Nov. 2, 2013
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- In a game full of big plays Colorado State (4-5, 2-2 MW) came up short Saturday night at Hughes Stadium, falling to Boise State (6-3, 4-1 MW) 42-30 in a game in which they gained 626 yards.
"There were some good things that happened in that game and, obviously, some disappointing things," Head Coach Jim McElwain said. "We've got to continue to learn and to grow."
Colorado State controlled the clock with 40 minutes of possession time compared to Boise State's 20 minutes, and earned 35 first downs among its 109 total plays. The 40 minutes of possession time is the most for Colorado State since Sept. 10, 2011 when the Rams controlled the ball for 41:07 in a win against Northern Colorado.
Junior quarterback Garrett Grayson, who finished with a career-high 397 yards passing and a touchdown, got things rolling early for the Rams. He led the offense down the field 63 yards on the opening drive to set up a 29-yard field goal from Jared Roberts.
Boise State fumbled the ball on its first play from scrimmage and senior linebacker Shaquil Barrett quickly pounced on the loose ball to immediately put the Rams' offense back on the field. They made quick use of the extra possession, using just six plays and capping the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back Kapri Bibbs to give CSU a 10-0 lead with 6:33 left in the first quarter.
The Broncos responded when junior quarterback Grant Hedrick led Boise State down the field for consecutive scoring drives. The first was capped off with a two-yard touchdown run from Hedrick with 4:15 left in the first quarter, and the second score came on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Hedrick to Geraldo Bodewijn with 12:47 left in the half to give Boise State its first lead at 14-10.
Facing its first deficit of the game, Colorado State's offense quickly got back to work as Grayson methodically moved the ball down the field, converting two fourth-down attempts along the way. Grayson capped the 14-play 75-yard drive with a 7-yard strike to Charles Lovett to give the team a 17-14 lead with 6:27 left in the half.
Lovett finished the game as the top receiver for the Rams with 103 yards on seven receptions and the touchdown.
With 12:47 left in the game, Boise State extended its lead to 42-17 after Hedrick threw for his fifth touchdown of the game, this time a 42-yarder to Aaron Burks. With their backs against the wall though, the Rams frantically tried to mount a comeback.
On their next drive, Colorado State used just 3:32 off the clock as it marched 93 yards in 13 plays. The impressive, quick-paced drive was finished off with a 1-yard touchdown run from Kapri Bibbs. After a failed two-point conversion, CSU faced a 42-23 deficit.
Needing a stop, the Rams' defense delivered just that as they forced a quick punt from Boise State. Colorado State took the relatively good field position and once again marched down the field in little time.
Using just 2:34 off the clock, the Rams went 65 yards in nine plays and polished off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown from Bibbs with 4:51 left in the game. Bibbs finished the game with 69 yards rushing and three touchdowns, marking the third-consecutive game that he has rushed for at least three touchdowns in a game. Furthermore, with four three-touchdown performances on the year, Bibbs ties a school record set by Calvin Branch in 1996 for the most games with three-plus rushing touchdowns.
The Rams made things exciting as they recovered the ensuing onside kick, but couldn't capitalize on the extra possession. Boise State snared an interception on CSU's first play from scrimmage, and though the defense would force a Boise State punt, the Rams could not complete the comeback, falling 42-30.
"Obviously, it was the big plays," McElwain said. "It was a good football team that we played. We're disappointed, but you should be disappointed when you lose; it's how you learn from it."
Although Colorado State fell short on the scoreboard, several individual and team performances were record-setters. As well as being a career high, Grayson's 397 passing yards rank 10th in program history for a single-game output. Furthermore, Grayson's 36 completions are a school record, while his 53 pass attempts ranks second in Colorado State history.
Freshman receiver Rashard Higgins also had a career day as he had 99 yards receiving on a career-high 10 receptions. In the game, the Rams' offense racked up 109 total offensive plays, which ranks as the second-most in Mountain West history, falling just short of TCU's 111 offensive snaps at San Diego State on Nov. 24, 2007.
Colorado State will look to get back on track next Saturday when it hosts Nevada in a crucial conference match up. The game is slated to begin at 1:30 p.m. MT and will be televised on the Mountain West Network.
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