Oct. 16, 2010
By Nick Frank
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Colorado State delivered an impressive 43-10 win in its annual Homecoming game Saturday at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, turning away UNLV.
The win gave the Rams (2-5, 1-2 Mountain West) their first conference victory, in their first MWC game against a non-ranked opponent after losses to No. 5 TCU and No. 25 Air Force.
Nose tackle, Guy Miller paced the defense, which came up with two takeaways. Miller set the single-game school record with 4½ sacks, eclipsing the previous mark shared by Brady Smith and Mike Bell, the No. 2 overall selection in the 1979 NFL Draft.
“It has not really set in,” said Miller, 6-foot-3, 302-pound senior from Scott City, Kan. “I’m trying to get four tackles in a game, that’s good for me, so to get 4½ sacks is ridiculous.”
Head Coach Steve Fairchild offered nothing but praise for the senior captain.
“For Guy Miller to do that, particularly in an inside spot, is remarkable,” Fairchild said. “I find myself in between offensive series not being able to take my eye off of him because he’s playing so well.”
After Ricky Brewer recovered a fumble on the opening drive, the Rams hit the ground running and never looked back. Senior Leonard Mason, filling in for injured starter Raymond Carter, churned out 31 yards on the opening drive, including a 3-yard touchdown run. Mason finished with 121 yards, his second straight 100-yard effort and the first such streak by a CSU player since Gartrell Johnson’s final three games in2008.
“Pretty much, it was time to let the beast out,” said Mason. “I like to be real physical.”
True freshman quarterback Pete Thomas had his second three-touchdown game for the Rams. Those three TDs came on his first seven passes, which he completed in succession, for 219 yards. Overall, he threw for 233 yards, going 10-of-14 in the process.
Thomas led the Rams to five touchdowns on their first six possessions, en route to 34 first-half points, their most points in any half since a win over UNLV in 2004.
“All week we talked about starting fast,” said Thomas, who posted his second win as a starter. “We haven’t started a game fast yet, and we obviously did that today. We kept the pressure on them in the first half and it was a great feeling overall.”
The Rams gained the lead on Mason’s touchdown early in the first quarter and never gave it up. After holding UNLV to a field goal the following drive, the offense quickly scored to gain a 14-3 lead, when Thomas found Lou Greenwood down the middle of the field for a 55-yard strike, and finished the drive with a 14-yard touchdown to tight end Eric Peitz.
Greenwood finished the day with 128 yards receiving. It was his first game over 100 yards receiving after making the move from running back to wide receiver after his freshman season.
“Lou, the last 10 days, two weeks, you could see something clicking in practice,” said Fairchild. “He has a lot to learn, but he’s taken a step forward in the last 10 days, and he does give us some juice down the field, there’s no question.”
The Rams continued the aerial assault on their next scoring drive when Thomas once again found Greenwood for a 73-yard touchdown pass.
Junior Derek Good continued to impress in the return game. After breaking the Mountain West Conference record for kickoff return yards in a game last week at Air Force, Good reeled off a 74-yard return Saturday.
Fairchild liked the way that the three phases of the game (offense, defense, and special teams) worked together Saturday.
“You look at it and our offense scored, but it was off of a turnover or a return that set it up,” said Fairchild.
Mychal Sisson led the team with 13 tackles, including one sack. Sisson echoed what Fairchild said concerning the different phases of the game working together.
“It takes a lot of weight off our shoulders to have the offense score every time we get them the ball back,” Sisson said. “If they can keep doing that, the second half of the season is going to be great.”
Chris Nwoke added 75 yards of rushing for the offense, which totaled 492 yards Saturday. Peitz had two receptions, both were touchdowns, giving him the first multi-TD game he could remember, even through high school.
The Rams will travel to Utah next week to face the nationally ranked Utes. The game will be televised on The Mtn. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. MT. The last time they met, the Rams nearly pulled off the upset at home, but lost 24-17.
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