a 20-yarder, was the first of Vinson’s career.
Redshirt freshman LB Cory James recorded three sacks in his first-career game at Colorado State, all in the first half. His third sack of the game also resulted in a forced fumble by CU quarterback Jordan Webb.
• It is the second straight season that a CSU player has recorded three or more sacks in an opener. (Nordly Capi; 3.5 sacks at New Mexico, Sept. 3, 2011)
Actor John Amos (Roots, The West Wing, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Coming to America), a Colorado State alumnus and former football player, spoke to the Rams at the team hotel last night.
Today’s captains for Colorado State were : junior RB Chris Nwoke, junior OL Weston Richburg, senior LB Shaquil Barrett, and senior LB James Skelton.
The temperature at kickoff for today’s game was 94 degrees. It marks the warmest starting temperature in the history of the Rocky Mountain Showdown.
Colorado State debuted a new look with a return to a simpler uniform this year. Additionally, the Rams have added a pumpkin orange “A” on the back of their helmets as a nod to the team’s heritage as the Colorado A&M Aggies.