Nov. 30, 2010
By Zak Gilbert
Athletic Media Relations
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Nose tackle Guy Miller played 735 of CSU’s 785 defensive snaps in 2010. With 6½ sacks, he ranked among national leaders at his position on the interior defensive line.
The Mountain West Conference’s coaches and selected media recognized those efforts, as well as countless intangibles that don’t show up in statistics, in making Miller a first-team all-conference selection, the conference announced Tuesday. CSU’s other honorees were second-team selections Mychal Sisson (LB), Pete Kontodiakos (P) and Paul Madsen (OL), and honorable-mention choices Ricky Brewer (LB) and Weston Richburg (C).
First-team selection Guy Miller
Miller, a 6-foot-3, 302-pound senior out of Scott City, Kan., is CSU’s first defensive player to receive first-team honors since DE Bryan Save and DB Dexter Wynn in 2003. In 2010, Miller tied for second in the MWC with 0.54 sacks per game, among 35 total stops, nine for loss. He also forced a fumble, and coaches’ film credited him with an incredible 18 quarterback hurries.
A team captain and converted offensive lineman, he started the final 24 games of his career and played in all 49 CSU contests during his four years of eligibility. He will graduate next month with a degree in sociology, after completing an internship with the Larimer County Detention Center.
Key in a dramatic 36-34 win vs. Idaho (Sept. 25), on Idaho’s first drive, Miller sacked future NFL draft selection Nathan Enderle, then later doubled his career total entering the game with his second sack of the afternoon, forcing a critical fumble recovered by Broderick Sargent. The Rams cashed in the takeaway for seven points to take the lead just before halftime. Miller also drew a false-start penalty on the Vandals’ guard.
In a loss at No. 25 Air Force (Oct. 9), he disrupted the nation’s No. 1 rushing offense on several plays. Early in the second quarter, he dropped RB Asher Clark for no gain on third-and-3, forcing a punt, an important stop with CSU trailing 14-0.
But he saved his best performance for CSU’s 43-10 win vs. UNLV (Oct. 16), one of the top defensive efforts in Colorado State history. With 4½ sacks, he broke both the CSU and MWC single-game school record. Brady Smith, the 1995 WAC Defensive Player of the Year, and Mike Bell, a consensus All-American and the No. 2 overall selection in the 1979 NFL Draft, had shared the Rams’ previous mark. The MWC record of 4 had been shared by six others, including 2010 first-round selection Jerry Hughes. The MWC Defensive Player of the Week, Miller became the first CSU individual to win the defensive honor since Robert Herbert on Oct. 31, 2005. Two of his sacks were on fourth downs and his 5.0 tackles for loss represented the best effort in that category by an MWC player in 2010.
Other 2010 highlights:
- At No. 9 Utah (Oct. 23), drew a first-quarter holding penalty that negated an 18-yard run, then picked up a QB hurry with pressure on Jordan Wynn in the third quarter.
- Had five QB hurries in 38-14 win vs. New Mexico (Oct. 30), two that ended first-quarter drives, one of which was a hit that knocked starting QB B.R. Holbrook out of the game; later in Lobos contest, combined with Broderick Sargent to drop QB Stump Godfrey for a 1-yard loss on the first snap after UNM recovered a surprise onside kick.
- At SDSU (Nov. 6), bulldozed the interior of the Aztecs’ line, allowing Nuku Latu and Ricky Brewer to drop MWC leading rusher Ronnie Hillman for a 3-yard loss early in the third quarter; CSU intercepted SDSU on the next play.
Second-team selections Mychal Sisson, Pete Kontodiakos and Paul Madsen
Sisson, a 5-foot-11, 209-pound junior from Duncanville, Texas, earned second-team honors for the second straight season, the first CSU linebacker to earn consecutive all-conference honors since Eric Pauly (2001-02). The nation’s leader with 0.58 forced fumbles per game, he registered all seven of his forced fumbles – two more than any other player in the country through Week 13 – during MWC play. Sisson finished 2010 with seven forced fumbles over his final five games. His seven were the most by a CSU player since 1998 (Joey Porter 8, Clark Haggans 7).
- The playmaker totaled 95 tackles (56 solo), eight stops for loss, 4½ sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception, in addition to three hurries and a pass broken up. Sisson also finished with 1.25 tackles for loss per game, second in the conference and among the nation’s top 40, ranked ninth in the conference with 7.9 overall tackles per game and sixth in the conference with 0.38 sacks per game.
- In that 36-34 win vs. Idaho (Sept. 25), Sisson had a team-leading 10 stops, including 2½ tackles for loss. On the Vandals’ final drive with CSU trailing 34-33, he teamed with Brewer to throw Deonte Jackson for a 2-yard loss, leading to a punt just prior to the Rams’ walk-off field goal.
- At No. 25 Air Force (Oct. 9), Sisson forced and recovered a Jared Tew fumble at CSU’s 3-yard line in the second quarter, answering an AFA interception that had set up the Falcons inside the Rams’ 5. At No. 9 Utah (Oct. 23), he combined with C.J. James on a first-quarter sack, only the third allowed by the Utes up to that point in their season, then hurried Wynn into a second-quarter incompletion on third-and-6, forcing the Utes to settle for a field goal.
- In the 38-14 win vs. New Mexico (Oct. 30), forced a career-best two fumbles and matched a career high with three tackles for loss, part of his game-leading 12 overall stops.
- And finally, in the heartbreaking 24-19 loss at San Diego State (Nov. 6), he turned in one of the top individual defensive efforts in CSU history, with nine tackles, one sack, an interception, a pass broken up, one hurry, a forced fumble and the longest fumble return in program annals, 88 yards. On that return, with the Aztecs facing third-and-goal from the Rams’ 2, he shot into the backfield, not falling for Ryan Lindley’s play-action fake, then swatted the ball from the QB’s hands and scooped up the fumble at the 12, racing down the left sideline untouched. The TD, essentially a 14-point swing if SDSU scored on the play, which gave the Rams a 13-10 lead with 3:56 left in the third quarter, broke Sean Moran’s 1994 CSU record for longest fumble return (Moran scored on a 77-yard return at No. 4 Arizona). Earlier against the Aztecs, he delivered a huge hit a split second after punt-returner Larry Parker fielded the ball at his own 17, then three plays later, hurried Lindley to force a completion and force an SDSU punt. Later in the first half, he registered his first career interception when he picked off Lindley, the league’s leading passer, setting up a field goal.
Kontodiakos,a 6-foot-3, 203-pound sophomore from Tarpon Springs, Fla., continues the Rams’ tradition of outstanding punters. CSU now has had a first- or second-team all-conference punter eight of the last 13 seasons. CSU’s primary punter since taking over the job before his first practice as a true freshman in 2009, he played in all 12 games this season.
- Through Week 13, he ranks second in the MWC and 27th in the country with a 43.7-yard gross average.
- He finished with a 37.6-yard net punting average, up from 32.3 as a true freshman in 2009, and also improved his gross average from 40.9 in 2009 to 43.7 in 2010.
- Kontodiakos hit a 69-yard punt in the third quarter at Wyoming (Nov. 20), his longest of the season. Earlier this year, he also eclipsed 60 on a punt vs. No. 5 TCU (Oct. 2), a 67-yarder.
- He finished the year with nine punts inside the 20 over his final five games. His 17 punts inside the 20 this season were the most by a CSU punter since all-conference selection Jimmie Kaylor had 19 in 2007.
- The specialist also finished with 16 punts of 50-plus yards this season.
- In a tight, 36-34 win vs. Idaho (Sept. 25), he averaged 51.5 yards on two punts, including a 57-yarder and one inside the 20; that gross average was the second-best performance by an MWC punter in 2010.
- He also enjoyed an outstanding afternoon in a loss vs. No. 5 TCU (Oct. 2); facing one of the nation’s most dangerous return men, Jeremy Kerley, he compiled a net average of 40.4, and a gross of 49.8, on eight punts, limiting Kerley to just 35 yards on three returns. He nearly pinned TCU on its own 1-yard line before a 53-yard, first-quarter punt slipped past the Rams’ cover man and into the end zone, then hit 67 and 51-yarders and placed two inside the 20.
- At No. 9 Utah (Oct. 23) and the nation’s No. 3 punt returner, Shaky Smithson, he averaged 46.6 yards on five punts, with a career-high four inside the 20, en route to an outstanding 45.6 net average. Kontodiakos pinned the Utes at their own 12 in the first quarter, then had 59- and 57-yarders in the second half.
- And at SDSU (Nov. 6), he compiled a 42.0 net punting average, and averaged 45.0 gross yards on three punts.
Madsen, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound junior from Provo, Utah, played in 45 of CSU’s 48 quarters, and all 12 games as the Rams’ starting offensive tackle, his only missed action due to a concussion. He had 32 knockdowns, 15 outstanding efforts, and 11 “Meyer mauls,” named after offensive coordinator Pat Meyer. Madsen Graded out above 80 percent in every game and gave up only two sacks and three pressures all season.
- In the loss at No. 25 Air Force (Oct. 9), he helped the Rams pile up more rushing yards (285) than the Falcons’ nation-leading rushing offense (248), including Leonard Mason’s career-best 139.
- In CSU’s 43-10 win vs. UNLV (Oct. 16), Madsen helped Mason to 121 more on the ground, and 259 team rushing yards, including a key block on Mason’s first-quarter TD run.
- And in the 38-14 triumph vs. New Mexico (Oct. 30), the tackle helped lead the Rams to 328 rushing yards, their most since the 2008 New Mexico Bowl.
Honorable-mention choices Ricky Brewer and Weston Richburg
Brewer, a 6-foot-2, 212-pound senior from Mullen High School in Denver, Colo., despite a career year, settled for honorable-mention honors in one of the nation’s deepest conferences with respect to linebackers. Through Week 13, he ranks second among MWC linebackers with 8.9 tackles per game, and including all positions, he ranked fourth in the conference and 44th in the country.
After serving an NCAA suspension and losing his junior year, Brewer earned his teammates’ vote as captain and started all 12 games and played in all 48 quarters, in addition to playing a key role on both kickoff teams, coverage and return.
- In dispatching Idaho (Sept. 25), he made three important plays. First, he combined with DeAngelo Wilkinson on a tackle for loss with the Vandals in a second-and-goal situation, before an eventual field goal; then at the end of the third quarter, he combined with Broderick Sargent to drop Jackson for a 2-yard loss, helping to force an eventual punt with CSU trailing 27-24. Finally, on the Vandals’ final drive, with CSU trailing 34-33, he teamed with Sisson to throw Jackson for another 2-yard loss, leading to another punt just prior to the Rams’ walk-off field goal.
- In the loss vs. No. 5 TCU (Oct. 2), Brewer led the team with nine stops and broke up a first-quarter Andy Dalton pass. He also dropped RB Matthew Tucker for no gain to begin the second quarter and combined with Ty Whittier to stop RB Ed Wesley for no gain late in the first half.
- Contributing to the 43-10 win vs. UNLV (Oct. 16), he recovered a Deante Purvis fumble to snuff out the Rebels’ first drive and set up a CSU touchdown.
- At No. 9 Utah (Oct. 23), he had 14 tackles, one short of his career high and his most since he had 15 at Wyoming, Nov. 22, 2008.
- In the 38-14 win vs. New Mexico (Oct. 30), he had 1½ stops for loss. Brewer blew up a screen pass to Chris Hernandez for a 1-yard loss in the first quarter, then late in the third quarter combined with Alex Williams to drop QB Stump Godfrey for a 2-yard loss on a designed run.
- Finally, he forced two fumbles in the narrow loss at SDSU (Nov. 6), first stripping RB Walter Kazee to give CSU the ball back in the second quarter, then popping the ball loose from MWC-leading rusher Ronnie Hillman in the fourth quarter, setting up a TD that brought the Rams within one score. Earlier in that Aztecs contest, he halted Hillman for no gain on a third-and-1 late in the first half.
Richburg, a 6-foot-4, 292-pound redshirt freshman out of Bushland, Texas, a quarterback in ninth grade, started every game for the Rams in 2010 on their offensive line, three at guard and the final nine at center. CSU did not register a bad snap with Richburg at the center position.
- A Freshman All-America candidate, he had a team-high 54 knockdown blocks and allowed only one sack all year, with no other pressures.
- He also led the team with 22 outstanding efforts and 12 “Meyer mauls.”
- The offensive line’s most valuable player in eight of 12 games, he graded out above 85 percent in all 12 contests.
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