Nov. 9, 2013
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Sophomore running back Kapri Bibbs ran his way into Colorado State record books on Saturday afternoon as Rams (5-5, 3-2 MW) pulled away in the second half for an impressive 38-17 victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack (3-7, 2-5 MW) at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of this team, the seniors and the resolve with which they understand and build and work,” Head Coach Jim McElwain said afterwards. “As a coach and as a teacher, it makes you awfully proud. Credit the whole team and credit the way they came in at halftime.”
Bibbs finished his historic day with a school-record 312 rushing yards, besting Tony Alford’s 310 yards vs. Utah in 1989, along with four touchdowns on 30 attempts. Bibbs’ 312 rushing yards also rank second in Mountain West history and second-best among all NCAA players in 2013, while his four touchdowns set a career high for touchdowns in a single game.
No stranger of finding the end zone, Bibbs has now scored at least three touchdowns on the ground in four consecutive games, and has accomplished this feat in five games this season. With 19 touchdowns on the year, Bibbs leads the nation and is just two touchdowns from tying the single-season school record of 21 set by Calvin Branch in 1996.
“I love his attitude,” McElwain said of his record-breaking running back. “I love the way he competes and how much he cares. I’ve seen how much he has grown up here.”
McElwain has led the Rams to five wins this year in his second season as head coach, giving CSU its most wins in a season since 2008 (7-6) with three games still to play.
While Bibbs stole the headlines on Saturday afternoon, he was not alone in helping Colorado State to victory over the Wolf Pack. The Rams amassed 570 yards of offense on the day, marking the third time in the last four games and fifth this season that Colorado State has totaled at least 500 yards of offense.
Junior quarterback Garrett Grayson looked calm and composed in the pocket, connecting on 20 of his 27 passes for 239 yards. It was just his third game this season without a passing touchdown, yielding to Bibbs’ four via the rush.
For Nevada, dual-threat junior quarterback Cody Fajardo completed 31 of 46 passes for 247 yards, but was constantly under duress from a resurgent Colorado State defense. The Rams’ pass rush produced four quarterback sack, led by senior linebacker Shaquil Barrett who finished with two sacks to push his season total to 9.5.
The game started slow, with Colorado State netting the only points of the first quarter as Jared Roberts connected on a 23-yard field goal on CSU’s first possession to give the Rams a 3-0 lead with 6:00 left in the first quarter.
As both offenses tried to find a groove in the first half, Nevada broke through first with a 14-play 79-yard drive in the second quarter. The 5:47 drive was capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run by Chris Solomon to give the Wolf Pack a 7-3 lead with 4:11 left in the half.
On their next drive, the Rams responded with a scoring drive of their own. After a seven-play 45-yard drive, Roberts connected on his second field goal of the day, this time from 46 yards out, to pull CSU to within one at 7-6 heading into the intermission.
In the second half the fireworks began, or more specifically, Bibbs ignited. The native of Plainfield, Ill., finished off CSU’s first drive of the second half with a 28-yard touchdown run to give the Rams a 13-7 lead with 12:41 left in the third quarter.
Nevada would answer with a big play of its own on its next drive. Facing a third-and-long, Fajardo faked the handoff and bounced outside with the football for a 68-yard scamper down the sideline to put the Wolf Pack back on top at 14-13 with 11:31 left in the third quarter.
The two teams both added field goals on their next two respective possessions, before Bibbs found his way into the end zone for a second time in the quarter, this time from 59 yards out, to put the Rams ahead for good at 24-17 with 32 seconds left in the third quarter.
In the third quarter alone Bibbs rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns, but he was just getting started as he finished with 260 yards and four touchdowns in the second half alone.
In the fourth quarter, the sophomore running back continued his onslaught as Colorado State pulled away from Nevada. With 8:24 left in the game, Bibbs scored his third touchdown of the game from one yard out to end a six-play 80-yard drive that took just 2:40 off the clock.
Bibbs capped off his historic day on Colorado State’s next possession with a career-long 85-yard touchdown run up the right side to push the score to 38-17 in favor of the Rams. The 85-yard score is the third-longest run in school history and is the longest play from scrimmage for Colorado State since Sept. 20, 2003 when Bradlee Van Pelt had an 86-yard pass completion to David Anderson vs. Miami (OH).
With his record-breaking game, Bibbs crossed the 1,000-yard plateau and now has 1,148 rushing yards on the year, good for 10th-most in program history and most by a CSU player since Gartrell Johnson rushed for 1,476 in 2008.
As a team the Rams have produced 500 or more total yards in four of their last six games, including 200 or more rushing yards five times in that span.
Colorado State now looks ahead to next week’s contest in Albuquerque against the New Mexico Lobos (3-6, 1-4 MW). The game is slated to begin at 5 p.m. MT and will be televised by ROOT Sports.
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