With tonight’s 33-11 win, following 42-27 win over Hawaii in most recent home game, Colorado State has back-to-back home wins for the first time since 2010 (Oct. 16 vs. UNLV and Oct. 30 vs. New Mexico.
Tonight’s 22-point margin of victory is the Rams’ largest since defeating New Mexico 38-14 on Oct. 30, 2010.
Tonight’s game was the first for the Rams in which they held an opponent scoreless through three quarters since Sept. 3, 2003 vs. Weber State. Conversely, Colorado State scored in every quarter tonight for the second game in a row, and third time this season (vs. Colorado, 9/1/12).
The Rams have now had a school-record 18 different players score touchdowns this season, with LB Shaquil Barrett and CB Shaq Bell joining that group tonight. Colorado State entered the game as one of just four teams in the nation to have 16 or more players score touchdowns. TCU also had 16, while Navy and Marshall had 17 players each entering today’s action.
Colorado State allowed a season-low 219 yards in the win. The previous low this season had been 245 in the season opener vs. Colorado (9/1/12). It is the lowest allowed by Colorado State since holding Northern Colorado to 216 on Sept. 10, 2011.
Colorado State rushed for a season-high 231 yards tonight, topping its previous season high of 176 vs. Hawaii in its last home outing (10/27). It is the most rushing yards by a Rams team since the 2011 season finale (263 vs. Wyoming, 12/3/11).
RS-Fr. Donnell Alexander rushed for more than 100 yards for the second game in a row, finishing with a career and Rams season-high 139 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. He scored on a 10-yard run in the second quarter to give the Rams a 21-0 lead, capitalizing on a Conner Roggy fumble recovery in Rebels territory, and in the fourth quarter capped a 10-play, 55-yard drive with a 14-yard score.
Tonight’s game was Alexander’s second in a row with a rushing touchdown, and makes four consecutive games the Rams have had a rushing touchdown from a freshman. True freshman Tommey Morris had rushing touchdowns at San Diego State (10/13) and vs. Hawaii (10/27).
Alexander now has 417 rushing yards this season to rank sixth on Colorado State’s freshman rushing list. The freshman record is 1,113 by Steve Bartalo in 1983.
Alexander’s 21 carries and 139 yards are the most by a Colorado State player this season. Both totals are the most by a Ram since the 2011 season finale when Raymond Carter rushed 29 times for 158 vs. Wyoming (12/3/11).
With 139 rushing yards and 8 receiving yards tonight, Alexander contributed a career-high 147 total offensive yards.
The Rams built a 27-0 lead in the third quarter, their largest since leading Northern Colorado 31-0 en route to a 33-14 home win on Sept. 10, 2011.
In last two games at home, the Rams have four defensive returns for touchdowns. They scored twice on interception returns in the fourth quarter vs. Hawaii (10/27), then on an interception return in the first quarter tonight and on a fumble return in the second quarter.
With two defensive touchdowns tonight the Rams have four defensive scores this season, most since 2007 and tied for the most in a season since 1997 (5).
LB Shaquil Barrett intercepted a Nick Sherry first-quarter pass near midfield and returned it 49 yards for a touchdown to give Colorado State a 7-0 lead. It was Barrett’s third career touchdown and second interception, both of which he has returned for touchdowns (52 yards last year at UNLV, 10/29/11). He also returned a fumble 15 yards for a touchdown in 2011 (vs. Utah State, 9/24/11).
LB Max Morgan led the team with a career-high 12 tackles (8 solo) and added his first career interception in the opening quarter. It was his second takeaway of 2012. Against Hawaii (10/27) he scooped a ball out of the air for a fumble recovery after the Warriors player was ruled to have caught the ball and took one step before having it dislodged on a hard hit.
Jr. CB Shaq Bell scooped up a fumble on the first play of the second quarter and returned it 30 yards for his first career touchdown. It was his third takeaway of the season, and came after he had downed the previous punt at the 2-yard line to begin that UNLV possession.
Fr. WR Joe Hansley took a handoff on the first play of the game and ran for 30 yards, his longest career rush.
P Pete Kontodiakos placed a season-high three of his five punts inside the 20-yard line, keeping the Rams strong in the field-position battle. His second punt was downed at Rebels’ 2-yard line, setting up a UNLV drive that ended in a Rams defensive touchdown. The last time he had three inside the 20 in the same game was Oct. 1, 2011 vs. San Jose State.
K Jared Roberts was 2-2 on field goals and 3-4 on PATs tonight. He connected on his longest career field, a 49-yarder to extend CSU’s lead to 24-0 just before halftime, and followed with a 32-yarder in the third quarter. Roberts’ 49-yard field goal is the longest by a Colorado State player since Jason Smith connected on a 52-yarder at Utah on Oct. 18, 2008.
Roberts, a former walk-on who earned a scholarship just nine days before the season-opener this year, is 8-9 on field goals for the season and has made 24 of 26 PAT attempts.
Sr. DT Zach Tiedgen recorded his first career forced fumble in the second quarter, leading to soph. S Conner Roggy’s first career fumble recovery.
WR Charles Lovett caught three passes for 6 yards, continuing to be the only Colorado State player to catch at least one pass in every game this season.
RS-Fr. Steven Michel notched his first career sack in the fourth quarter, halting a UNLV drive and forcing the Rebels to settle for a field goal.
CB Bernard Blake started at right cornerback for the second game in a row, and third this season, and made a career-high seven tackles (4 solo). He also added one pass breakup.
Starting right tackle Jared Biard left the game in the first quarter due to injury. Ty Sambrailo, who started the game at right guard, slid over to replace Biard, and Mason Myers came in to play right guard for the remainder of the game.
The Rams now have nine takeaways in their last two home games (4 tonight, 5 vs. Hawaii, 10/27).
The temperature at kickoff was recorded as 28 degrees with winds out of the east-northeast at 14 miles per hour. After a wet snow fell for much of the afternoon before the game, the first half was mostly dry. Snow began falling steadily at halftime and continued off and one throughout the second half. It is believed to be the first Colorado State home game in which snow was falling during the game since at Nov. 16, 2000 game vs. Wyoming.