Nov. 17, 2013
By Max Lerner
Athletic Media Relations
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--Sophomore running back Kapri Bibbs continued his record-setting season with six rushing touchdowns to help Colorado State knock off New Mexico 66-42 Saturday night in Albuquerque to improve to 6-5 on the season. Bibbs ran for 291 yards on 38 carries and the Rams compiled the third-highest yardage total in school history with 649, including a balanced 347 rushing and 302 passing.
The win was the Rams' sixth of the season with two games remaining, and gave the Rams three consecutive road wins for the first time since 2002-03. CSU, with a 13-game schedule, must win 7 to become eligible for a bowl game for the first time since 2008. The 66 points scored tied for third-most by a Rams team in a single game.
"I was proud of the offense because they knew that we were struggling in the other two phases, special teams and defense," McElwain said. "They had that swagger every time they got in the huddle; 'coach we are going to make something happen; don't worry about it.' That is good. They didn't really shoot themselves with negative plays. They had a little swagger going, and I liked that."
McElwain, in his second season in charge of the Rams' program, has already led a two-win improvement over his first season with two games to play.
Bibbs' six rushing touchdowns broke the CSU single-game record and tied the Mountain West record. His 25 scores are most in MW and CSU history for a single season. He broke the previous CSU record held by Calvin Branch since 1996 when he rushed for 21. The sophomore from Plainfield, Ill., has now scored at least three touchdowns in five consecutive games and a school-record six times this season, and leads the Mountain West with 1,439 on the season.
In his last two games alone Bibbs has rushed for 603 yards and 10 touchdowns, and averaged 8.9 yards per carry.
"I just love how Kapri attacks every play like it has a history and life of its own. That is really what great players do. They don't care about what the score is and don't care about situation. I thought his best run was the fourth-down run we had when he was hit in the backfield and stopped a little bit at the line of scrimmage, moved the ball forward and got us a fourth down. That was probably the biggest run that he had all day. He is playing pretty good."
Junior quarterback Garrett Grayson threw for 302 yards and tossed three touchdown passes--all in the first half--to three different receivers. First Grayson connected with Joe Hansley across the middle for an 8-yard touchdown to open the scoring barrage.
Grayson then hit senior Chris Nwoke for a 43-yard score later in the quarter and then freshman Rashard Higgins for a 15-yard score in the second quarter. Grayson gave way in the second half to Bibbs, who rushed for six of his scores after halftime.
The Rams needed every touchdown, as the Lobos kept answering behind their triple-option rushing attack and timely big passes.
After racing out to a 14-0 lead, the Rams never led by more than 10 points again until midway through the fourth quarter, despite scoring on 10 of 11 possessions, 10 of which were touchdowns.
The Lobos were forced to play the second half without starting quarterback Cole Gautsche and starting running back Kasey Carrier because of injury.
Junior quarterback Clayton Michem filled in well for the Lobos going 5 for 8 for 116 yards. Junior running back Crusoe Gongbay did the same at running back for the Lobos running for 98 yards on 12 carries and scoring one touchdown.
With the Rams leading 31-28 early in the third quarter Bibbs ran for his second touchdown of the game, a 27-yard scamper to put the Rams back up 10.
The Lobos then answered as Jhurell Pressley ran 12 yards to the end zone to bring the Lobos back within three.
The Rams answered again as Bibbs found the end zone once more, this time on a one-yard run to again put the Rams up 10 at 45-35 with 4:59 remaining in the third quarter. It was Bibbs' 22nd of the season to establish a new CSU single-season record.
Just before the quarter ended, Gongbay once again put the Lobos within three with a three-yard touchdown run to make the score 45-42 just before the fourth quarter.
The Rams would answer right back as Bibbs would find the end zone for a fourth time on the day, a seven-yard touchdown to put the Rams up 52-42 with 12:30 remaining in the game.
The Lobos ended up in a 4th-down situation on their next possession, setting up the Rams' defense to make its play of the game and ultimately allow CSU to pull away. New Mexico went for it at their own 36 yard line, but linebacker Aaron Davis stuffed Gongbay in the hole and Max Morgan helped bring Gongbay to the ground to force the turnover on downs.
Four plays later Bibbs added his fifth touchdown of the day, a 26-yard run to put the Rams up 59-42 with 9:30 remaining.
The Rams forced the Lobos to turn the ball over on downs once again, and Bibbs capped his record-setting day with his sixth touchdown, an 18-yard jaunt, to produce the final score of 66-42 and tie the Mountain West single-game record for rushing touchdowns.
As a team the Rams eclipsed the 500 total yard mark for the fifth time in seven games, including 200 or more rushing yards six times in that span.
Senior linebacker Shaquil Barrett contributed one sack to raise his season total to 10.5, and added 1.5 tackles for loss to reach 18.0 for the season.
The Rams will now shift their focus to another conference rival in Utah State. The two teams will face off next Saturday, Nov. 23, at 1:30 p.m. MT. The game will be televised by CBS Sports Network.
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