Football Game Notes: Colorado State at Utah State, Nov. 23




Nov. 18, 2013

FULL RELEASE IN PDF

THIS WEEK

Colorado State (6-5, 4-2) will conclude its road schedule at Utah State (6-4, 5-1) in a pivotal Mountain West Mountain Division matchup. The Rams, who have rattled off three consecutive road conference wins for the first time since 2002-03, return to Logan, Utah where in 2011 they defeated the Aggies 35-34 in double overtime. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. MT. Fans can catch the action nationwide on CBS Sports Network.

The Rams have six wins this season, their most this late in the regular season since 2005. The Rams need one more victory to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2008 when CSU defeated Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl. CSU holds a 36-31-2 advantage in the series vs. the Aggies, which dates back to 1902.

WHERE TO FIND THE GAME: Saturday's game between Colorado State and Utah State will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network, with Dave Ryan (play-by-play), Adam Archuleta (analyst) and Evan Washburn (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 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

  • The Rams are above .500 both overall & in MW (6-5, 4-2) at latest date in regular season since 2005
  • CSU has now won 4 of its first 6 MW games, which the Rams haven't done since 2005 when they also began 4-2 through 6 games in conference play
  • Since playing at Alabama (9/21), CSU is 5-2 and has avg. 542.9 total yds. & avg. 259.3 rushing yards, both top-10 in the nation in that span
  • Through 11 games the Rams are averaging 214.8 rushing yards, their most since 1992 (240.1)
  • CSU is on pace for the highest avg. yards/game in program history with 471.1. In 1996, CSU set the bar with an average of 458.9 yards/game
  • The Rams have recorded 500-plus yards of total offense in six games this season, the most games with at least 500 yards in a single season
  • Last week at New Mexico, the Rams racked up 649 yards of total offense, the third-most total offensive yards in a single game in CSU history
  • CSU is averaging 36.5 points per game in 2013. The last time the Rams averaged 30-plus points per game was in 1997 (36.6)
  • The Rams have improved their scoring output by 72%, from 21.2 in 2012 to 36.5 this season
  • Under @CoachMcElwain the Rams are 8-2 when leading at halftime and 9-1 with the lead after 3 quarters
  • Against @BroncoSportFB on Nov. 2 CSU registered 35 first downs, a CSU record. The previous high was 33 set twice in 1992
  • The Rams ran 109 offensive plays vs. @BroncoSportFB on Nov. 2, a program record and second-most in #MWFB history
  • CSU won three-consecutive road games (@ WYO, @ UH, @ UNM) in MW play for the first time since 2002 when the Rams rattled off five conference road wins
  • Through 11 games CSU has scored 401 points which ranks as the third-best scoring output in a single season, trailing the Rams in `02 (418) & `97 (477)
  • The Rams hung 50-plus points on UTEP (59), UW (52) and UNM (66) this year. This is the first CSU team to score 50 on three opponents in a single season
  • 66 points at New Mexico is 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.

#OFFENSE

  • OC Weston Richburg, cand. for @outlandtrophy & @rimingtontrophy has graded above 90% in every game with 37 knockdowns, incl. 7 vs. Boise St.
  • SR RB Chris Nwoke ranks 10th all-time in CSU history with 2,405 rushing yards.
  • SO RB Kapri Bibbs has rushed for 1,439 yards, the most in #MWFB and second-most among all FBS running backs.
  • In the past 2 games (vs. Nev, at UNM), Bibbs has run the ball 68 times for 603 yds. (8.9 avg.) and scored 10 touchdowns
  • Bibbs leads the nation in rushing TDs (25) and total TDs (25). The 25 rushing TDs are the most by a CSU rusher in a single season
  • In only 11 games, Bibbs ranks fifth all-time on the career rushing touchdown list at Colorado State with 25
  • 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 the 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 FBS rusher since 2000 to record at least 3 rushing TDs in six games in a single season
  • Bibbs has scored at least 3 rushing TDs in 5-consecutive games, which hadn't been accomplished since Calvin Branch did it in 3 consecutive games in `96
  • Bibbs now owns the school single-season points record, scoring 150 points through 11 games
  • With 25 rushing TDs Bibbs has more scores on the ground than 77% of FBS teams (95-out-of-123 teams)
  • CSU's offensive line starters have a combined 149 starts, which ranks tied for 11th in #NCAA according to @philsteele042
  • 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 leads all MW TEs with 423 receiving yards, which also ranks 8th nationally among all FBS TEs
  • Against Boise State, JR QB Garrett Grayson threw for a career-high 397 yards, the 10th most in program history.
  • Grayson has now thrown 27 touchdowns in his career, a number that ranks ninth-most all-time at Colorado State.
  • Grayson's 2,785 passing yards this season ranks as the eighth-most at CSU and the 19th-most in #NCAA
  • 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
  • WR Charles Lovett has a catch in 18 straight games in which he has played. Lovett's last game without a catch was Nov. 19, 2011 at TCU

#DEFENSE

  • Shaquil Barrett's 18.0 TFL leads #MWFB and is tied for third most in the #NCAA while his average of 1.6 per game is ninth in the country
  • Barrett's sack total of 10.5 is third-most in the country and ranks as the fifth-most in a single season at Colorado State
  • Barrett's 18.0 TFL ranks as the sixth-best single season effort in program 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
  • 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 four passes this season, tying for the most by a Ram since 2009 and tied for fourth 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.
  • After allowing opponents to convert 48 percent of their third-down tries last season, the #CSURams have reduced the rate to 38 percent this year
  • CSU's defense held @AlabamaFTBL to 66 yards rushing, the lowest total by the Crimson Tide since Oct. 9, 2010 (36)

#SPECIAL TEAMS

  • WR/PR Joe Hansley is one of three #MWFB players with a punt return TD. Hansley's 74-yard return is the 17th-longest nationally
  • The Rams are averaging 15.5 yards per punt return compared with a 9.5 average in 2012
  • Opponents avg. just 8.6 yards/punt return after averaging 12.0 a year ago, and 21.0 yards/kickoff return compared to 23.5 last year.
  • .@LouGrozaAward candidate Jared Roberts averages 1.5 FGs/game, 2nd in #MWFB and 22nd nationally
  • At New Mexico Roberts connected on a 52-yard FG, a career long and the longest by a CSU kicker since Jason Smith's 52-yarder in 2008
  • Roberts' career field goal percentage of 88.9 percent is 2nd among all active kickers in NCAA FBS
  • Roberts' 88.9 field goal percentage makes him the most accurate kicker in CSU history with a minimum of 25 attempts (25-of-28)
  • 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 10th 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."

AUTOMATIC
Rams JR 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 25-28 (.889) career field goals, a percentage that is second 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).

On Nov. 16 at New Mexico, Roberts hit a career-long 52-yard field goal, which ranks as the 10th-longest field goal in program history. It is the longest kick since Jason Smith connected on a 52-yarder at Utah on Oct. 18, 2008. Also against the Lobos, Roberts was a perfect 9-for-9 on point-after attempts, tying for the second-most PATs in a single-game by a Mountain West kicker.

Roberts has only missed two field goal inside of 50 yards in his career. The junior kicker has made 52 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 22nd nationally, averaging 1.5 field goals per game and is averaging 8.6 points per game, which is fifth-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 11 games they are demanding respect nationally.

Cartwright, who has hauled in 22 receptions for 366 yards, is 14th in the NCAA for receiving yards by a tight end, third in the MW, and tied for 52nd among all pass-catchers with six receiving touchdowns. Among tight ends, Cartwright's six touchdowns are tied for third by a FBS tight end. The native of Pueblo, Colo., is third amongst all Mountain West tight ends with 366 receiving yards. 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 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 nation's best tight end. Gillmore is third on the team with 33 receptions but his 423 receiving yards is the most by a tight end in the Mountain West. Nationally it is a figure that ranks 8th 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 15 sacks on the year, which ranks 32nd nationally.

In crucial situations, the Rams will run behind senior center Weston Richburg, who is a candidate for the Outland Trophy and Rimington Trophy. The senior center has graded out above 90 percent in all 11 games and has recorded 37 knockdown blocks, including an impressive seven against Boise State on Nov. 2.

A SPECIAL UNIT
Colorado State's special teams units have improved dramatically in several statistical categories through 11 games. The punt return and punt coverage units are most notable. The Rams are averaging 15.5 yards per return, which is 7th 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). 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 24.3 yards per return which is fifth in the conference and 37th in the NCAA. As a team, the Rams average 25.0 per kickoff return (first in MW, 13th in NCAA) and only allow their opponents to average 21.0 per return. Against Boise State on Nov. 2, Donnell Alexander returned his first kickoff of the season 61 yards before being brought down. The return was only Alexander's fourth of his career.

The Rams' punt coverage unit is also much improved. Opponents are averaging just 8.6 yards per punt return after averaging 12.0 a year ago.

FIRST-TIME ACTION
In 2013, Colorado State has had 24 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, 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, WR C.J. Glenn, RB Davon Riddick, DL Justin Hansen and WR Willie Udofia
Junior: DL Martavius Foster

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 18.0 tackles for loss for the Rams, which ranks first in the Mountain West and tied for second nationally. He has 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 29.0 tackles for loss in 32 career games for the Rams.

The senior linebacker's 10.5 sacks are tied for third-most nationally and represent the fifth-best single-season effort in program history. 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.

In his career, Barrett has recorded 16.5 sacks, which ties for the 10th-most sacks in a career by a CSU defensive player. 

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 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. Senior TE Crockett Gillmore CFPA Tight End Performer of the Week.

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 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

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.

OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION
Through 11 games the Rams have posted 401 points on the scoreboard, which is the third-most points in a single season by a CSU offense. This average of 36.5 per game ranks 26th nationally, and is a total that has increased 72 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 aided by three games scoring 50-plus points (59 vs. UTEP 9/28, 52 at Wyoming 10/19, 66 at New Mexico 11/16). This marks the first season Colorado State has scored 50-plus points in three games in a single season. 

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. It only took 21 days for the Rams to put together their second 50-point game and for the 60-point explosion the Rams only waited 28 days.

Rams offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin has the offense firing on all cylinders. After the 649-yard outburst on Nov. 16 at New Mexico, which was the third-most total offensive yards produced in a single game in program history, CSU has done something no other Rams team could accomplish, recording 500-plus yards of total offense in six games in a single season. This offense is on pace to have the highest total offense average per game all time (471.1). With two regular season games left on the schedule, the Rams currently have racked up 5,182 yards of total offense, a number that ranks sixth in CSU annals.

THE MATCHUP

RAMS vs. AGGIES

All-time, overall: 36-31-2
All-time, in Logan: 20-17-1
All-time, in Fort Collins: 16-14-1
First official meeting: Oct. 11, 1902 in Logan: CSU won 24-5
Last meeting: Sept. 22, 2012 in Fort Collins: Aggies won 31-19
Last meeting in Logan: Sept. 24, 2011: CSU won 35-34
 
Series streaks: Colorado State has won four of the last five meetings.
 
COACHES CAPSULES: CSU -- Jim McElwain: 10-13, second year overall as head coach
    USU -- Matt Wells: 6-4, first year as head coach
Head-to-head: first meeting | Against opponent: McElwain 0-1 vs. Utah State; Wells first meeting vs. CSU

  • Aggie alumnus Matt Wells was named Utah State's 27th head football coach on Dec. 20, 2012 after serving as the team's offensive coordinator in 2012, and quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator in 2011.
  • The 39-year old Wells, who is now the 11th-youngest head coach at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level, replaced Gary Andersen who accepted the head coaching position at the University of Wisconsin. Dating back to 1919, Wells is just the second Utah State graduate to be appointed its head football coach joining Chris Pella who graduated from USU in 1965 and coached the Aggies from 1983-85.

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

  • Colorado State offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin was Utah State's offensive coordinator from 2009-11...Kendrick Shaver, USU cornerbacks coach, was a secondary coach for Northern Colorado...Aggies WR coach Jovon Bouknight played for Wyoming, seeing the Rams several times.
  • Utah State senior safety Clayton Christensen and Kapri Bibbs both played at Snow College.
  • The Aggies roster includes one player from Colorado, Terrell Thompson from Eaglecrest Hight School in Aurora.

NOTABLE PERFORMERS VS. UTAH STATE

  • In the 2012, QB Garrett Grayson threw for 224 yards and two touchdown passes.
  • RS-SO DB DeAndre Elliott set a career high with seven tackles and two tackles for loss last season.
  • In 2011, Chris Nwoke rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns, while also hauling in 3 receptions for 17 yards.
  • In the double overtime thriller in 2011, Shaquil Barrett recorded 14 tackles, including a sack, and a fumble which he returned 15 yards for a touchdown.

`ONE TOWN, ONE TEAM, ONE DREAM'
During "Ram U," Colorado State's offseasons strength and conditioning program, senior linebacker Shaquil Barrett came up with the 2013-14 team slogan, "One Town, One Team, One Dream." Often referenced on social media with the hashtag #1TTD, it is a slogan the Rams and the community have embraced.

"`One Town, One Team, One Dream.' So when you see #1TTD, that's their affirmation. I think we are getting to the understanding that each one of us is responsible and as a team we are responsible for this town. We are responsible for this team, and each one of us has to carry that dream. That really hit me that, you know what, we're really heading in the right direction."
  - Head Coach Jim McElwain

PORTER JOINS STAFF
On July 31st Coach McElwain announced the addition of former CSU great and all-pro NFL linebacker Joey Porter as an undergraduate student assistant football coach at his alma mater.

"This is another example of reaching back into our past to help build our future at Colorado State," said McElwain. "It's an opportunity for him to complete his degree while he gains valuable experience with our coaching staff. We are proud to welcome one of the great Rams back to our campus, just as we welcome all of our former players to remain a part of the Rams football family."

Porter, who has 18 credits to complete before earning his degree, was as excited as McElwain.

"It feels great; I am definitely excited about the opportunity, excited that Coach Mac gave me the opportunity to come back and be a part of the CSU family. It's not like I never was when I left, but it's always good to come back and be here in Fort Collins.

Porter wants to get into coaching one day and CSU is a great place to get that start. The Super Bowl champion linebacker has a great deal of knowledge that he can pass on to current CSU athletes and he is determined to make them, not only better football players, but better young men.

MR. RELIABLE
Senior center Weston Richburg is not only one of the most decorated Rams on the roster, he is also the most experienced. The 6-4, 300-pounder from Bushland, Texas, has started all 45 games of his career. A preseason candidate for the Rimington Trophy, Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award for the second year in a row, Richburg is one of just three centers in the nation with 45 or more career starts, joining Utah State's Tyler Larsen (46) and Arkansas' Travis Swanson (46). He is tied for 14th in the nation among all players in career starts entering 2013.

FIVE RAMS ARE CSU GRADUATES
Guard Jordan Gragert, long-snapper Tanner Hedstrom, tight end Joe McKay, running back Chris Nwoke and center Weston Richburg are playing their final season for the Rams in 2013 after having graduated with bachelor's degrees this past spring or summer. Richburg (animal science) graduated after summer classes, while Gragert (sociology), Hedstrom (health & exercise science), McKay (liberal arts) and Nwoke (business administration) received their degrees in May.

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.

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.

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.

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 Rocky Mountain Showdown, and Cal Poly. Miller is 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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