Oct. 1, 2011
Snake-bitten on homecoming: Four of the Rams’ last five homecoming games have been hard-to-swallow losses.
- On Oct. 10, 2009, CSU met the last team to beat Alabama prior to South Carolina — Utah, and nearly registered a landmark victory. But the Utes overcame CSU’s 17-3 lead late in the third quarter, thanks to three Robert Johnson interceptions, and won, 24-17.
- Nearly a year earlier, in 2008, CSU lost a tough 13-7 game to TCU, who would go on to finish No. 7 in the final AP and USA Today rankings. In that contest, the Rams shut out the Horned Frogs in the second half, and dropped two sure touchdown passes near the goal line.
- The previous year, 2007, in a heart-pulverizing loss to San Diego State, the Rams completed a late touchdown pass to go up 20-17, before a CSU defender slipped on the Aztecs’ final drive, allowing a long pass play that set up the game-winning TD in the final seconds.
30 points: The loss marked only the second under Steve Fairchild in which CSU scored 30-or-more points. The Rams are now 10-2 under Steve Fairchild when scoring 30-or-more points, their only loss before Saturday a 45-42 shootout at home against No. 17 BYU on Nov. 1, 2008.
First starts: Lee Clubb, the second true freshman to start for CSU this year (also Blake Jones as second tight end vs. UNC), made his first NCAA start. The following 14 players have made their first collegiate starts this season: G Jordan Gragert, FB Joe Brown, WR Marquise Law, TE Crockett Gillmore, DT John Froland, LB Mike Orakpo, S Austin Gray, DE Nordly Capi, TE Blake Jones, FB Austin Gillmore, LB Shaquil Barrett, NT Te’Jay Brown, T Ty Sambrailo, and WR Lee Clubb.
Sacks by DL: Including sacks by Curtis Wilson in third quarter and Nordly Capi in the fourth, 13 of the Rams’ 19 sacks this season have been by defensive linemen. The Rams, who have struggled in recent years to get a strong push from their front four, led the nation with 16 team sacks entering this weekend.
Team sacks: CSU has 19 sacks as a team, more than the 10 it had during the entire 2008 season, the last time the Rams went to a bowl. The Rams, who matched a single-game team record with nine in the season-opening win at New Mexico, are on pace for 46 sacks this season. Since the NCAA consistently began tracking the category in 1982, the school record is 44 in 1982.
Final minutes: In Steve Fairchild’s tenure, 20 games have been decided in the final three minutes. The Rams are 11-9 in those contests. Overall, 11 of Fairchild’s 16 wins as head coach have been sealed in the final moments.
- CSU was 6-2 in these games during his inaugural season as head coach, 2008, when six of the Rams’ seven wins, and eight of the team’s 13 overall games, were decided in the final three minutes.
- The Rams were 2-4 in 2009 and 1-1 in 2010. They’re 2-2 so far this season.
Close games: The Rams are now 9-8 under Steve Fairchild in games decided by one score, or eight points or less. They’re 4-5 at home, 4-3 on the road, and 1-0 at neutral sites (the 2008 New Mexico Bowl).
- Including the loss to SJSU, they’ve won three of their last five such games, 2011 wins over New Mexico and Utah State, both on the road, and a 36-34 triumph at home vs. Idaho in 2010. They lost a near-upset at San Diego State, 24-19, in 2010. All five games were decided in the final minutes.
Two TD receptions: Lou Greenwood’s two receiving TDs, a single-game career best, made him the first CSU player with multiple touchdowns through the air since Raymond Carter caught a pair in a win vs. Idaho, Sept. 25, 2010. He also was the first CSU wide receiver to catch a touchdown pass since his own 43-yard reception from Pete Thomas vs. New Mexico, Oct. 30, 2010.
Halftime deficit: The Rams have trailed at halftime four times in five games this season. They’re 2-2 in those games.
QB leading rusher: Pete Thomas became the first CSU quarterback to lead the Rams in rushing since Billy Farris had 19 yards in a 45-14 loss vs. TCU, Nov. 25, 2006. Caleb Hanie also led the Rams in rushing that season on two occasions.
First-drive points allowed: The last time CSU allowed points on the first drive of a game was Oct. 30, 2010, vs. New Mexico. Entering the game, CSU was one of two teams in the nation that had not allowed a point in the first quarter, joining Stanford. Pitt allowed first-period points for the first time this season in its win against South Florida Thursday night.
Home stretch: Last week’s trip to Utah State, CSU’s first win in that state since Oct. 8, 2003, at BYU, marked the only time CSU will leave Colorado over a six-week stretch. Since the season-opening conference win at New Mexico, the Rams hosted Northern Colorado (Sept. 10) and played a neutral-site game against Colorado in Denver (Sept. 17). Following the Utah State trip, CSU hosted San Jose State (Oct. 1), will take its first of two byes, then host Boise State (Oct. 15) before traveling to UTEP (Oct. 22).
- QB Pete Thomas threw for 387 yards, most in his career. His previous best was 386, in his first college win, Sept. 25, 2010, vs. Idaho. Thomas also threw three TDs for the third time (also in that Idaho game, and in the win vs. UNLV, Oct. 16, 2010).
- Thomas threw for 300 yards for the third time in his career, but the first time since Sept. 25, 2010, vs. Idaho. He also threw for 305 at Miami-Ohio, Sept. 18, 2010. He’s now tied for seventh all-time at CSU with three 300-yard passing games, matching the three by Bradlee Van Pelt (2001-03) and Matt Newton (1997-2000).
- WR Lou Greenwood registered a career-best 149 receiving yards and his second NCAA 100-yard receiving game. His previous 100-yarder, his career high in yards, was Oct. 16, 2010, with 128 vs. UNLV, last homecoming.
- WR Lee Clubb made his first career start.
- CB Momo Thomas became the first CSU player since Erik Olson (1996-99) with a pick in four consecutive seasons.
- DL Nordly Capi’s eight sacks this season, in just five games, already are the most by a CSU player in a given year this century, since Clark Haggans had eight in 1999.Most sacks by a CSU player:
- ·Brady Smith 16 1995
- ·Joey Porter 14 1998
- ·Clark Haggans 12 1997
- ·Clint Hjelm 11 1987
- ·Clark Haggans 10 1998
- ·Mike Bell 10 1977
- ·Adrian Ross 10 1997
- ·Andy Poremba 10 1982
- ·Keith Pitts 10 1983
- ·Brady Smith 9½ 1994
- ·Steve Hodge 9 1993
- ·Eric Schaller 8 1989
- ·Clark Haggans 8 1999
Nordly Capi 8 2011
- Capi has a sack in five straight contests, the Rams’ longest streak since Haggans reeled off sacks in five straight back in 1998. Longest CSU streaks in that span:
- ·5 Clark Haggans
- 09/26.98 UNLV
- 10/03/98 at UTEP
- 10/10/98 Tulsa
- 10/17/98 at New Mexico St.
- 10/24/98 TCU
- S Ivory Herd has not missed a game in his college career, having played in all 42 since the beginning of ‘08.
- Herd has started 17 straight, and 22 of the past 23, dating to Oct. 17, 2009.
- TE Crockett Gillmore also has a five-game catch streak.
- P Pete Kontodiakos had three punts inside the 20, the third time in his career he’s had three or more (also four at Utah, Oct. 23, 2010, and three vs. CU in Denver, Sept. 4, 2010).
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