New Mexico Bowl Game Notes: Colorado State vs. Washington State, Dec. 21




Dec. 12, 2013

FULL GAME NOTES IN PDF

Colorado State vs. Washington State
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Dec. 21, 2013 | 12 p.m. MT | ESPN

UPCOMING
Colorado State (7-6, 5-3) and Washington State (6-6, 4-5) will square off on Saturday, Dec. 21 in the 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl. This is the first bowl appearance for the Rams since 2008, a 40-35 victory in the New Mexico Bowl over Fresno State. The Cougars play in a bowl for the first time since 2003 when they defeated Texas 28-20 in the Holiday Bowl. Dec. 21 represents the first meeting between Colorado State and Washington State and kickoff is set for 12 p.m. MT at University Stadium in Albuquerque, N.M. Fans can watch the Rams try to win their second New Mexico Bowl on ESPN.
 
A victory over the Cougars would give the Rams eight wins, the most since 2002 as Sonny Lubick led CSU to a 10-win season and a Mountain West Championship.

WHERE TO FIND THE GAME: The New Mexico Bowl between Colorado State and Washington State can be found across the nation on ESPN, with Mark Jones (play-by-play), Brock Huard (analyst) and Jessica Mendoza (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 Kevin McGlue (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 | #CSURams | #1TTD | #MWFB

#TEAM

  • A victory against @WSUCougFB would give the Rams their most wins since 2002 when CSU won @mountainwest championship & finished 10-4
  • The Rams enter bowl season with their first winning regular season record since ‘05, placing them in a bowl for first time since ‘08
  • Since playing at Alabama (9/21), CSU is 6-3 and has avg. 512.7 total yds. & avg. 231.9 rushing yards, both top-20 in the nation in that span
  • Through 13 games the Rams are averaging 202.7 rushing yards, their most since 2002 (205.7)
    CSU is the only team in NCAA FBS with a 3,200-yard passer and 1,500-yard rusher (Grayson - 3,327 & Bibbs - 1,572)
  • CSU is on pace for the highest avg. yards/game in program history with 461.2. 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 seven games this season, a CSU single-season record
  • CSU is averaging 35.3 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 67%, from 21.2 in 2012 to 35.3 this season
  • Under @CoachMcElwain the Rams are 9-2 when leading at halftime and 10-1 with the lead after 3 quarters
  • The Rams ran 109 offensive plays vs. @BroncoSportFB on Nov. 2, a program record and third-most in #MWFB history
  • In 13 games CSU has scored 459 points which ranks as the second-best scoring output in a single season, trailing the Rams of ‘97 (477)
  • CSU hung 50+ points on UTEP (59), WYO (52), UNM (66) & AFA (58) this year, the first CSU team to score 50 on 4 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 @rimingtontrophy has graded above 90% in every game with 45 knockdowns, incl. 7 vs. Boise St.
  • OL Ty Sambrailo, a junior from Watsonville, Calif., has graded above 89% in every game and has recorded 34 knockdown blocks
  • SR RB Chris Nwoke ranks 10th all-time in CSU history with 2,455 rushing yards
  • SO RB Kapri Bibbs has rushed for 1,572 yards, the most in #MWFB and eighth-most among all NCAA FBS running backs
  • With 1,572 rushing yards, Bibbs has the second-most single-season rushing yards at CSU & needs only 30 yards to secure the top spot
  • In a 2-game span (vs. Nev, at UNM), Bibbs ran the ball 68 times for 603 yds. (8.9 avg.) and scored 10 touchdowns
  • Bibbs leads the nation in rushing TDs (28) & total TDs (28). The 28 rushing TDs are the most by a CSU rusher in a single season & rank 5th career
  • 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 CSU’s 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 player to score at least 3 TDs in five consecutive games, joining Barry Sanders, Paul Hewitt & Montee Ball
  • Tied Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State, 1988) regular single-season record, scoring at least three rushing touchdowns in seven games
  • Bibbs now owns the school single-season points record with 168 more than 4 FBS teams (Miami (OH), FIU, UMASS, & South Florida)
  • CSU’s offensive line starters have a combined 159 starts, which ties 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 533 receiving yards, the 4th-most by a CSU tight end in a single season
  • Against Boise State, JR QB Garrett Grayson threw for a career-high 397 yards, the 10th most in program history
  • Grayson’s 3,327 passing yards is a Colorado State single-season record & his 4,815 career yards rank 10th in CSU history
  • Grayson has now thrown 30 touchdowns in his career, a number that ranks ninth-most all-time at Colorado State
  • 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
  • Higgins’ 64 receptions are the most by a CSU freshman wide receiver in a single season and the sixth-most in program history
  • WR Charles Lovett has a catch in 20 straight games in which he has played. Lovett’s last game without a catch was Nov. 19, 2011 at TCU

#DEFENSE

  • SR LB Shaquil Barrett was named @mountainwest Defensive Player of the Year, the first Ram defender to earn this honor since Rick Crowell in 2000
  • Barrett’s 20.5 TFL is a #MWFB record and is 4th-most in the #NCAA while his average of 1.6 per game is 10th in the country
  • Barrett’s 20.5 TFL ranks as the 3rd-best single season effort in program history
  • Barrett’s sack total of 12.0 is third-most in the country and ranks as the 3rd-most in a single season at Colorado State
  • In his career Barrett has registered 18 sacks, the 7th-most in CSU 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
  • Barrett blocked 2 kicks vs. Cal Poly (9/14) & 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
  • LB Max Morgan racked up 20 tackles at Utah State, the most by a CSU defender since Karl Ballard (20) vs. BYU on Oct. 15, 2005
  • Morgan has 129 tackles this season, the most by a CSU defender since Willie Taylor’s 146 in 1996
  • 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
  • CSU’s defense held Utah State to only 43 passing yards, the fewest passing yards allowed since Oct. 31, 2003 vs. AFA (29)
  • CSU’s defense held @AlabamaFTBL to 66 yards rushing, the lowest total by the Crimson Tide since Oct. 9, 2010 (36)

#SPECIAL TEAMS

  • The Rams are averaging 13.3 yards per punt return compared with a 9.5 average in 2012
  • Opponents avg. just 9.6 yards/punt return after averaging 12.0 a year ago, and 21.0 yards/kickoff return compared to 23.5 last year.
  • Kicker Jared Roberts averages 1.3 FGs/game, 2nd in #MWFB and 35th nationally
  • Against Air Force Roberts connected on a 54-yard FG, a career long and the longest by a CSU kicker since C.W. Hurst’s 54-yarder in 1999
  • Roberts’ 86.7 field goal percentage makes him the most accurate kicker in CSU history with a minimum of 25 attempts (26-of-30)
  • LB Shaquil Barrett earned MW Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking two Cal Poly field goals (9/14)

OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION
Through 13 games the Rams have posted 459 points on the scoreboard, second-most in a single season by a CSU offense. This average of 35.3 per game ranks 43rd nationally, and is a total that has increased 67 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 four games scoring 50-plus points (59 vs. UTEP 9/28, 52 at Wyoming 10/19, 66 at New Mexico 11/16, 58 vs. Air Force 11/30). This marks the first season Colorado State has scored 50-plus points in four 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, 28 days for the 60-point explosion and the Rams only waited 14 more days for the latest 50-point outburst.

Rams offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin, one of 40 semifinalists for the Broyles Award, has the offense firing on all cylinders. After the 629-yard outburst in the Rams’ season finale Nov. 30 vs. Air Force – the fourth-highest 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 seven games in a single season. This offense has racked up the most single-season offensive yards (5,996) and the highest total offense average per game all time (461.2).


GROUND ATTACK
The Rams’ offensive line features four seniors (Biard, Gragert, Haynes and Richburg) and one junior (Sambrailo) who have accounted for 159 total starts, tied for 11th most in the nation. This group continues to show improvement and it shows in the stats. The Rams are 37th nationally having only given up 20 sacks, an average of 1.5 per game and the running game has increased just over 57 percent from last season until now. The Rams ground attack is averaging 202.7 yards per game, the highest total since 2002 when the green and gold scampered for 205.7 yards per game.

In crucial situations, the Rams will run behind senior center Weston Richburg, an All-America candidate. The senior center has graded out above 90 percent in all 13 games and has recorded 45 knockdown blocks, including an impressive seven against Boise State on Nov. 2.

Redshirt-sophomore Kapri Bibbs has been a force in his first season in Fort Collins. Bibbs, a highly touted recruit from Plainfield, Ill., has only started six games for the Rams but has run the ball 254 times for 1,572 yards and 28 touchdowns in 13 games. The 28 rushing touchdowns are a CSU single-season record, and leads all NCAA FBS players, and his 1,572 rushing yards are second-most in program history behind Cecil Sapp’s 1,601 yards in 2002.

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 26-30 (.867) career field goals, a percentage that is eighth 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).

In the Rams’ regular season finale vs. Air Force (Nov. 30), Roberts hit a career-long 54-yard field goal to give Colorado State a 30-0 lead at halftime. This field goal ranks as the 6th-longest field goal in program history. It is the longest kick since C.W. Hurst connected on a 54-yarder vs. New Mexico State on Oct. 2, 1999.

This season Roberts now has made all 54 point-after attempts this season to set a new school record for PATs in a season. He is the first CSU player with 50 or more in a season. The last CSU kicker to go perfect on PATs in a season was Jason Smith who went 31-for-31 in 2008.

Roberts has only missed three field goals inside of 50 yards in his career. The junior kicker has made 60 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 35th nationally, averaging 1.3 field goals per game and is averaging 7.9 points per game, eighth-best in the 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 and they have delivered this season.

Cartwright, who has hauled in 25 receptions for 411 yards, is 17th in the NCAA for receiving yards by a tight end, third in the Mountain West, and has six receiving touchdowns. Among tight ends, Cartwright’s six touchdowns are tied for third by a FBS tight end. 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 Rams receiver with 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 43 receptions but his 533 receiving yards are the most by a tight end in the Mountain West. Nationally it is a figure that ranks 9th among all FBS tight ends. Additionally, Gillmore’s 533 receiving yards are the fourth-most by a CSU tight end in program history. 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 20 sacks on the year, which ranks 37th nationally.

A SPECIAL UNIT
Colorado State’s special teams units have improved dramatically in several statistical categories through 12 games. The punt return and punt coverage units are most notable. The Rams are averaging 12.7 yards per return, which is 8th 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 third in the conference and 34th in the NCAA. As a team, the Rams average 25.0 per kickoff return (first in MW, 12th 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 9.6 yards per punt return after averaging 12.0 a year ago.

FIRST-TIME ACTION
In 2013, Colorado State has had 29 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, OL Nick Callender, P Hayden Hunt, QB Craig Leonard, LB Danny Nwosu, LB Bryan Ohene, OL Tomas Rivera, WR Robert Ruiz, DL Johnny Schupp, WR Jordon Vaden, OL Fred Zerblis
Sophomore: DL Terry Jackson and DL LaRyan King, OL Kevin O’Brien
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
Redshirt Junior: DB Casey Joy

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Senior LB Shaquil Barrett has the fourth-most tackles for loss (20.5) and third-most sacks (12.0) in NCAA FBS. Barrett, who was named to Phil Steele’s midseason All-America third team and was the Mountain West’s only defensive representative, earned Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors. Barrett became the first Ram to earn this award since linebacker Rick Crowell in 2000.

Barrett has amassed 20.5 tackles for loss for the Rams, a new conference record, which ranks first in the Mountain West and fourth nationally. He surpassed his previous single-season best effort of 7.5 TFL from 2012 in just four games. Barrett now has 32.5 tackles for loss in 36 career games for the Rams.

The senior linebacker’s 12.0 sacks are fourth-most nationally and represent the third-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. Last weekend at Utah State, Barrett blocked his third kick of the season, a 33-yard attempt late in the fourth quarter.

In his career, Barrett has recorded 18.0 sacks, which ties for the seventh-most sacks in a career by a CSU defensive player. 

TACKLES FOR LOSS
Shaquil Barrett is no stranger to opponent’s backfields. The senior linebacker has racked up 20.5 tackles for loss through 13 games, a total that is second in the NCAA and the third-most in Colorado State history. The Rams 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 10 teams nationally to block two or more kicks in a single game in 2013. On the year, the Rams have blocked four kicks (Barrett’s two field goals vs. Cal Poly, Danny Nwosu’s punt block vs. Tulsa and Barrett’s blocked field goal at Utah State), which ranks tied for 7th nationally.

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; National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter Player of the Week; SEVEN Magazine Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Mountain West Player of the Week; Capital One Cup Impact Performance 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
Week 12 at Utah State - HB Joe Brown, QB Garrett Grayson, LB Cory James, K Jared Roberts
Week 13 vs. Air Force - LB Shaquil Barrett, DB Shaq Bell, LB Max Morgan, 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. At Hawai’i (10/26), the Rainbow Warriors were only able to convert two of 17 third-down conversions. The 36 percent ranks third 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 Oct. 19 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.

SEPTEMBER 21st
On Sept. 21 Colorado State traveled south to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to face the nation’s top team in Alabama. Head Coach Jim McElwain, who came to Fort Collins from Alabama where he was the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator, has said since that 31-6 defeat that it was a learning experience. McElwain has gone on record saying it gave his team a chance to see how they stack up against the best. It was a trip that sparked the Rams’ offensive attack. Since that Saturday, the Rams are 6-3 and earned a bowl berth for the first time since 2008.

Since games of Sept. 21 the Rams rank in the top 10 in the nation in total offense and the top 20 in the nation in rushing offense, touchdowns and points per game.

RECORD WATCH

Redshirt-sophomore running back Kapri Bibbs has already cemented his name in the Colorado State record book after his Nov. 16 performance at New Mexico, but Bibbs still has a few records within reach.

COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING YARDS: In 2002 Cecil Sapp set the school record for most yards in a single-season with 1,601 yards. Bibbs needs to rush for 30 yards in the bowl game to set the CSU record for rushing yards in a single season. Bibbs currently sits in second place in the Rams record book with 1,572 rushing yards.
COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING ATTEMPTS: Bibbs has rushed the ball 254 times through 13 games in 2013 which ranks as the 8th-most in program history. The redshirt-sophomore is on pace to finish the year with 273 carries, which would rank seventh all time.
MOUNTAIN WEST SINGLE-SEASON POINTS: Bibbs holds the CSU record scoring 168 points through 13 games in 2013 but entering Saturday he sits three points from setting the Mountain West single-season record. The record is currently held by Luke Staley from BYU in 2001 (170).
MOUNTAIN WEST SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING YARDS: Bibbs needs to rush for 311 more yards to set the conference single-season rushing record currently held by Stefphon Jefferson from Nevada who rushed for 1,883 yards in 2012.

Redshirt-junior quarterback Garrett Grayson has shown consistent improvement throughout 2013 and his recent stats reflects the experience he has gained over his 22 career starts.

COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON PASSING YARDS: Grayson has set the Colorado State single-season record passing for 3,327 yards in 13 games. With 395 passing yards vs. Air Force on Nov. 30, Grayson became only the fourth Ram quarterback to eclipse 3,000 passing yards in a single season and the first since Justin Holland in 2005.
COLORADO STATE CAREER PASSING YARDS: Grayson has played in 23 games for the green and gold and in those games the Vancouver, Wash., native has thrown for 4,815 yards. This sneaks inside the top-10 for career passing yards. Scooter Molander, who played for the Rams from 1987-88, holds the No. 9 spot throwing for 5,400 yards.
COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON COMPLETIONS: Grayson, who ranks 23rd nationally averaging 20.5 completions per game, has completed 266 passes through 13 games this season. This ranks as the second-most in a single season at CSU. Grayson has a chance to finish with the most completions in a season, needing to complete only 10 more passes to pass Terry Nugent, who holds the Rams record completing 275 passes in 1983.
COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON ATTEMPTS: Grayson has attempted 428 attempts in 2013, ranking as the second-most single-season attempts at CSU. Terry Nugent holds the top spot, throwing 433 passes in 1983. Grayson became the first CSU quarterback to attempt at least 400 passes since Scooter Molander (407) in 1987.
COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON PASSING TOUCHDOWNS: Grayson has thrown 21 touchdown passes this season which ties for the third-most in a single season. Justin Holland holds the single-season record tossing 23 touchdowns in 2005.
COLORADO STATE CAREER PASSING TOUCHDOWNS: Through 23 collegiate appearances, Grayson has thrown 30 touchdowns, the ninth-most all-time at CSU. Grayson needs to throw seven more touchdowns to secure eighth place.

Junior kicker Jared Roberts walked-on at Colorado State after receiving multiple DII scholarships out of high school and in only a year-and-a-half he became the most accurate kicker in school history.

COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON FIELD GOALS: The Littleton, Colo., native has put 17-of-20 field goals between the uprights in 2013, fourth-most in a single season. The last kicker to make more field goals was Jeff Babcock in 2002 (24).
COLORADO STATE CAREER FIELD GOALS: Roberts has connected on 26 field goals in his short career, which ties for 10th-most all-time at Colorado State. Jeff Babcock holds the record, connecting on 51 career field goals from 2002-2004.
COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON POINTS: After 13 games Roberts has connected on 17-of-20 field goals and is a perfect 54-for-54 on PATs, giving him 105 points. The 105 single-season points ranks as the fifth-most all time. It is also the second-most single-season points among all CSU kickers, trailing only Jeff Babcock who scored 118 points in 2002.

Freshman wide receiver Rashard Higgins has started all 13 games in 2013 and he has made an immediate impact for the Colorado State receiving corps.

COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON RECEPTIONS: Higgins has hauled in 64 receptions in his first 13 collegiate games, ranking as the sixth-most in a single season at Colorado State and he just needs six more catches to become only the third Rams pass-catcher to haul in 70-plus catches in a season. David Anderson holds the record catching 86 passes in 2005.
COLORADO STATE SINGLE-SEASON RECEPTIONS - FROSH.: The Mesquite, Texas native has already set a Colorado State freshman record with 64 receptions. Earlier this year, Higgins also tied the school’s freshman single-game record with 10 receptions vs. Boise State on Nov. 2 and set the freshman single-game receiving yards record with 156 vs. UTEP (Sept. 28). 

THE MATCHUP

RAMS vs. COUGARS
All-time, overall: First meeting
All-time, in Pullman: 0-0-0
All-time, in Fort Collins: 0-0-0
First official meeting: First meeting
 
Series streaks: Dec. 21 will mark the first contest between Colorado State and Washington State.
 
COACHES CAPSULESCSUJim McElwain: 11-14, second year overall as head coach
    WSU — Mike Leach: 93-58, 12th year as head coach
Head-to-head: First meeting | Against opponent: McElwain first meeting vs. Washington State; Leach first meeting vs. CSU

  • Washington State University announced Nov. 30, 2011 that Mike Leach has been named the Cougars’ head football coach.
  • Leach brought a proven record of winning to Pullman. In 10 seasons as a head coach, all at Texas Tech (2000-09) his program earned 10 bowl bids. In addition, the Susanville, Calif., native who was raised in Cody, Wyo., recorded a school-record 84 victories during his tenure.
  • In his first season in Pullman, Leach’s high-powered offense led the Pac-12 Conference in passing, averaging 330.42 yards per game. That figure ranked ninth nationally and marked the second-highest average in school history. Seven times the Cougars threw for more than 350 yards, including the season-ending, 31-28, overtime win against Washington. In a season that produced a 3-9 overall record, the Cougars saw a bit of a youth movement as 17 freshmen played and only four seniors started regularly. Academically, nine Cougars received Pac-12 All-Academic honors while the 2012 fall semester football GPA of 2.66 marked the first time the football team had been over a 2.60 GPA for fall semester.

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

  • Colorado State Head Coach Jim McElwain played quarterback at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash., just 67 miles from Pullman, Wash., home of Washington State.
  • CSU director of recruiting operations Tim LeRoy was director of player personnel at Washington State during the 2010-11 seasons, until joining Coach McElwain’s staff at CSU in the spring of 2012. He grew up with former WSU All-America quarterback Jack Thompson, and played football at both Walla Walla (Wash.) Community College and Eastern Washington University in Cheney, 67 miles from Pullman.
  • CSU quarterback Garrett Grayson’s uncle, Dan, was a two-year letterwinner at Washington State...in 1989, Dan Grayson earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors for his performance at linebacker before being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventh round.
    Rams defensive line coach Greg Lupfer graduated from high school in Dayton, Wash., located 82 miles from Pullman, Wash.
  • CSU special teams intern Heath Pulver spent four seasons with the Eastern Washington Eagles from 2008-11.
  • CSU punter Hayden Hunt and WSU running back Gerard Wicks were teammates at Long Beach Poly High School in Long Beach, Calif.
  • Cougars redshirt-freshman quarterback Austin Apodaca is from Longmont, Colo. and graduated from Silver Creek High School.

 

 

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