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Rams use bye week to fine-tune and reflect




Sept. 30, 2013

VIDEO: McELWAIN'S WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE

Colorado State enters a bye week after defeating UTEP 59-42, for its fifth-consecutive home win. The Rams did not practice Monday but will return to the field for practices Tuesday through Thursday. Head Coach Jim McElwain met with the media for his weekly press conference at noon and the second-year coach touched on topics ranging from the stellar play of linebacker Shaquil Barrett to what the team will look to accomplish during the bye week.

Leading the nation: Senior linebacker Shaquil Barrett leads the nation with 6.5 sacks and is tied for No. 1 with 12.5 tackles for loss. Barrett is on pace to shatter the CSU record for single-season tackles for loss set by Mike Bell with 23 in 1977 and ’78.

Weekly awards: After CSU’s big home win over the UTEP Miners multiple players were honored with weekly awards.

  • Senior linebacker Shaquil Barrett brought home the most hardware earning National Defensive Player of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) and Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week honors.
  • Freshman wide receiver Rashard Higgins earned Earl Campbell Tyler Rose honorable mention, which is a weekly award given to a player from the state of Texas. Higgins also earned CFPA Wide Receiver of the Week honorable mention.
  • Sophomore running back Kapri Bibbs earned CFPA Running Back of the Week honorable mention after rushing for 147 yards and three touchdowns.

 

 

Freshman record: Wide receiver Rashard Higgins set a Colorado State freshman record by registering 156 receiving yards on six catches. That receiving total is also the most by a freshman in the NCAA this year.

After a bye week: The Rams are 1-0 under Head Coach Jim McElwain coming off of a bye week. In 2012, the Rams defeated Hawai’i at home 42-27. Dating back to 2000, when CSU comes off bye weeks in the middle of the season CSU has compiled an 8-6 record.

Latest conference start: On Oct. 12, after the bye week, the Rams will host San Jose State, one of the newest members of the Mountain West. This game is Colorado State’s conference opener and will be broadcasted by CBS Sports Network. The last time the Rams had a conference opener this late into the season was in 2002 when they hosted Wyoming on Oct. 12. That season, CSU posted a 6-1 record in conference play.  

Grayson improvement: In the past three games, quarterback Garrett Grayson has put up numbers that rival any quarterback in the country. The junior QB has completed 62-of-96 (.646) passes for 832 yards and five touchdowns. In that span, Grayson has not thrown an interception and has only been sacked twice.  

Running back production: Through five games the Rams have already rushed for 798 yards - over half of what they rushed for in 2012 - and nine touchdowns. Kapri Bibbs has six rushing touchdowns on the year already, the 12th best total in the NCAA and the most by a CSU running back since Chris Nwoke’s nine in 2011. Bibbs is averaging 6.8 yards per carry, the second-best total in the Mountain West.  

On third down: In the past, CSU 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 this season opponent conversions are down to 35-percent. Against the No. 1 team in the nation, Alabama only managed to convert two third downs out of 10 attempts. The last season the Rams were able to hold opponents to a 35-percent conversion rate on third down was in 2002.

Scoring Outburst: On Saturday the Rams went on a scoring rampage, racking up 59 points on UTEP, the ninth most in program history and the third most in FBS on Saturday. This was also the most points scored by CSU since the Rams defeated Hawai’i 63-0 on Oct. 4, 1997.

Radio Show: With a bye week being a crucial time for coaches to hit the road and recruit and prepare for future opponents, the Coors Light Jim McElwain Coaches Show will not take place this week. Fans are encouraged to return to CB & Potts in on Elizabeth in Fort Collins for the next show on Oct. 10 as McElwain previews the Rams’ upcoming matchup vs. San Jose State. The show can be heard on ESPN 105.5 starting at 6:30 p.m.

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