CSU looks to continue home winning streak




Sept. 23, 2013

FULL NOTES IN PDF

THIS WEEK

Colorado State (1-3, 0-0) returns to Fort Collins for its next two games, including a bye week in between. The Rams will begin the mini homestand with a showdown against UTEP (1-2, 0-1), a Conference USA opponent the Rams last faced in 2011. The Miners won the matchup 31-17 while rushing for 340 yards. The two schools share a rich history, having met 34 times. The Rams and Miners were WAC foes from 1986-1998.

Saturday’s contest between the Rams and Miners will be the 35th meeting and also be Colorado State’s annual Orange Out, a tribute to the university’s  past as Colorado A&M, whose colors were pumpkin and alfalfa. Head Coach McElwain takes on UTEP for the first time in his short head coaching career.

WHERE TO FIND THE GAME: Saturday’s  game between Colorado State and UTEP will be televised on CBS
Sports Network, with Dave Ryan (play-by-play), Adam Archuleta (analyst) and Evan Washburg (sideline)  calling the action. CSU fans can listen to the game on the Colorado State Radio Network with new Voice of the Rams Gary Miller alongside Brian Roth (analyst) and Kevin McGlue (sideline). On the airwaves, fans can listen to the game across the state on: KJAC-FM 105.5 ESPN, KREL-AM 1580 ESPN (Colorado  Springs), KSIR-AM 1010 (Fort Morgan), KRFD-FM 94.5 (Sterling), and KNZZ-AM 1100 (Grand Junction).



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

#TEAM
• CSU’s Sept. 1 loss to CU marked the first collegiate season-opening loss for @CoachMcElwain since 2004 when he coached at Michigan State
• After defeating Cal Poly 34-17 on Sept. 14, the Rams have a 4-game home win streak, the longest since 2005
• Seven true freshmen have made their collegiate debut this season (Berk, Clyburn, Higgins, Lovingood, Schlager, Simmons, Williams)
• The temperature was 98 degrees at kickoff in Tulsa (9/7), the hottest game the Rams have played since Sept. 16, 2000 at Arizona State
.@UTEPAthletics is coming off a home loss to Larry Coker’s UTSA Roadrunners
.@CSUFootball is seeking its first true road win since defeating Utah State in double overtime on Sept. 24, 2011
• Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821) was sold out for the Sept. 21 contest vs. the Rams. It was the largest crowd to see a game featuring CSU
• ‘Colorado State’ was trending worldwide for 15 minutes as the Rams took on Alabama on Sept. 21
• While donning orange uniforms, the Rams have compiled a 3-1 record

#OFFENSE
Weston Richburg, cand. for @outlandtrophy @rimingtontrophy & @lombardiaward, has graded out above 90% in all four games
• In those four games, Richburg has accumulated 12 knockdown blocks
• RS-SR RB Chris Nwoke has rushed for 263 yards, 9th best in #MWFB
• RS-SO Kapri Bibbs’ 5.3 average per rush is 5th best in #MWFB
• Bibbs set a career single-game high in rushing on one drive when he racked up 72 yards at Tulsa before finishing with 83 rushing yards
• SR RB Chris Nwoke’s 56-yard scamper at Tulsa is the third longest of 2013 in #MWFB
• RS-FR WR Jordon Vaden hauled in a 52-yd reception at Tulsa, the 5th longest reception of the year in #MWFB
• WR Joe Hansley set a career best with seven receptions against CU (9/1)
• CSU’s offensive line starters have a combined 98 starts, which ranks 12th in #NCAA according to @philsteele042
• JR QB Garrett Grayson’s 39 pass attempts on Sept. 1 vs. CU was the third-highest total of his career
• With the improved play of the o-line and Grayson’s ability to get rid of the ball, Grayson has only been sacked once in the past two games
• After not being sacked vs. Cal Poly, Grayson wasn’t sacked until the final play of the game at Alabama, a span of 120 minutes
• FR WR Rashard Higgins’ 7 receptions at Alabama are the most by a CSU freshman since Chris Nwoke’s 8 at Utah on Oct. 23, 2010
• JR TE Kivon Cartwright, who has started 15 games for the Rams, made his collegiate debut at UTEP in 2011
• JR WR Charles Lovett has a catch in 12 straight contests in which he has played. He has missed the last 3 games due to injury
• Lovett’s last game without a catch was Nov. 19, 2011 at TCU, 654 days ago

#DEFENSE
• S Kevin Pierre-Louis racked up 15 total tackles on Sept. 1 vs. CU, the 4th-most single-game tackles in #MWFB.
• Pierre-Louis’ 14 assisted tackles is the highest total since LB Ricky Brewer’s 12 at Utah on 10/23/10
• After allowing opponents to convert 48 percent of their third-down tries last season, the #CSURams have reduced the rate to 29 percent this year
• Shaquil Barrett’s 8.5 TFL is tied for the highest total in #MWFB and tied for 5th nationally
• Confirmed through research dating back to 1970, Barrett is the first Ram to block two kicks in one game
• RS-SO DB Trent Matthews picked off his second career pass at Tulsa. Matthews is tied for second in #MWFB with his lone interception
Bernard Blake has 6 PBUs on the season, ranking 3rd in #MWFB and 27th nationally
• Blake intercepted an A.J. McCarron in the third quarter. McCarron has only been picked five times in two seasons
• CSU’s defense held @AlabamaFTBL to 66 yards rushing, the lowest total by the Crimson Tide since Oct. 9, 2010 (36)

#SPECIAL TEAMS
• Freshman punter Hayden Hunt’s 69-yd punt vs. Colorado is the longest in #MWFB. It is also the 14th-longest in #NCAA
• Hunt’s punt average of 42.3 is good for 5th in #MWFB
• WR/KR Thomas Coffman is 3rd in #MWFB with a kickoff return average of 25.9 yards and his long return of 84 yards also leads the MW
• Coffman’s kickoff return average ranks 28th in #NCAA
• WR/PR Joe Hansley is one of two #MWFB players with a punt return TD
• DB/PR Tyree Simmons is averaging 9.5 yards per punt return, ranking third in #MWFB
• Simmons punt return average ranks 33rd in #NCAA and he is the only freshman in the top 50
• The Rams are averaging 14.0 yards per punt return compared with a 9.5 average in 2012
• Opponents avg. just 7.6 yards/punt return after averaging 12.0 a year ago, and 18.8 yards/kickoff return compared to 23.5 last year.
.@LouGrozaAward candidate Jared Roberts is 8-for-8 on the year and has now connected on 14 straight field goals
• Roberts’ average of two field goals per game ranks second in #MWFB and 11th nationally
• Barrett earned MW Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking two Cal Poly field goals (9/14)
• Long snapper Tanner Hedstrom has a streak of 36 consecutive games without an errant snap

COLORADO FLOOD RECOGNITION
The Colorado State football team will continue to wear a helmet decal Saturday symbolizing the floods with the state flag displayed within a raindrop, in recognition of flood victims as well as rescue and recovery personnel. Additionally, McElwain, his assistant coaches and support staff will also be wearing the decal on their clothing. The Rams first wore the decal on Sept. 21 at Alabama.

“This is no doubt a tremendous opportunity and a great challenge for our football program to play Alabama,” he said. “But at the same time, as The Colorado State University, it is not the most important thing we carry in our hearts. We have had thousands of people across our state affected by the recent floods. We are very thankful for everyone involved in rescue and recovery efforts now taking place to assist those people affected by the flooding. We want to be sure that every individual affected knows we carry them in our heart into this game. We are proud to be The Colorado State University and carry the flag with us.”

ORANGE OUT
Colorado State will honor its Aggie heritage on Saturday as fans are encouraged to wear orange. Formerly the Colorado A&M Aggies (prior to 1957), CSU’s jerseys will represent the schools original colors of pumpkin and alfalfa. While donning the orange uniforms, the Rams are 3-1. The Rams wore the orange uniforms twice in 2010 because former head coach Steve Fairchild allowed the seniors to
choose the Rams’ uniform combination for ‘Senior Day.’

Year           Opponent Result
2010           Idaho W, 36-34
2010           BYU L, 49-10
2011           Northern Colorado W, 33-14
2012           Hawai’i W, 42-27

COACH TO CURE MD
The Colorado State and UTEP coaching staffs will be wearing Coach to Cure MD patches this week to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999. This is the sixth annual year of Coach to Cure MD, which has raised over $1 million, and more than 110 FBS schools
will be wearing the special patches.

BEST RECORD AGAINST ONE TEAM
The Rams have compiled a 24-10 record against UTEP with 13 of those wins coming in Fort Collins. The .706 winning percentage against the Miners is the fourth-highest winning percentage against any opponent while playing at least nine games.

Opponent                                     Record
Northern Colorado                17-0-1 (.972)
New Mexico State                  8-1-0 (.889)
Nevada                                9-2-0 (.818)
UTEP                                  24-10-0 (.706)
Pacific                                  7-3-0 (.700)

A SPECIAL UNIT
Colorado State’s special teams units have improved dramatically in several statistical categories through four games. The punt return and punt coverage units are most notable. The Rams are averaging 14.0 yards per return compared with a 9.5 average in 2012. WR Joe Hansley averaged 30.7 yards on three returns with a long of 74 yards in Week 1, while CB Tyree Simmons has averaged 9.5 yards on seven returns with a long of 30 yards vs. Cal Poly (9/14).

Both coverage units are much improved. Opponents are averaging just 7.6 yards per punt return after averaging 12.0 a year ago, and 18.8 yards per kickoff return compared to 23.5 last year.
Among other special teams notables, K Jared Roberts is perfect on eight field-goal attempts and nine PATs this season. He has missed just one field goal in his two-year career, a 51-yarder vs. Utah State (9/22/12), and has now made 14 in a row since. For his career, Roberts is 17-17 on field-goal attempts inside 50 yards.

NEW PUNTER
Redshirt-freshman P Hayden Hunt has been outstanding in his first season replacing All-MW performer Pete Kontodiakos. Behind Hunt’s power and directional punting prowess, the Rams have fashioned a net punting average of 35.0. His gross average of 42.3 is just under the 2012 average of 44.6. Hunt has has two touchbacks and placed four of his 20 punts inside the 20, with six fair catches and
six punts of 50 yards or longer.

In his first collegiate appearance, the freshman punter booted the ball seven times for an average of 49.7 yards per punt, including a 69-yard bomb from the back of his own end zone. Hunt’s 69-yard punt is the longest kick by a Colorado State punter in his collegiate debut. It is also the longest punt in the Mountain West in 2013 and ranks as the ninth-longest nationally.

WEEKLY HONORS
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

WEEKLY CAPTAINS
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

GRAYSON COMPLETES TO...GRAYSON?
Facing a second-and-10 in the first quarter at Alabama junior QB Garrett Grayson dropped back to pass and looked to complete a quick pass towards the sideline. His pass was deflected at the line of
scrimmage and ended up back in his hands. This is ruled a completed pass by Grayson to himself. The last time a Colorado State quarterback completed a pass to himself was on Sept. 18, 1993 vs. BYU.
In the first quarter Anthoney Hill had his pass batted back and he grabbed it and ran for a 5-yard gain.

THE MATCHUP
RAMS vs. MINERS
All-time, overall: 24-10-0
All-time, in El Paso: 11-7-0
All-time, in Fort Collins: 13-3-0
First official meeting: Oct. 26, 1963 in Fort Collins; CSU won 31-14
Last meeting: Oct. 22, 2011 in El Paso; CSU lost 31-17
Last meeting in Fort Collins: Nov. 4, 1995; CSU won 56-10
Series streaks: CSU has won eight of the last 10 meetings.
COACHES CAPSULES: CSUJim McElwain: 5-11, second year overall as head coach
                                         UTEP — Sean Kugler: 1-2, fi rst year as head coach
Head-to-head: First meeting | Against opponent: McElwain First Meeting vs. UTEP; Kugler first meeting
vs. CSU
• Former UTEP player and coach Sean Kugler was named the 25th head coach of the Miners on December 10, 2012.
• Kugler returned to the Sun City following three seasons as the offensive line coach for the Pittsburgh
Steelers. He has 11 years of NFL experience, also working with the Detroit Lions (2001-05) and the
Buffalo Bills (2007-09).
• Kugler was on the UTEP staff from 1993-2000, and was assistant head coach at Boise State in 2006,
when the Broncos finished 13-0 and beat Oklahoma 43-42 in the Fiesta Bowl, unanimously viewed as one of the greatest postseason games in college football history

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS
• As a key fixture on the UTEP offensive line from 1985-88, Kugler compiled a 3-1 record against Colorado State
• Rams co-defensive coordinator Al Simmons coached the UTEP safeties for one year in 2011, the last
time these two teams met
• UTEP’s roster features three players from Las Vegas, Nev., (Leon Hayes, Will Hernandez and Jay Mattox) who were crosstown rivals to CSU’s freshman defensive back Justin Sweet

NOTABLE PERFORMERS VS. UTEP
• In 2011, running back Chris Nwoke ran the ball 23 times for 93 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown scamper
• In his first season as a tight end, Crockett Gillmore hauled in four receptions for 49 yards
Shaq Bell recorded seven tackles and a pass break up in 2011


 

 

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