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Colorado State Football Final Weekly Release


Colorado State (8-6, 5-3) finished its second season under Head Coach Jim McElwain with its most wins since 2002, when Sonny Lubick led the Rams to a 10-win season. After a tough game down south against then-No. 1 Alabama on Sept. 21, the Rams rattled off seven victories in their final 10 games, including a dramatic victory in the 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl vs. Washington State. The Rams trailed 45-30 with just under three minutes to play but a quick touchdown pass from Garrett Grayson to Jordon Vaden pulled the Rams within eight with 2:52 to play. On Washington State’s next possession, the Rams had no timeouts remaining and hope was all but lost before senior linebacker Shaquil Barrett stripped the Cougars running back and recovered the ball. CSU marched down the field and scored eight plays later on a Kapri Bibbs one-yard touchdown run. Redshirt sophomore running back Donnell Alexander made an incredible diving two-point conversion to knot the game at 45. On the ensuing kickoff, Rams linebacker Steven Michel forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive back Jasen Oden, Jr. The Rams kicked a game-winning 41-yard field goal as time expired to win.

This was the program’s first bowl appearance and victory since 2008.

NOTES IN 140 | #CSURams | #1TTD | #MWFB


  • Colorado State played 14 games in a single season for only the second time in program history. The other 14-game season was in 2002
  • Eight wins are the most by Colorado State since 2002 when the Rams were crowned @mountainwest champions and finished 10-4
  • After playing at Alabama (9/21), CSU went 7-3 and avg. 520.9 total yds. & avg. 231.3 rushing yards, both top-20 in the nation in that span
  • The Rams entered bowl season with their first winning regular season since 2005, placing them in a bowl for the first time since 2008
  • CSU’s 22-point come-from-behind victory over Wazzu represented the fifth-largest comeback in bowl history
  • The Rams ran a bowl season-high 97 offensive plays against Washington State in the 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl
  • Colorado State had the longest (19) and shortest (1) drives in terms of plays during the 2013-14 bowl season
  • The Rams averaged 204.4 rushing yards, their most since 2002 (205.7)
  • CSU was the only team in NCAA FBS with a 3,500-yard passer and 1,500-yard rusher (Grayson - 3,695 & Bibbs - 1,741)
  • CSU recorded the highest avg. yards/game in program history with 470.8. In 1996, the bar was set with an average of 458.9 yards/game
  • The Rams recorded 500-plus yards of total offense in eight games in 2013, a CSU single-season record
  • CSU averaged 36.2 points per game in 2013. The last time the Rams averaged 30-plus points per game was in 1997 (36.6)
  • The Rams improved their scoring output by 71%, from 21.2 in 2012 to 36.2 this season
  • In 2 seasons under @CoachMcElwain the Rams are 9-2 when leading at halftime and 10-1 with the lead after 3 quarters
  • The Rams ran 109 offensive plays vs. @BroncoSportFB on Nov. 2, a program record and third-most in #MWFB history
  • CSU scored 507 points in 2013, the best scoring output in a single season
  • CSU hung 50+ points on UTEP (59), WYO (52), UNM (66) & AFA (58) this year, the first CSU team to score 50 on 4 opponents in a single season
  • 66 points at New Mexico tied for third-most in program history and the second-most vs. a conference opponent all-time
  • Prior to 59-point outburst vs. UTEP the Rams hadn’t scored 50-plus points since Oct. 8, 2003 at BYU, a span of 3,666 days


  • OC Weston Richburg graded above 90% in every game with just over 45 knockdowns, incl. 7 vs. Boise St
  • OL Ty Sambrailo, who will be the most experienced OL in ‘14, graded above 89% in every game and recorded just over 34 knockdown blocks
  • SR RB Chris Nwoke finished his career 10th all-time in CSU history with 2,455 rushing yards.
  • SO RB Kapri Bibbs rushed for 1,741 yards, the most in #MWFB and sixth-most among all NCAA FBS running backs
  • With 1,741 rushing yards, Bibbs set CSU’s single-season rushing record
  • In a 2-game span (vs. Nev, at UNM), Bibbs ran the ball 68 times for 603 yds. (8.9 avg.) and scored 10 touchdowns
  • Bibbs led the nation in rushing TDs (31) & total TDs (31). The 31 rushing TDs are the most by a CSU rusher in a single season & rank 2nd career
  • Bibbs set a school record rushing for 312 yards on 30 carries vs. Nevada on Nov. 9; It was previously held by Tony Alford in 1989 (28-310)
  • Bibbs set a school record and tied a @mountainwest record scoring six rushing touchdowns at New Mexico on Nov. 16
  • Bibbs owns two of CSU’s three highest single-game rushing performances (312 vs. Nevada; 291 at New Mexico)
  • Bibbs broke off an 85-yd TD run vs. Nevada, the 3rd-longest scoring run in program history and longest play since ‘03 (BVP to Anderson - 86)
  • Bibbs became only the fourth player to score at least 3 TDs in five consecutive games, joining Barry Sanders, Paul Hewitt & Montee Ball
  • Bibbs tied Barry Sanders’ (Oklahoma State, 1988) single-season record, scoring at least three rushing touchdowns in eight games
  • Bibbs now owns the school single-season points record with 186, more than 6 FBS teams (Miami (OH), FIU, UMASS, Purdue, Kansas & South Florida)
  • Bibbs’ 186 points also broke the @mountainwest single-season record
  • JR TE Kivon Cartwright became the first CSU player to score multiple receiving TDs in back-to-back games (UTEP & SJSU) since Paul Turner in 1995
  • SR TE Crockett Gillmore led all MW TEs with 577 receiving yards, the 3rd-most by a CSU tight end in a single season
  • QB Garrett Grayson threw for a CSU single-season record 3,696 passing yards & his 5,184 career yards rank 10th in CSU history
  • Grayson has now thrown 32 touchdowns in his career, a number that ranks ninth-most all-time at Colorado State
  • With Bradlee Van Pelt in attendance, Grayson broke BVP’s single-game total offense record accumulating 445 total yards (397 pass, 48 rush) vs. BSU
  • Grayson threw 3 TDs in three straight games (UTEP, SJSU, WYO), a feat that a Rams QB hasn’t accomplished since Terry Nugent in 1982
  • FR WR Rashard Higgins had 10 receptions vs. BSU (11/2), setting a career high and tying a CSU freshman record
  • Higgins’ 68 receptions set a CSU freshman single-season record and ranked sixth-most in a single season
  • WR Charles Lovett has a catch in 21 straight games in which he has played. Lovett’s last game without a catch was Nov. 19, 2011 at TCU


  • The Rams defense played 3 option-attack teams (AFA, Cal Poly & UNM) & still finished with the 30th-ranked rush defense (140.6)
  • SR LB Shaquil Barrett was named @mountainwest Defensive Player of the Year, the first Ram defender to earn this honor since Rick Crowell in 2000
  • Barrett’s 20.5 TFL was a #MWFB record and tied for the 5th-most in the #NCAA
  • Barrett’s sack total of 12.0 is fifth-most in the country and ranked as the 3rd-most in a single season at Colorado State
  • In his career Barrett registered 18 sacks, 7th-most in CSU history
  • Barrett’s 13-tackle, 3-sack, 2-FF performance vs. UTEP earned him Bronko Nagurski Defensive POW honors, only the 2nd Ram to earn this award
  • Barrett blocked 2 kicks vs. Cal Poly (9/14) & confirmed through research dating back to 1970, Barrett is the first Ram to block two kicks in one game
  • S Trent Matthews picked off four passes in 2013, tying for the most by a Ram since 2009 and tied for fifth-most in #NCAA
  • LB Max Morgan racked up 20 tackles at Utah State, the most by a CSU defender since Karl Ballard (20) vs. BYU on Oct. 15, 2005
  • Morgan finished the season with 134 tackles, the 10th-most in a single season by a CSU defender
  • After allowing opponents to convert 48 percent of their third-down tries last season, the #CSURams reduced the rate to 37 percent this year
  • CSU’s defense held Utah State to only 43 passing yards, the fewest passing yards allowed since Oct. 31, 2003 vs. AFA (29)
  • CSU’s defense held @AlabamaFTBL to 66 yards rushing, the lowest total by the Crimson Tide since Oct. 9, 2010 (36)
  • The Rams limited Washington State to -10 rushing yards, the second-fewest single-game rushing yards in program history


  • Opponents avg. just 9.7 yards/punt return after averaging 12.0 a year ago, and 20.5 yards/kickoff return compared to 23.5 last year
  • Kicker Jared Roberts averaged 1.5 FGs/game, 2nd in #MWFB and 19th nationally
  • Against Air Force Roberts connected on a 54-yard FG, a career long and the longest by a CSU kicker since C.W. Hurst’s 54-yarder in 1999
  • Roberts’ 88.2 field goal percentage makes him the most accurate kicker in CSU history with a minimum of 25 attempts (30-of-34)
  • LB Shaquil Barrett earned MW Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking two Cal Poly field goals (9/14)

The Rams posted 507 points on the scoreboard, the most in a single season by CSU. This average of 36.2 per game ranked 23rd nationally, and represented an increase of 71 percent compared to 2012’s 21.2. The last season a Colorado State team averaged more than 30 points per game was in 1997. Over a 13-game span the 1997 Rams averaged 36.7 points per game. The Rams’ high-scoring average in 2013 is aided by four games scoring 50-plus points (59 vs. UTEP 9/28, 52 at Wyoming 10/19, 66 at New Mexico 11/16, 58 vs. Air Force 11/30). This marked the first season Colorado State has scored 50-plus points in four games in a single season.

Prior to the 2013 season, the Rams hadn’t scored 50 points in a single game since Oct. 8, 2003 at BYU. Until the 59-point performance vs. UTEP, the Rams went 3,666 days between 50-point games. It only took 21 days for the Rams to put together their second 50-point game, 28 days for the 60-point explosion and the Rams only waited 14 more days for their last 50-point outburst.

Rams offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin, who was one of 40 semifinalists for the Broyles Award, had the offense firing on all cylinders. After the 629-yard outburst in the Rams’ season finale Nov. 30 vs. Air Force – the fourth-highest total offensive yards produced in a single game in program history – CSU did something no other Rams team could accomplish, recording 500-plus yards of total offense in seven games in a single season. This offense racked up the most single-season offensive yards (6,591), the highest total offense average per game all time (470.8) and second-most touchdowns in a single-season (63).

The Rams’ offensive line featured four seniors (Biard, Gragert, Haynes and Richburg) and one junior (Sambrailo) who accounted for 164 total starts, tied for 11th most in the nation. This group showed improvement during the season and it shows in the stats. The Rams finished the year ranked 39th nationally having only given up 22 sacks, an average of 1.6 per game and the running game increased just over 59 percent from 2012. The Rams’ ground attack averaged 204.4 yards per game, the highest total since 2002 when the green and gold scampered for 205.7 yards per game.

The Rams rushed for at least 225 yards in nine games, a figure which ties for the sixth-most nationally. Ahead of CSU was Auburn (12), Ohio State (12) and three option-attack teams: Army (11), Navy (11) and Georgia Tech (11).

In crucial situations, the Rams ran behind senior center Weston Richburg, a first-team All-Mountain West selection and invitee to both the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine. He graded out above 90 percent in all 14 games and recorded just over 45 knockdown blocks, including an impressive seven against Boise State on Nov. 2.

Redshirt-sophomore Kapri Bibbs was a force in his only season in Fort Collins. Bibbs, a highly touted recruit from Plainfield, Ill., only started seven games for the Rams but ran the ball 281 times for 1,741 yards and 31 touchdowns. The 31 rushing touchdowns are a CSU single-season record, and he finished tied with Navy QB Keenan Reynolds for most touchdowns among FBS players. Furthermore, Bibbs became only the third student-athlete to rush for 30-plus touchdowns in a single season in NCAA history. One week later, Reynold’s joined that same category. Bibbs’ 1,741 rushing yards are the most in program history.

Rams K Jared Roberts, semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, has been a sensation in the kicking game since earning a scholarship before the 2012 season. The native of Littleton, Colo., earned a scholarship just a week prior to the season opener on Sept. 1, 2012 vs. Colorado and has been one of the most reliable kickers in program history. Roberts has made 30-34 (.882) career field goals, a percentage that ranks fourth in the nation among active kickers. Among CSU kickers with a minimum of 25 attempts, Roberts is the most accurate kicker, sitting atop the Rams record book, ahead of Jason Smith (.776, 2005-08).

In the Rams’ regular season finale vs. Air Force (Nov. 30), Roberts hit a career-long 54-yard field goal to give Colorado State a 30-0 lead at halftime. This field goal ranks as the 6th-longest field goal in program history. It is the longest kick since C.W. Hurst connected on a 54-yarder vs. New Mexico State on Oct. 2, 1999.

In the 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Roberts connected on all four field goal attempts, including a 41-yarder as time expired to give the Rams a 48-45 victory. His four field goals marked a program bowl and New Mexico Bowl record.

In 2013 Roberts made all 58 point-after attempts to set a new school record for PATs in a season. He is the first CSU player with 50 or more in a season. The last CSU kicker to go perfect on PATs in a season was Jason Smith who went 31-for-31 in 2008. Dating back to Nov. 17, 2012, Roberts has made 63-consecutive PATs, a figure that leads the Mountain West.

Roberts has only missed three field goals inside of 50 yards in his career. The junior kicker has made 60 consecutive PATs and earlier this season held the nation’s second-longest consecutive made field goal streak at 14, a CSU record. Roberts is second in the Mountain West, and 35th nationally, averaging 1.3 field goals per game and is averaging 7.9 points per game, eighth-best in the conference.

Entering the season tight ends Kivon Cartwright and Crockett Gillmore were regarded as the top players in the Mountain West at their position and they lived up to the hype.

Cartwright, who earned All-Mountain West honorable mention, hauled in 27 receptions for 462 yards, which tied for 15th in the NCAA for receiving yards by a tight end and second in the Mountain West. He also caught six receiving touchdowns. Among tight ends, Cartwright’s six touchdowns tied for fourth-most by a FBS tight end. Cartwright had back-to-back games with two touchdowns (UTEP 9/28 and SJSU 10/12). He is the first Rams player to record multiple receiving touchdowns in back-to-back games since Paul Turner in 1995. Turner had two touchdowns on Sept. 16 at Air Force and two touchdowns on Sept. 30 vs. BYU.

The last Rams receiver with six or more touchdowns in a season was Dion Morton in 2008. Morton registered 10 receiving touchdowns on 51 receptions in 13 games.

Gillmore, a native of Bushland, Texas, didn’t enter the season under-the-radar like Cartwright did. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end was on the preseason watch list for the John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation’s best tight end and by the end of the season he earned first-team All-Mountain West honors. Gillmore finished 2013 third on the team with 47 receptions for 577 receiving yards, the most by a tight end in the Mountain West. Nationally that figure ranked 9th among all FBS tight ends. Additionally, Gillmore’s 577 receiving yards were the third-most by a CSU tight end in a single season. Being the bigger of the two CSU tight ends, Gillmore found himself in more blocking situations, an aspect of his game that has greatly improved and stats reflect that. CSU only allowed 22 sacks on the year, which ranked 37th nationally.

Gillmore accepted invitations to the East-West Shrine Game and the NFL Scouting Combine.

In the 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, the Rams came back from 22 points down in the third quarter to defeat Washington State 48-45. This was the second-largest comeback in program history. The largest deficit overcome to win was on Nov. 2, 1996 when the Rams trailed by 27 (41-14) in the third quarter at Air Force. CSU rattled off 28 consecutive points to beat the Falcons 42-41.

Nationally, the 22-point comeback was one of the best nationally this season and among bowl come-from-behind victories, it is one of the best all time.

In 2013, Colorado State had 29 players make their collegiate debut.
True Freshmen: DL Austin Berk, LB Deonte Clyburn, WR Rashard Higgins, DL Josh Lovingood, S Jake Schlager, DB Tyree Simmons and RB Eric Williams
Redshirt Freshmen: DB Josh Bowman, OL Nick Callender, P Hayden Hunt, QB Craig Leonard, LB Danny Nwosu, LB Bryan Ohene, OL Tomas Rivera, WR Robert Ruiz, DL Johnny Schupp, WR Jordon Vaden, OL Fred Zerblis
Sophomore: DL Terry Jackson and DL LaRyan King, OL Kevin O’Brien
Redshirt Sophomore: RB Kapri Bibbs, OL Sam Carlson, WR C.J. Glenn, RB Davon Riddick, DL Justin Hansen and WR Willie Udofia
Junior: DL Martavius Foster
Redshirt Junior: DB Casey Joy

Senior LB Shaquil Barrett finished tied for fifth with 20.5 tackles for loss and recorded the fifth-most sacks (12.0) in NCAA FBS. Barrett, who was named to Phil Steele’s midseason All-America third team and was the Mountain West’s only defensive representative, earned Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors. Barrett became the first Ram to earn this award since linebacker Rick Crowell in 2000.

Barrett amassed 20.5 tackles for loss for the Rams, a new conference record. He surpassed his previous single-season best effort of 7.5 TFL from 2012 in just four games. Barrett concluded his career at Colorado State with 32.5 tackles for loss in 37 career games.

The senior linebacker’s 12.0 sacks ranked third on CSU’s single-season list. In his career, Barrett registered 18.0 sacks, tying for seventh-most in a career by a CSU defensive player. Barrett entered 2013 with more tackles in the last two seasons than any returning player in the Mountain West. The 2012 honorable mention All-Mountain West selection made 166 tackles in the 2011 and ’12 seasons combined, and scored three touchdowns in his three seasons as a Ram.

In the home-opener against Cal Poly (9/14), Barrett blocked two Mustangs field goals to earn Special Teams Player of the Week by the Mountain West. Confirmed through research dating back to 1970, the senior linebacker is the first Ram to block two kicks in one game. In a game at Falcon Stadium in 1990, Air Force’s Carlton McDonald blocked two CSU punts and a PAT. At Utah State, Barrett blocked his third kick of the season, a 33-yard attempt late in the fourth quarter.

In his final play for Colorado State, Barrett stripped Washington State running back Jeremiah Laufasa and picked the loose ball out of the air. This set up the game-tying drive and from that point the Rams went on to win the 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl. His performance against the Cougars earned him Defensive Player of the Games honors.

Barrett earned invitations to the East-West Shrine Game and the Medal of Honor Bowl, although he chose to only attend the East-West Shrine Game.

In his final season in Fort Collins, Shaquil Barrett was no stranger to opponent’s backfields. The senior linebacker racked up 20.5 tackles for loss through 14 games, a total that ranked fifth in the NCAA and the third-most in Colorado State history. The Rams record for single-season tackles for loss is 23.5 set by Mike Bell in 1977 and again in ‘78.

Week 1 vs. Colorado - Sophomore WR/PR Joe Hansley, Punt Returner co-Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards
Week 3 vs. Cal Poly - Senior LB Shaquil Barrett, MW Special Teams Player of the Week; Senior TE Crockett Gillmore, Tight End co-Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards
Week 4 at Alabama - Junior K Jared Roberts, Kicker co-Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards
Week 5 vs. UTEP - Senior LB Shaquil Barrett, Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, CFPA National Defensive Performer of the Week, MW Defensive Player of the Week, National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter Player of the Week; Sophomore RB Kapri Bibbs, College Football Performance Awards honorable mention Running Back of the Week; Junior TE Kivon Cartwright, John Mackey Tight End of the Week; Freshman WR Rashard Higgins, College Football Performance Awards honorable mention Wide Receiver of the Week, Earl Campbell Tyler Rose honorable mention
Week 6 vs. SJSU - Junior TE Kivon Cartwright, CFPA Tight End Performer of the Week honorable mention; Senior TE Crockett Gillmore, CFPA Tight end Performer of the Week honorable mention
Week 7 at Wyoming - Sophomore RB Kapri Bibbs Helmet Sticker from ESPN’s Mark May; College Football Performance Awards Running Back Performer of the Week honorable mention; National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter Player of the Week.
Week 8 at Hawai’i - Junior LB Max Morgan College Football Performance Awards Linebacker Performer of the Week honorable mention; National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter Player of the Week.
Week 9 vs. Boise State - RS-Sophomore RB Donnell Alexander College Football Performance Awards Kickoff Returner Performer of the Week.
Week 10 vs. Nevada - RS-Sophomore RB Kapri Bibbs Walter Camp Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week; MW Offensive Player of the Week; Helmet Sticker from ESPN’s Lou Holtz; CFPA Running Back Performer of the Week National Football Foundation - Colorado Chapter Player of the Week; CBSSports.com Offensive Player of the Week; SEVEN Magazine Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Mountain West Player of the Week. Junior K Jared Roberts MW Special Teams Player of the Week; CFPA  Placekicker of the Week honorable mention. Freshman P Hayden Hunt CFPA Punter of the Week honorable mention.
Week 11 at New Mexico - RS-Sophomore RB Kapri Bibbs Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week; CFPA Running Back Performer of the Week; National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter Player of the Week; SEVEN Magazine Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Mountain West Player of the Week; Capital One Cup Impact Performance of the Week. Senior TE Crockett Gillmore CFPA Tight End Performer of the Week.
Week 14 vs. Washington State - Senior LB Shaquil Barrett Gildan New Mexico Bowl Defensive Player of the Game.

Week 1 vs. Colorado - LB Shaquil Barrett, TE Kivon Cartwright, DB Trent Matthews and OL Weston Richburg
Week 2 at Tulsa - OL Jared Biard, DB Bernard Blake, LB Aaron Davis and TE Crockett Gillmore
Week 3 vs. Cal Poly - DL Eli Edwards, WR Austin Gray, OL Brandon Haynes and LB Max Morgan
Week 4 at Alabama - DB Shaq Bell, LS Tanner Hedstrom, RB Chris Nwoke and DL Curtis Wilson
Week 5 vs. UTEP - OL Jordan Gragert, TE Jake Levin, DB Kevin Pierre-Louis and K Jared Roberts
Week 6 vs. SJSU - LB Nu’uvali Fa’apito, QB Garrett Grayson, LB Cory James, OL Ty Sambrailo
Week 7 at Wyoming - LB Ken Hulbert, WR Charles Lovett, TE Joe McKay, LB Steven Michel
Week 8 at Hawai’i - LB Shaquil Barrett, TE Kivon Cartwright, DB Trent Matthews, OL Weston Richburg
Week 9 vs. Boise State - OL Jared Biard, LB Aaron Davis, TE Crockett Gillmore, LB Max Morgan
Week 10 vs. Nevada - DB Shaq Bell, DL Eli Edwards, WR Austin Gray, OL Brandon Haynes
Week 11 at New Mexico - DB Bernard Blake, WR Joe Hansley, RB Chris Nwoke, DL Curtis Wilson
Week 12 at Utah State - HB Joe Brown, QB Garrett Grayson, LB Cory James, K Jared Roberts
Week 13 vs. Air Force - LB Shaquil Barrett, DB Shaq Bell, LB Max Morgan, OL Weston Richburg
Week 14 vs. Washington State - LB Shaquil Barrett, DB Shaq Bell, LB Max Morgan, OL Weston Richburg

In the past, Colorado State has struggled defensively getting off the field when its opponent faced a third-down. In 2012, opponents converted 48-percent of the time on third down but in 2013 opponent conversions went down to 37 percent, the lowest percentage allowed by CSU since 2002 (35%). Against the then-No. 1 team in the nation, Alabama only converted two third downs out of 10 attempts. At Hawai’i (10/26), the Rainbow Warriors were only able to convert two of 17 third-down conversions. The 37 percent ranks third in the Mountain West. 

In 2013 CSU had two pass catchers score touchdowns on their first career catch. At Tulsa (9/8), senior TE Joe McKay caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Garrett Grayson and Oct. 19 at Wyoming Austin Gray, who spent his first two seasons with the green and gold at safety, caught a 22-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

On Sept. 21 Colorado State traveled south to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to face the then-ranked No. 1 Alabama. Head Coach Jim McElwain, who came to Fort Collins from Alabama where he was the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator, has said since that 31-6 defeat that it was a learning experience. McElwain went on record saying it gave his team a chance to see how they stack up against the best. It was a trip that sparked the Rams’ offensive attack. Since that Saturday, the Rams finished the season 7-3 and were crowned Gildan New Mexico Bowl champions for the first time since 2008.

Since games of Sept. 21 the Rams rank in the top 10 in the nation in total offense and the top 20 in the nation in rushing offense, touchdowns and points per game.




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