Football Game Notes: Colorado State vs. Boise State, Nov. 2




Oct. 28, 2013

FULL RELEASE IN PDF | NOTES IN 140

THIS WEEK
Colorado State (4-4, 2-1) has earned two consecutive road Mountain West victories for the first time since 2002 and will look to continue to build a win streak at home vs. Boise State on Nov. 2. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. MT and can be found on CBS Sports Network.

The Rams are also searching for their first win against Boise State, which has won both meetings in the series. Last season the Rams traveled to Boise on Nov. 17 and were defeated 42-14. On Friday, Nov. 1, CSU will induct six member into the CSU Athletics Hall of Fame, all of whom will be honored at halftime on Saturday.

WHERE TO FIND THE GAME: Saturday’s game between Colorado State and Boise State will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network. Calling the game will be Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Aaron Taylor (analyst), and Lauren Gardner (sideline). 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 Marty Cesario (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

  • .@CoachMcElwain picked up his first true road win of his coaching career after beating Wyoming 52-22 on Oct. 19
  • CSU has back-to-back road wins in Mountain West play for the first time since 2002 when the Rams defeated Utah, AFA and SDSU.
  • The Rams earned back-to-back victories over two FBS teams for the first time since 2008 when CSU rattled off three wins to end the season.
  • The Rams currently sit at .500, a place they haven’t been this deep into the season since 2008, when they also started 4-4
  • Under @CoachMcElwain the Rams are 7-2 when leading at halftime and 8-1 with the lead after 3 quarters
  • CSU is averaging 33.4 points per game in 2013. The last time the Rams averaged 30-plus points per game was in 1997 (36.6)
  • Last season the Rams only averaged 21.2 points per game but have seen a 57% increase to this season (33.4)
  • The Rams hung 50-plus points on UTEP (59) and Wyoming (52) this year. The last CSU team to score 50 points in two separate games was the 1997 Rams
  • CSU’s Sept. 1 loss to CU marked the first collegiate season-opening loss for @CoachMcElwain since 2004 when he coached at Michigan State
  • 59 points vs. UTEP was the most since Oct. 4, 1997 when the Rams defeated Hawai’i 63-0. The 59 points ties for the ninth most in program history
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Bama’s 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

#OFFENSE

  • OC Weston Richburg, cand. for @outlandtrophy @rimingtontrophy & @lombardiaward, has graded out above 90% in all eight games
  • In those eight games, Richburg has accumulated 23 knockdown blocks
  • 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
  • Cartwright’s six TDs are the most by a Ram pass-catcher since 2008 when Dion Morton had 10 and Kory Sperry had 6
  • SR TE Crockett Gillmore is second among MW TEs with 292 receiving yards, which also ranks 14th nationally among all FBS TEs.
  • JR RB Donnell Alexander picked up 70 yards on his 2nd carry at UH before being tackled at the UH7. It is the 3rd longest non-scoring rush in CSU history
  • SO RB Kapri Bibbs has rushed for 767 yards, 5th best in #MWFB but his 6.0 avg/rush is 2nd in conference among RBs with 100-plus carries
  • Bibbs’ 12 rushing touchdowns tie for most in the nation and most by a CSU rusher since Cecil Sapp in 2002.
  • Bibbs set a career single-game high in rushing at Wyoming with 201 yards and three TDs and is one of 4 MW RBs to rush for 200-plus in ‘13
  • Bibbs became the first CSU running back to rush for three TDs in multiple games in a single season since 1996 (Calvin Branch)
  • Bibbs has scored 3 rushing TDs in back-to-back games, which hadn’t been accomplished since Calvin Branch did it three consecutive games in ‘96
  • WR Joe Hansley set a career best with seven receptions against CU (9/1)
  • CSU’s offensive line starters have a combined 134 starts, which ranks tied for 11th in #NCAA according to @philsteele042
  • JR QB Garrett Grayson has only been sacked six times in his last 179 pass attempts
  • On the year, Grayson has only been sacked nine times, which ranks 21st nationally
  • 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
  • Grayson has thrown 14 TDs, which ranks 28th in #NCAA, the most by a CSU QB since 2008 (Billy Farris - 19)
  • 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’ 7 receptions at Alabama were the most by a CSU freshman since Chris Nwoke’s 8 at Utah on Oct. 23, 2010
  • Higgins’ 156 receiving yards vs. UTEP are the most by a freshman in CSU history and nationally the most by a freshman this season
  • WR Charles Lovett, who returned vs. SJSU after missing five games with knee injury, has a catch in 15 straight games in which he has played.
  • Lovett’s last game without a catch was Nov. 19, 2011 at TCU

#DEFENSE

  • Shaquil Barrett’s 13.5 TFL tie for third most in the #NCAA while his average of 1.7 per game is seventh in the country
  • Barrett’s sack total of 7.5 is tied for fifth in the country and his 0.9 average per game is 10th
  • 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
  • Confirmed through research dating back to 1970, Barrett is the first Ram to block two kicks in one game
  • S Trent Matthews has picked off three passes this season, tying for the most by a Ram since 2009 and third most in #NCAA
  • S Kevin Pierre-Louis (vs. CU) and LB Max Morgan (at UH) racked up 15 total tackles in individual games, the 7th-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 36 percent this year
  • DB Bernard Blake intercepted an A.J. McCarron pass in the third quarter. McCarron had only been picked five times in two seasons prior to that point
  • 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 , who was added to @RayGuyAward watch list, downed four punts inside the 20-yard line at Hawai’i
  • WR/KR Thomas Coffman is 2nd in #MWFB with a kickoff return average of 25.4 yards and his long return of 84 yards is 2nd in MW
  • Coffman’s kickoff return average ranks 26th in #NCAA
  • WR/PR Joe Hansley is one of three #MWFB players with a punt return TD. Hansley’s 74-yard return is the 12th-longest nationally
  • DB/PR Tyree Simmons is averaging 11.5 yards per punt return, ranking second in #MWFB and 16th in #NCAA
  • The Rams are averaging 13.9 yards per punt return compared with a 9.5 average in 2012
  • Opponents avg. just 7.1 yards/punt return after averaging 12.0 a year ago, and 20.7 yards/kickoff return compared to 23.5 last year.
  • .@LouGrozaAward candidate Jared Roberts averages 1.4 FGs/game, 2nd in #MWFB and 31st nationally
  • Roberts’ career field goal percentage of 90.9 percent leads the nation among all active kickers
  • Shaquil Barrett earned MW Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking two Cal Poly field goals (9/14)
  • CSU is one of eight teams in the country to block multiple kicks in one game and is second in #NCAA with 3 blocks on the year

COLORADO FLOOD RECOGNITION
The Colorado State football team will continue to wear a helmet decal throughout the season 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.”

HALL OF FAME
In July the Ram Alumni Athletes Association announced six new inductees to the Colorado State Athletics Hall of Fame and in that group is current student assistant and former DL Joey Porter and former QB Bradlee Van Pelt. The ceremony will be held on Friday, Nov. 1.

Porter played for the Rams from 1995-98. He finished his career in Fort Collins with 20 sacks, the fifth most in program history, including 14 his senior year, the second best single-season total. Porter, who was drafted in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft, played eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, three with the Miami Dolphins and two with the Arizona Cardinals. Porter is finishing up his degree and is a student assistant for the CSU football staff.

Van Pelt, who played for the green and gold from 2001-03, took CSU to three straight bowl games and earned Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year honors as a junior and senior. Val Pelt threw for 6,271 yards on 429 completions and 38 career passing touchdowns. BVP, as he was known, could also make plays with his feet rushing for 26 touchdowns.

RUSHING RECORDS
In his first eight games at Colorado State, RS-SO Kapri Bibbs has rushed for 767 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 12 rushing touchdowns are already the most a sophomore running back at CSU has recorded. Kyle Bell holds the CSU sophomore rushing record for his 1,288-yard performance in 2005. To pass that, Bibbs has to average just over 104 yards per contest in the Rams’ final five games.

AUTOMATIC
Rams JR K Jared Roberts, candidate for Lou Groza Award, has been a sensation in the kicking game since walking on 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 20-22 (.909) career field goals, a percentage that leads the nation among active kickers.

Roberts has only missed one field goal inside of 50 yards in his career. The junior kicker has made 37 consecutive PATs and earlier this season held the nation’s second-longest consecutive made field goal streak at 14, a CSU record. Roerts is second in the Mountain West, and 31st nationally, averaging 1.4 field goals per game and is averaging 8.1 points per game, which is sixth-best in conference.

PICK YOUR POISON
Entering the season tight ends Crockett Gillmore and Kivon Cartwright were regarded as the top players in the Mountain West at their position. Through eight games they are demanding respect nationally.

Cartwright, who has hauled in 16 receptions for 260 yards, is 20th in the NCAA for receiving yards and tied for 28th with six receiving touchdowns. Among tight ends, Cartwright’s six touchdowns are tied for the most by a FBS tight end. The native of Pueblo, Colo., is third amongst all Mountain West tight ends with 260 receiving yards. In the Rams’ last four games Cartwright has pulled in five touchdowns, including 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 time a Rams receiver had 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 nations best tight end. Gillmore is third on the team with 22 receptions but his 292 receiving yards is the second most by a tight end in the Mountain West. Nationally it is a figure that ranks 14th among all FBS tight ends. Being the bigger of the two CSU tight ends, Gillmore finds himself in more blocking situations, an aspect of his game that has greatly improved and stats reflect that. CSU has only allowed nine sacks on the year, which ranks 21st nationally.

In the middle of October, Cartwright and Gillmore were named to the John Mackey Award midseason watch list, an award given annually to the nation’s top tight end. The Rams pass catchers were the only pair of teammates on the list, a feat only accomplished twice since 2006 (Stanford).

PROTECTION
The Rams’ offensive line features four seniors (Biard, Gragert, Haynes and Richburg) and one junior (Sambrailo) who have accounted for 134 total starts, tied for 11th most in the nation. This group continues to show improvement and it shows in the stats. Dating back to the end of  the game at Tulsa, the Rams offensive line has only allowed six sacks in 180 pass attempts. On the year, CSU ranks 21st nationally in sacks allowed. The protection also shows in the rushing numbers as the Rams average 182.0 yards on the ground per game, an improvement of well over 50 yards from 2012. 

Senior center Weston Richburg is a large part of the offensive line’s success. Richburg, who is a candidate for the Outland Trophy, Rimington Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award, has graded out above 90 percent in all eight games and has recorded 23 knockdown blocks.

A SPECIAL UNIT
Colorado State’s special teams units have improved dramatically in several statistical categories through eight games. The punt return and punt coverage units are most notable. The Rams are averaging 13.9 yards per return, which is 17th nationally and second in the Mountain West, 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 11.5 yards on nine returns with a long of 30 yards (vs. Cal Poly, 9/14). Simmons 11.5 average ranks 16th nationally and second in conference. Thomas Coffman received midseason recognition for his production on kickoff returns. Coffman, who was named to Phil Steele’s All-Mountain West third team, averages 25.4 yards per return which is second in the conference and 26th in the NCAA. As a team, the Rams average 24.7 per kickoff return (first in MW, 21st in NCAA) and only allow their opponents to average 20.7 per return.

The Rams’ punt coverage unit is also much improved. Opponents are averaging just 7.4 yards per punt return after averaging 12.0 a year ago.

FIRST-TIME ACTION
In 2013, Colorado State has had 21 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: P Hayden Hunt, LB Danny Nwosu, LB Bryan Ohene, WR Robert Ruiz, DL Johnny Schupp WR Jordon Vaden and OL Fred Zerblis
Sophomore: DL Terry Jackson and DL LaRyan King
Redshirt Sophomore: RB Kapri Bibbs, OL Sam Carlson, RB Davon Riddick, DL Justin Hansen and WR Willie Udofia

ALL-AMERICAN
Senior LB Shaquil Barrett, a candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Award, was named to Phil Steele’s midseason All-America third team and was the Mountain West’s only defensive representative. Barrett has amassed 13.5 tackles for loss for the Rams, which ranks first in the Mountain West and tied for third nationally. Through eight games he has already surpassed his previous single-season best effort of 7.5 TFL set last year, and crushed his 2011 total of 4.5. Barrett now has 25.5 tackles for loss in 30 career games for the Rams.

The senior linebacker’s 7.5 sacks ranks tied for fifth nationally. 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, as has scored three touchdowns in his two-plus seasons as a Ram after transfering from Nebraska-Omaha.

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. Nationally, Barrett is the only player to block two kicks in one game nationally.

TACKLES FOR LOSS
Shaquil Barrett is no stranger to opponents backfields. The senior linebacker has racked up 13.5 tackles for loss through eight games, a total that is third in the NCAA. The Colorado State record for single-season tackles for loss is 23.5 set by Mike Bell in 1977 and again in ‘ 78.

BLOCK PARTY
After Shaquil Barrett’s two-block kick performance at home versus Cal Poly, CSU became one of eight teams nationally to block two or more kicks in a single game in 2013. On the year, the Rams have blocked three kicks (Barrett’s two field goals and Danny Nwosu’s punt block vs. Tulsa), which ranks tied for fourth nationally trailing Kansas State, Minnesota and Rice (4 blocked kicks).

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
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 vs. Wyoming - Sophomore RB Kapri Bibbs Helmet Sticker from ESPN’s Mark May; College Football Performance Awards Running Back Performer of the Week honorable mention.

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
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 vs. 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

GETTING OFF THE FIELD
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 this season opponent conversions are down to 36 percent on pace to be the lowest percentage allowed by CSU since 2002 (35%). Against the No. 1 team in the nation, Alabama only converted two third downs out of 10 attempts. Last week at Hawai’i, the Rainbow Warriors were only able to convert two of 17 third-down conversions. The 36 percent ranks second in the Mountain West.

FIRST TIME IS A CHARM
This season CSU has had two pass catchers score touchdowns on their first career catch. At Tulsa (9/8), TE Joe McKay caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Garrett Grayson and last week 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.

SCORING OUTBURST
After eight games the Rams have posted 267 points on the scoreboard, an average of 33.4 per game ranking 40th nationally, and a total that has increased 57 percent compared to last season’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 due to two games scoring 50-plus points (59 vs. UTEP 9/28, 52 at Wyoming 10/19). The last time a CSU team scored 50-plus points in multiple games was in 1997 when CSU hung 63 on Hawai’i and followed it up with a 55-point outburst vs. San Jose State.

Prior to this 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 and it only took 21 days for the Rams to put together another 50-point game.

THE MATCHUP

RAMS vs. BRONCOS

All-time, overall: 0-2-0
All-time, in Boise: 0-1-0
All-time, in Fort Collins: 0-1-0
First official meeting: Oct. 15, 2011, in Fort Collins; CSU lost, 63-13
Last meeting: Nov. 17, 2012, in Boise; CSU lost 42-14
Last meeting in Fort Collins: Oct. 15, 2011, in Fort Collins; CSU lost, 63-13

Series streaks: Colorado State has dropped the first two meetings of the series.

COACHES CAPSULES: CSUJim McElwain: 8-12, second year overall as head coach
    BSU — Chris Petersen: 89-11, eighth year as head coach
Head-to-head: Petersen leads 1-0  |  Against opponent: McElwain 0-1 vs. BSU; Petersen 2-0 vs. CSU

Success has come at extraordinary levels for Boise State head football coach Chris Petersen during his seven years guiding the program. Petersen is the winningest active coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision, boasting an 89-10 record (.899) since taking over as head coach of the Broncos in 2006.
The Broncos have won 10-or-more games in each of his seven seasons, the longest active streak in the country. Included were 12-or-more wins in four-consecutive years (2008-11), the only school to accomplish the feat since 1900.
The Broncos have won five conference championships under “Coach Pete” - four in the Western Athletic Conference (2006, 2008-10), and one in the Mountain West (2012). In conference games, Petersen’s two-year record in the Mountain West is 13-2 (.867). The Broncos went 38-2 (.950) in the WAC during his first five years as head coach at Boise State.

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

  • Boise State’s RS-JR Beau Martin is a product of Mullen High School in Denver, Colo., the high school of CSU kicker Jared Roberts and back-up QB Gasper Dominici.
  • CSU defensive line coach Greg Lupfer began his coaching career in 1994 as a graduate assistant and outside linebackers coach at Boise State.
  • Boise State quarterback coach Jonathan Smith was a four-year starter at Oregon State during the time Rams co-defensive coordinator Al Simmons was coaching the defensive backs (2001).
  • Rams’ George Maumau and Broncos Andrew Pint are both graduates of Valor Christian in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

NOTABLE PERFORMERS VS. BOISE STATE

  • In 2012, running back Chris Nwoke ran the ball 10 times for 119 yards, including a career-long rush of 72 yards in the second half for his lone touchdown.
  • Also on the ground last season, Donnell Alexander scampered for 58 yards and had two receptions for 8 yards.
  • In 2012, LB Max Morgan had a game-high 12 tackles, including one stop for a loss.
  • In the first meeting between the two programs in 2011, WR Charles Lovett and TE Crockett Gillmore threw touchdown passes on gadget plays.

NEW RADIO FLAGSHIP FOR RAMS IN 2013
The Colorado State Rams will have a new radio home in 2013 for football and men’s and women’s basketball, on 105.5 FM ESPN. A new play-by-play voice also joins the team this year, with veteran Denver television sportscaster Gary Miller behind the microphone, joined by long-time radio team member Brian Roth on color commentary. Roth is in his 15th year as part of the CSU football broadcast team, including the last three years in the play-by-play seat. In addition to its 105.5 flagship, the Rams Radio Network includes KREL 1580 AM ESPN in Colorado Springs and Pueblo; KSIR 1100 AM in Fort Morgan; KRFD 94.5 FM in Sterling and KNZZ 1100 AM in Grand Junction.

SCHEDULE NOTES
CSU looks for first victory over Boise State after dropping the first two games in the series.
The Rams look to snap a streak of seven consecutive losses to Air Force, when the Falcons come to Fort Collins on Nov. 30.

MENTAL CONDITIONING
Colorado State football is among a handful of programs to adopt a mental conditioning program. It is a program that McElwain became familiar with at Alabama and one that he thought would be criticial in bringing success to Fort Collins. Immediately, McElwain hired Dr. Lowell Wightman after meeting during a player academic meeting where the two discovered they shared a belief that shaping and changing a team culture requires the brain and body working together.

During the summer players go through a mental conditioning program and meet with top experts in this field. For the second consecutive year, McElwain invited Trevor Moawad, Vice President of Mindset Programs from Athlete’s Performance, to come speak to his team. McElwain and Moawad met at Alabama and have since become friends.

FREE TUITION
On Saturday, Aug. 24, the Colorado State athletic department hosted its first annual RAMbunctious Pep Rally. This event was designed to get incoming freshmen at CSU excited about athletic events as part of Ram Welcome activities. During the event Andrew Schneeweis made a half court shot for a year’s worth of tuition, paid for by head coaches Jim McElwain, Larry Eustachy (men’s basketball), Tom Hilbert (volleyball), and Ryun Williams (women’s basketball). The four had come up with the plan just days before the event.

“We’re really excited we could be a part of something like that. Our students are such a big part of what we do, and we appreciate their support of our programs. To have all those new students come out and show their excitement last night was outstanding, and we as coaches wanted to do something to show our appreciation,” McElwain said. “Andrew Showed he has what it takes to operate under pressure. We talk to our student-athletes all the time about rising to the occasion and responding in pressure situations, and what Andrew did last night speaks volumes about that very thing. It was incredible to see that shot go in.”

ON SCHOLARSHIP
In 2012, just nine days before the Rocky Mountain Showdown, McElwain presented quarterback M.J. McPeek, running back Mark Woodbury and kicker Jared Roberts with scholarships. Their hard work in fall camp finally paid off.

This year, two more student-athletes were rewarded with scholarships after strong showings in fall camp. Tight End Joe McKay, a redshirt senior from Akron, Colo., and linebacker Ken Hulbert, a product of Highlands Ranch, Colo., Joe McKay, a redshirt senior first received the honor on Aug. 25.

McKay has played in 23 games for the Rams since 2011 and is a major contributer on special teams. In his career, McKay has registered seven tackles, two forced fumbles and a blocked punt.

Hulbert is another contributor on special teams. The junior linebacker has recorded two tackles in eight career games.

“These are two guys who have really earned it. They have worked their tails off and not only do we appreciate what they do, but our team recognizes these were two very deserving guys, as were other guys. It goes to show we do reward those guys who come here and work hard and earn it. There is a strong tradition here of walk-ons playing a strong role in the team’s success and earning scholarships. We really value the hard work and commitment those walk-on players show, and recognize their importance to our team,” McElwain said.

PACKED HOUSE
On Sept. 21 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the Crimson Tide’s home-opener vs. the Rams was sold out. With a capacity of 101,821, it marked the largest crowd a Colorado State team has ever played in front of.

RETURNING TALENT
The Rams return 19 starters in 2013, nine offensively, eight defensively and two from the special teams unit. Colorado State brings back 78 percent of its passing yardage, and 85.7 percent of its net rushing.

Quarterbacks Garrett Grayson and Conner Smith return after registering a combined nine starts in 2012. Grayson threw for 946 yards and Smith for 1,022. Running backs Donnell Alexander and Chris Nwoke both return after rushing for 587 and 570, respectively in 2012.

Defensively, the Rams return 100 percent of their interceptions, 92.8 percent of their forced fumbles, 78 percent of their sacks and 77.4 percent of tackles from 2012.

The Rams return the 2012 statistical team leader for every major offensive and defensive category.

HONOR ROLL
After winning four games in 2012, the most since 2008, expectations in 2013 are high. Fortunately, the Rams have players capable of producing a winning season and six of them earned a spot on preseason watch lists for national awards.

Name  
Shaquil Barrett, Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Kivon Cartwright, John Mackey Award
Crockett Gillmore, John Mackey Award, CFPA Tight End Trophy
Hayden Hunt, Ray Guy Award
Cory James, CFPA Linebacker Trophy
Chris Nwoke, CFPA Running Back Trophy
Weston Richburg, Rimington Trophy, Outland Trophy, Lombardi Award
Jared Roberts, Lou Groza Award, CFPA Placekicker Trophy

THE NEWEST RAM
Head Coach Jim McElwain announced on Aug. 20 the addition of Jack Miller, a nine-year old from Louisville, Colo., who has been battling brain tumors for the past six years. Miller, who connected with the Rams through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, was given his own jersey with his name on the back and a “One Town, One Team, One Dream” wristband.

Miller, who met the team prior to the end of fall camp, was with the team before, during and after the both CSU games played in Colorado (9/1 Rocky Mountain Showdown, 9/14 Cal Poly). Miller is always the first to greet the Rams as they get off the bus and the first Ram onto the field. Hanging inside of the Rams’ locker room is a framed No. 1 jersey, the number given to Jack Miller before the season.

RAMS IN THE NFL
Colorado State has manufactured five current players playing in the National Football League. Joel Dreessen (Denver Broncos), Mike Brisiel (Oakland Raiders), Kory Sperry (Arizona Cardinals), Eric Pears (Buffalo Bills) and Shelley Smith (St. Louis Rams).

Jim McElwain RADIO SHOW
The Coors Light Jim McElwain Coach’s Show will be hosted every Thursday at C.B. & Potts Restaurant and Brewery in Fort Collins at 6:30 p.m. For fans who can’t make it in-person, the show will air on the new home of the CSU Rams Radio Network, FM 105.5 ESPN, as well as across the state on the network affiliates.

RAMS REPORT WITH @CoachMcElwain
The Rams Report with Coach McElwain airs every Thursday on Root Sports at 6 p.m. MT. Fans are encouraged to tune in and listen to Head Coach Jim McElwain recap the previous game and preview Colorado State’s upcoming opponent. CSU fans also get a volleyball update from Tom Hilbert, head coach of the nationally ranked women’s volleyball team.

WATCH PARTIES
The Colorado State athletics department will host official game-watch parties for all of the Rams’ road football games in 2013. Taps Sports Bar & Grill will serve as the home for the Rams’ watch parties, giving fans the chance to gather to watch their team play. Taps is located at 165 E. Boardwalk Drive in Fort Collins. While they gather to watch the games, fans also contribute to the well-being of CSU   student-athletes, as 10 percent of each bill goes back to the CSU Athletics general scholarship fund.


 

 

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