Oct. 27, 2013
HONOLULU--Sophomore running back Kapri Bibbs rushed for 137 yards and scored three touchdowns to help Colorado State defeat Hawai'i 35-28 Saturday night at Aloha Stadium. It was the Rams' second consecutive win on the road over a Mountain West opponent, a feat not accomplished by a Colorado State team since 2002.
The win evened the Rams' record at 4-4, and improved their Mountain West record to 2-1. Colorado State persevered through one of the warmest days of the year in Honolulu and a kickoff time that was 10 p.m. MT. The announced temperature at the start of the game was 84 degrees with very little wind and humidity at 65 percent.
Bibbs, making his second consecutive start, did his damage on a career-high 33 carries and matched his career high with the three touchdowns, the third time this season he has found the end zone three times in a game.
The 12 rushing touchdowns by Bibbs already tie for fifth-most in a season by a Colorado State player, and are the most by a Ram since Gartrell Johnson III rushed for that many in 2008. The last time a CSU player rushed for more in a season was 2002 when Cecil Sapp rushed for 17 scores.
Colorado State built a 35-17 halftime lead and held off a late surge by a Hawai'i (0-7, 0-5 MW) team that has made a habit of such comebacks, having scored 34 and 20 consecutive points in the second half of two previous games this season.
"It's about getting a win, and we're going to enjoy this one," said Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain. "I felt good about the fast start. Wins are hard to come by, road wins are hard (especially) hard to come by."
Junior linebacker Max Morgan contributed to the first-half scoring spree by the Rams, scooping up a Hawai'i fumble and racing 73 yards for a touchdown to give CSU a 14-0 first-quarter lead. It was the first touchdown of Morgan's career and came on the third-longest fumble return for a touchdown in Colorado State history.
Morgan said afterwards he could see the play unfolding in front of him on the stadium video board as he approached the end zone.
"I got caught from behind last year against these guys," Morgan said of his 2012 fumble return against Hawai'i at Hughes Stadium. "I was determined to not let that happen again."
Morgan also led the Rams with a career-high 15 tackles. Sophomore linebacker Cory James contributed two of the Rams' four sacks, and sophomore defensive backs DeAndre Elliott and Kevin Pierre-Louis each had interceptions.
Though outgained 418 to 408, the Rams limited the Rainbow Warriors to just 32 net rushing yards on 29 carries (1.1), and allowed Hawai'i to convert just 2 of 17 on third downs. Combined with CSU's prowess in the running game, with 49 attempts for 231 yards (4.7) and three scores, the Rams held an advantage of 33:26 to 26:34 in time of possession.
Colorado State managed just 95 yards in the second half, but did top the 400-yard mark for the fourth game in a row and the fifth time in the last six games. On the ground, the Rams have averaged 227 yards per game in the last four with 11 touchdowns, after averaging 137 yards per game in the first four, with five touchdowns.
With the win, CSU has won four times in the last six games, a stretch not matched in the same season since the team won four of its last six games in 2008, its last season playing in a bowl game.
The Rams (4-4, 2-1 MW), who have now matched their win total from last season with five games remaining, host Boise State next Saturday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m. at Hughes Stadium. Tickets are available to purchase online at http://www.csurams.com/tickets or by calling 970-491-RAMS (7267).
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