FORT COLLINS, Colo.--The Colorado State Rams have accepted an invitation to play in the 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 21 in Albuquerque, N.M. The Rams, with a record of 7-6 (5-3 in Mountain West play) will meet Washington State for the first time, with kickoff scheduled for 12 p.m. MT at University Stadium on the campus of the University of New Mexico.
The Rams, who finished the regular season with five wins in their last seven games, will play in their 13th bowl game and first since their 2008 New Mexico Bowl win over Fresno State.
"This is an exciting day not only for our team and our program, but for fans of Colorado State who have waited five years for the chance to go back to a bowl game," said Head Coach Jim McElwain. "We're looking forward to seeing a lot of green and gold in Albuquerque. I'm especially happy for our seniors, who have really stuck together and made a commitment to each other that they will get to finish their career experiencing a bowl game for the first time."
McElwain, in his second season as head coach of the Rams, has led his team to CSU's most regular season wins since 2003 and first winning regular season record since 2005.
Tickets may be purchased through the CSU Ticket Office either online (http://col.st/1d6ozA9), by phone at 800-491-RAMS (7267) or in person at the McGraw Athletic Center ticket windows. Fans can best support CSU Athletics by purchasing their tickets through the Rams ticket office, and purchasing from the official CSU allotment ensures the best seat locations and seating with fellow Rams fans.
Travel packages to Albuquerque to see the Rams in the New Mexico Bowl are available through New Horizons Travel, and include game tickets from the official CSU allotment. More information can be found here.
Colorado State has fashioned its best regular season record since 2003 behind a veteran offensive line, the rushing of national touchdowns leader Kapri Bibbs and the passing of quarterback Garrett Grayson. Bibbs has rushed for 1,572 yards and his 28 rushing touchdowns have broken CSU and Mountain West records, while Grayson's 3,327 passing yards set a new CSU record.
CSU is the only team in the country with both a 3,200-yard passer and 1,500-yard rusher, and features a defense led by linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who ranks third in the nation in both sacks (12.0) and tackles for loss (20.5), and is a candidate for Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.
The Rams' berth in the New Mexico Bowl is the next big step in the overall revitalization of Colorado State Athletics that has taken place since Jack Graham became athletic director just over two years ago. At that time he declared CSU Athletics was entering into a "Bold New Era" and that has borne out not only in performance by its teams and student-athletes both in competition and in the classroom, but also in business aspects with a new partnership with UnderArmour and flagship radio deal with 102.3/105.5 ESPN.
The Rams' bowl opponent, Washington State, travels to Albuquerque with a 6-6 record overall and 4-5 in Pac-12 play. Mike Leach and the Cougars feature the fourth-best passing attack, averaging 364.5 yards per game.
According to the Sagarin Ratings the Cougars enter bowl season with the No.1-ranked strength of schedule.
The team will depart for Albuquerque on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Bowl practices will begin Friday, Dec. 13 with four practices scheduled before the team departs.
Colorado State has an all-time record of 5-7 in its 12 bowl games. The first was the 1949 Raisin Bowl in Fresno, Calif, vs. Occidental College, and was followed by the Freedom Bowl in 1990 and then a run of nine bowl appearances in a 12-season span from 1994-2005 under Sonny Lubick.
For more information please visit www.GildanNewMexicoBowl.com.
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