Dec. 21, 2012
COLORADO STATE FOOTBALL
2012 SEASON REVIEW
4-8 Overall | 3-5 Mountain West Conference (T-6th place)
SEASON IN REVIEW
Colorado State finished its first season under head coach Jim McElwain with three wins in the final five games, including a dramatic win in the season-finale at Hughes Stadium to secure a 4-8 record, the program’s best since 2008. After leading New Mexico for most of the final game, the Rams fell behind, 20-17, with 3:12 to play. That set the stage for a seven-play, 76-yard march that was punctuated by redshirt-freshman quarterback Conner Smith’s 30-yard game-winning touchdown pass to freshman receiver Joe Hansley. That finish sent the Rams’ 15 senior out on a high note, and the accompanying three-game home winning streak provided a springboard toward the offseason program and a promising 2013 campaign.
- The three-game home winning streak vs. Hawaii (10/27/12), UNLV (11/10/12) and New Mexico (11/24/12) is the Rams’ longest since 2008.
- It also marked the longest streak of home wins all against Mountain West opponents since 2005 (Air Force, Utah, Wyoming).
- The season-ending 24-20 win over New Mexico was the Rams’ third consecutive against the Lobos, and the fourth in the last five meetings in the series.
NOTES IN 140 < #CSURamsNotes | #MWFB(A Twitter-friendly look at this week’s top notes from Colorado State Football)
>> The Rams finished the season 4-0 when leading entering the 4th qtr. Twice (vs. Colorado & UNM) CSU fell behind in 4th & came back to win.
>> The 8 teams that beat the Rams in 2012 had a combined record of 72-28 (.720). Six are in bowl games; one is in FCS National Championship
>> Colorado State scored four defensive touchdowns in its last three home games (2 INTs vs. Hawaii, 10/27; INT & Fum vs. UNLV, 11/10)
>> A school-record 18 CSU players scored TDs in 2012, tied for 2nd-most in the nation (FBS) behind Marshall (19)
>> Among the 18 players to score touchdowns in 2012, 11 scored the first of their career this year, tied for 2nd-most in the nation behind Navy (14)
>> CSU had 19 players make their first career start in 2012, eighth-most in NCAA FBS
>> The Rams’ offense tied for 17th in the nation & ranked 2nd #MWFB in red zone scoring (87.5%; 21-24). CSU was 15-17 in conference games
>> The Rams’ 24.2 yards-per-catch average at Wyoming (11/3) was third-highest by any #MWFB team this year
>> Colorado State’s 8.8 yards per play average at Wyoming (11/3) was fourth-best by a #MWFB team in 2012
>> Donnell Alexander posted his third 100-yard rushing game of the season vs. New Mexico (11/24) w/112 yds. and 1 TD on career-high 22 att.
>> Alexander’s 22 carries were the most by a Rams running back this season and most since Ray Carter had 29 (158 yards) on 12/3/11 vs. Wyo.
>> The Rams finished the season with a streak of five consecutive games producing an individual 100-yard rusher for the first time since 2002
>> Alexander (3) and Chris Nwoke (2) were the two running backs to account for the five consecutive 100-yard rushing games
>> Fr. WR Joe Hansley closed the season with career highs for receptions (5) , receiving yards (102) & receiving TDs (2) in the win over UNM
>> Nwoke’s 72-yard TD run at Boise State was the longest rush of his career, longest by a Ram in 4 years & T-8th-longest TD rush in CSU history
>> CSU had a rushing TD from a freshman in 4 straight games (T. Morris 1 each at SDSU & vs. UH; Donnell Alexander 1 at Wyo., 2 vs. UNLV)
>> CSU started 3 different QBs in 2012 (Garrett Grayson-5, M.J. McPeek-3 & Conner Smith-4) because of injuries to Grayson & McPeek
>> Only two other schools, Maryland (5) & Southern Miss (4), started more QBs this year. Five others started 3 QBs as CSU did
>> The 1981 Rams started 3 QBs--Tom Thenell (5), Terry Nugent (4) and Mark Miller (3)--in struggling to an 0-12 record
>> QB Conner Smith’s 326 passing yds. at Wyo. (11/3) were most by a Ram since Pete Thomas threw for 387 vs. San Jose State Oct. 1, 2011
>> WR Charles Lovett was the only Ram with a reception in every game this season. He led the team with 35-428 & tied for 3rd in TDs (2)
>> WR Thomas Coffman’s 75-yd. TD reception at Wyoming tied for the 3rd-longest reception in a #MWFB game this season
>> Coffman’s 146 receiving yards at Wyoming (11/3) were the most by a Ram since Lou Greenwood had 149 vs. San Jose State on Oct. 1, 2011
>> The defense ranked 4th #MWFB in pass yds. allowed (203.2; 27th FBS) and 5th in pass efficiency defense (135.2)
>> DE Lanston Tanyi finished 3rd on team w/77 tackles (6.4/gm.), 2nd-most by MW defensive lineman & 2nd-most by a CSU DL since 1988
>> Tanyi had career-high 13 tackles vs. Hawaii (10/27) & produced 4 of the top 6 single-game tackle totals by a CSU defensive lineman since 2007
>> Tanyi’s 6 QB hurries were the most by a Rams player since 1999 (Clark Haggans, 10)
>> CB Shaq Bell tied for 11th in the nation (T-2nd #MWFB) in fumble recoveries (3), most by a Ram since DE Jesse Nading had 3 in 2007
>> With 3 fumble recoveries and one interception Shaq Bell tied for 6th in the Mountain West in total takeaways (4)
>> LB Cory James ranked 2nd #MWFB with a CSU freshman-record 7.5 sacks, T-40th NCAA FBS. He also was T-6th in TFL (10.5)
>> LB Aaron Davis led the team in tackles w/career-high 84 & ranked 8th among all #MWFB LBs. He posted a career-high 13 at Wyoming (11/3)
>> Davis’ 10 solo tackles vs. Fresno St. (10/6) were the most by a CSU player since Shaq Bell had 10 at Nevada in 2010 (9/11)
>> CB DeAndre Elliott produced the 4th-longest interception return by a #MWFB player in 2012 (76-yds., TD, vs. Hawaii, 10/27)
>> Elliott’s two interceptions in #MWFB games (both vs. Hawaii, 10/27) tied for 5th-most in conference-only games
>> S Trent Matthews tied for 6th among #MWFB DBs w/71 tackles...11 pass breakups T-8th in MW...T-3rd MW-only games (9)
>> The Rams’ defense held Fresno State to a season-low 217 yards passing. The Bulldogs averaged 322.6/game in 2012
>> P Pete Kontodiakos led #MWFB & ranked 5th in NCAA FBS in punting average at 46.5, including a 46.9 avg in 7 Mountain West games
>> Kontodiakos’ 46.5 avg broke the school record of 46.1 held by Mike Deutsch, (1976). He produced the top 3 punts in #MWFB this yr (73, 72, 72)
>> Earned 2nd career #MWFB Spec. Tms. Player of Week in win over Hawaii (10/27) w/conference-record 61.8 avg. on 4 punts, & 2 inside the 20
>> Kontodiakos has 3 @CFPerformance honorable mentions for national punter of the week: at SJSU (9/15), at AFA (9/29) & vs. Hawaii (10/27)
>> K Jared Roberts, #MWFB Spec. Tms. Player of the Week 11/12, had best FG pct. (90%) in MW & tied for longest FG in MW this year (49)
>> Roberts’ 49-yard field goal vs. UNLV was the longest by a Rams player since Oct. 18, 2008 when Jason Smith nailed a 52-yarder at Utah
>> WR Thomas Coffman ranked 4th in MW in kick-return average (24.6; 39th NCAA), on 17 returns...ranked 2nd in #MWFB-only games (25.0)
>> Coffman’s 73-yd. KOR at SDSU (10/13) was longest by a Ram since Derek Good (74) vs. UNLV, 10/16/10, & 4th-longest in an MW game this yr.
>> WR Joe Hansley returned a punt 76 yds. vs. Hawaii (10/27), 11th-longest in CSU history and longest since ’99 (Dallas Davis, 77, at UNLV)
>> Hansley, whose 76-yard return vs. Hawaii was second-longest #MWFB this season, had 3rd-best PR avg. in conference-only games (12.5)
P Pete Kontodiakos (honorable mention)
P Pete Kontodiakos (1st team)
DE Lanston Tanyi (2nd team)
K Jared Roberts (2nd team)
LB Shaquil Barrett (honorable mention)
CB Shaq Bell (honorable mention)
C Weston Richburg (honorable mention)
Phil Steele’s National All-Freshman
LB Cory James (2nd team)
Phil Steele’s All-Mountain West
P Pete Kontodiakos (1st team)
LB Cory James (2nd team)
K Jared Roberts (2nd team)
C Weston Richburg (3rd team)
DE Lanston Tanyi (3rd team)
LB Shaquil Barrett (3rd team)
CSU Rams Team Awards
MVP--DE Lanston Tanyi
Captains--CB Shaq Bell
S Trent Matthews
C Weston Richburg
LB James Skelton
Colorado State 24, New Mexico 20 -- 11/24/12 -- Fort Collins, Colo.
- The Rams finished the 2012 season with a record of 4-8, the program’s best since 2008 (7-6).
- With wins in each of its final three home games Colorado State has won three consecutive home Mountain West games for the first time since 2005.
- The Rams’ three consecutive home wins also represent their first three-game home winning streak against all opponents in the same season since 2008.
- With the win the Rams have won three straight games against New Mexico and four of the last five in the series.
- Colorado State finished the season 4-0 when carrying a lead into the fourth quarter. In two of the games (9/1 vs. Colorado and tonight) the Rams fell behind in the fourth quarter and came back to win.
- Senior punter Pete Kontodiakos finished the season with a gross punting average of 46.47, breaking the school single-season record of 46.09 by Mike Deutsch in 1976.
- The final career gross punting average for Kontodiakos is 43.79, second-best all-time at Colorado State, behind only the 44.0 average of Jimmy Kaylor (2004-07).
- RS -Fr. Donnell Alexander posted his third 100-yard rushing game of the season with 112 yards and one touchdown on a career-high 22 carries (4.7). The 22 carries were the most by a Rams running back this season and the most since Ray Carter had 29 (158 yards) in the 2011 season finale (vs. Wyoming, 12/3/11).
- Alexander scored on a 3-yard rush in the first quarter for his fourth rushing touchdown of season. That tied him for the team lead in total touchdowns for the season with TE Kivon Cartwright.
- Alexander’s 112-yard rushing effort marked the fifth game in a row in which the Rams have produced a 100-yard rusher. In order: Chris Nwoke (19-115, vs. Hawaii, 10/27/12), Alexander (20-114, at Wyoming, 11/3/12), Alexander (21-139, vs. UNLV, 11/10/12), Nwoke (10-119, at Boise State, 11/17/12) and Alexander (22-112, vs. New Mexico, 11/24/12).
- The last time the Rams had a streak of five consecutive games with a 100-yard rusher was in 2002. (Sept. 7 at UCLA through Oct. 12 vs. Wyoming). In that streak, which included six total 100-yard rushers in the five games, Cecil Sapp accounted for four of the performances, while QB Bradlee Van Pelt topped the century mark twice. Both did so in a win at Nevada on Sept. 28, the third game in the five-game streak.
- Freshman wide receiver Joe Hansley finished the night with career highs for receptions (5) , receiving yards (102) and receiving touchdowns (2).
- Hansley scored the game’s opening touchdowns (his second of the season) on a 29-yard reception from redshirt-freshman Conner Smith at the 12:18 mark of the first quarter. His second was the game-winner, covering 30-yards from Smith with 1:29 remaining in the game. That score put Colorado State ahead to stay, at 24-20.
- Hansley’s 102-yard receiving performance was the third of 100 yards or more by a Rams this season, and first since Thomas Coffman had 146 on four receptions at Wyoming (11/3/12).
- Hansley is the first Colorado State player with two touchdown receptions in a game since Lou Greenwood (2) vs. San Jose State in 2011 (10/1).
- DE Lanston Tayni, with four tackles tonight (1 solo), finished the season with 77 total tackles, most by a Rams defensive lineman since 2002 (Peter Hogan, 65).
- Tanyi also finished the season with 6 QB hurries, most by a CSU player since 1999 (Clark Haggans, 10).
- The Rams finished the first quarter with 14 points, most in the first quarter in the team’s last 23 games (14, vs. Northern Colorado, 9/10/11).
- Colorado State finished the first half with 253 total yards through a balanced attack: 123 rushing yards, 130 passing yards.
- The Rams’ 253 yards at halftime are second-most in a first half this season and came on their most first-half plays (38). CSU had 278 yards at halftime at Wyoming (11/3).
- Colorado State scored touchdowns on each of its first two possessions for the first time all season. It was the first time doing so since the game vs. Northern Colorado on Sept. 10, 2011 when they scored on each of their first three possessions.
- CSU entered the game with 36 plays of 20 or more yards this season, an average of 3.3 per game, and added five tonight, including three in the first quarter (1st quarter: 22-yd. run by Chris Nwoke, 29-yd pass Conner Smith to Joe Hansley (TD) and 26-yd run by Donnell Alexander… 2nd: 24-yard pass Smith to TE Crockett Gillmore…4th: 30-yard pass Smith to Hansley (TD)).
- Soph. kicker Jared Roberts connected on a 48-yard field goal late in the first half to stretch Rams’ lead to 17-7. He finished 9-10 on the season, with his only miss from 51 yards vs. North Dakota State (9/8/12). He was 4-4 from 40-49 yards on the year (47, 48, 48, 49) and was 29-31 on PATs.
- The Rams scored a touchdown on their opening drive tonight for the third time this season.
- Smith made his fourth start this season (3-1) at quarterback and played in his sixth game at the position.
- In his final collegiate game senior H-Back Austin Gillmore made his third career start and second this season.
- Soph. WR Charles Lovett caught four passes for 35 yards tonight to be the only Rams player with at least one pass reception in every game this season.
- CSU’s game captains: DL Zach Tiedgen, WR Marquise Law, CB Marcus Shaw, LB Davis Burl.
- Colorado State won the coin toss and elected to receive.
HEAD COACH Jim McElwain
Jim McElwain became the 20th head football coach in Colorado State program history on Dec. 13, 2011. McElwain, 50, came to Fort Collins from Alabama, where he had served as Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach from 2008-11. In his first season McElwain led the Rams to a 4-8 record (3-5 in the Mountain West), the school’s most wins since 2008. His team won three of its final five games in 2012, including three in a row at home. McElwain had played a key role in Alabama winning two national championships in his final three seasons. Alabama defeated No. 1 LSU in January 2012, several weeks after McElwain became CSU’s new head coach, two years after topping Texas to claim the 2009 championship.
By leading his Rams team to victory over Colorado in his head coaching debut on Sept. 1, McElwain became the first CSU mentor since 1970 to win in his first game since Jerry Wampfler. McElwain also became the only Colorado State coach to win in his first matchup against rival Colorado.
- McElwain hasn’t lost a season-opener at the college level since 2004, when he was assistant head coach at Michigan State.
- McElwain has been to a bowl games in nine of the past 11 years, including two national championships with Alabama (2009, 2011).
- McElwain’s offenses at Alabama led the nation by committing only 57 turnovers in his fours years. Ohio State was second with 59.
- Sent two players to the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York: 2009 winner Mark Ingram and 2011 finalist Trent Richardson.
- Played key role in Crimson Tide’s 47-6 record from 2008-11.
- Ranked among the top units in the Southeastern Conference.
- In 2011 `Bama led the SEC with 219.8 rushing yards per game, and finished second with 433.4 total yards per contest, and third in scoring (36 points per game). In 2010, the team was third in both total yards and scoring.
- The offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Fresno State in 2007, McElwain improved the Bulldogs’ output from 338.2 total yards per game the year before his arrival to 419.5 (No. 38 in the nation), and from 23.0 points per contest to 32.9 (No. 32). Fresno State went 9-4 in his only season, including a 40-28 win over Georgia Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl.
- In 2006, he coached the quarterbacks of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, under Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Shell
- Coaching wide receivers at Michigan State in 2003, McElwain helped lead the team to the Alamo Bowl, establishing school records with 312 receptions and 3,510 receiving yards.
- In 2004 he coached an All-American, punter Brandon Fields, and the Big Ten’s scoring leader, kicker Dave Rayner. And prior to his departure for the NFL, Michigan State set a school mark with 24 touchdown receptions in 2005, when five of his wideouts had at least 28 catches.
- Coached against Colorado State in the 2000 Liberty Bowl in his first season with Louisville.
- In his three seasons with the Cardinals, four of his players earned first-team all-conference honors. Three of his pupils ranked among Louisville’s all-time leading receivers, including future Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch.
- McElwain started his coaching career at his alma mater, Eastern Washington in 1985 as a graduate assistant.
- During his time on the staff, the Eagles earned a berth in both the 1992 and 1995 Division I-AA playoffs, and a share of the 1992 Big Sky crown.
- A 1984 graduate of Eastern Washington. Played quarterback from 1980-83.
- McElwain earned his degree in education.
- Jim and his wife Karen have three children, JoHanna, Elizabeth & Jerret.
McELWAIN’S COACHING CHRONOLOGY
Seasons Team/School Title/Position Coached
1985-94 Eastern Washington Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers
1995-99 Montana State Off. Coord./Wide Receivers/Special Teams
2000-02 Louisville Wide Receivers/Special Teams
2003-05 Michigan State Asst. Head Coach/Wide Recievers/ST
2006 Oakland Raiders Quarterbacks
2007 Fresno State Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2008-11 Alabama Offensive Coordinator
2012- Colorado State Head Coach
2012 SEASON NOTES
KONTODIAKOS REACHING RARE STATUS: Senior punter Pete Kontodiakos punted 219 times in his career, tied for seventh-most among active punters in the NCAA. Remarkably, 65 of his 219 punts (29.7%) traveled 50 or more yards. His career punting average of 43.79 ranks 13th in the nation among active players at the end of his careeer and third-best among the group with 200 or more career punts. That figure ranks No. 1 among Mountain West punters and No. 2 all-time at CSU.
CAREER PUNTING AVERAGE, CSU HISTORY
Player Average Years
Jimmie Kaylor 44.0 2004-07
Pete Kontodiakos 43.8 2009-Present
Mike Deutsch 43.3 1974-77
Deone Horinek 43.2 1998-99
TWO-TIGHT END ALIGNMENT: The Rams started 11 of the 12 games this season in a two-tight end set, with Kivon Cartwright (11), C. Gillmore (10) and Austin Gillmore (2). The last time a CSU team had begun a game with two tight ends prior to the season-opener was Sept. 10, 2011 versus Northern Colo. (Crockett Gillmore and Blake Jones). Crockett Gillmore and Cartwright each surpassed 100 receiving yards this season in just three games and 200 yards in seven games. The last time a Rams team had two tight ends with 200+ yards was 2004 (Joel Dreessen, 427; Kory Sperry, 225).
Two TE sets since 2005: 2012: 11/12...2011: 1/12...2010: 0/12...2009: 0/12...2008: 3/13...2007: 1/12...2006: 12/12...2005: 4/12.
TANYI’S TACKLES: Defensive end Lanston Tanyi, in his first year with the Rams after transferring from Appalachian State, ranked second among Mountain West defensive linemen with 77 tackles. That ranked third on the team and was second-most by a CSU defensive lineman in a season since 1988. He recorded 8 or more tackles six times (13, 12, 10 twice and 8 twice). His 13 stops vs. Hawai’i on Oct. 27 were second-most by a Rams defensive lineman since 2005, and most since Jake Pottorf had 16 at Houston in 2007 (Sept. 22).
Most Tackles in a Season by a CSU Defensive Lineman (since 1991)
1) 87—Clark Haggans, 1999
2) 77—Lanston Tanyi, 2012
3) 66—Clark Haggans, 1998
66—Clark Haggans, 1997
5) 65—Peter Hogan, 2002
65—Brady Smith, 1995
CSU Defensive Linemen with 10+ tackles in a game (since 2005)
16, Jake Pottorff--at Houston, Sept. 22, 2007
13, Lanston Tanyi--vs. Hawai’i, Oct. 27, 2012
12, Lanston Tanyi--vs. Fresno State, Oct. 6, 2012
12, Guy Miller--vs. Air Force, Oct. 31, 2009
10, Lanston Tanyi--at Wyoming, Nov. 3, 2012
10, Lanston Tanyi--at San Jose State, Sept. 15, 2012
10, Erik Sandie--vs. Air Force, Oct. 13, 2007
10, Matt Rupp--at Houston, Sept. 22, 2007
BEAST OF THE DEFENSE: Junior linebacker Shaquil Barrett has a career average of 6.9 tackles per game in 24 games and has scored three touchdowns in his two years at CSU. His 49-yard interception return for a score ignited the Rams’ 33-11 win over UNLV on Nov. 10. Barrett had a career-high 15 tackles vs. North Dakota State Sept. 8, the most by a Ram since Ricky Brewer notched 15 twice in November 2008 (11/22/08 at Wyoming and 11/8/08 at Air Force). His performance included a sack for a loss of 6 yards. Barrett’s previous high of 14 came vs. San Diego State on 11/12/11 and at Utah State on 9/24/11.
FRESHMAN IMPACT: Redshirt-freshman running back Donnell Alexander made six starts in 2012, and in his fourth, vs. UNLV (11/10/12), registered his second 100-yard game in a row with a career-high 139 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries (6.6). He had 114 on 20 carries the week before at Wyoming (11/3), the first 100-yard game by a CSU freshman since 1995 (Jaime Blake, 170, vs. Hawaii). Alexander, who led the team in rushing yards (587), yards per carry by a running back (5.0) and rushing touchdowns (4), ranks fifth on Colorado State’s all-time freshman rushing list. He added a career-best two touchdowns vs. UNLV (11/10/12) and closed the season with his third 100-yard game vs. New Mexico (24-112-4.7-1).
CSU Freshman Rushing List Freshman RB’s in their first start, since 1995
Year Player Yards Year Players Att. Yds. Avg.
1983 Steve Bartalo 1,113 1995 Jaime Blake 27 170 6.3
1974 Ron Harris 956 2012 Donnell Alexander 12 59 4.9
1977 Larry Jones 790 2010 Chris Nwoke 15 48 3.2
1995 Damon Washington 701
2012 Donnell Alexander 587
Meanwhile, true freshman running back Tommey Morris ranked third on the team in rushing (42-211-5.0). He scored the first two rushing touchdowns of his career in back-to-back games at SDSU (10/13) & vs. Hawaii (10/27).
SOPHOMORE SIGNAL-CALLER: Starting quarterback Garrett Grayson was injured at Air Force (9/29) and underwent surgery to repair his left clavicle. He returned to action briefly in the third quarter at Wyoming (11/3) but did not play again. Before his injury Grayson had thrown just two interceptions through the first four full games of the season. The last time that was accomplished by a CSU starter was 1985 (Kelly Stouffer).
By throwing two touchdown passes and rushing for one at San Jose State (9/15/12), Grayson became just the third CSU quarterback in the last four seasons to rush for a touchdown and throw for multiple scores in the same game. He is the only Ram to do that in a road game in that period.
Player, Game (TDs)
Garrett Grayson, 2012 – 9/15 at SJSU (3, 1 rush)
Pete Thomas, 2011 – 10/1 vs. SJSU (4, 1 rush)
Grant Stucker, 2009 – 9/19 vs. Nevada (3, 1 rush)
Grayson had a career day on a number of fronts against San Jose State, setting four career highs and tying a fifth:
Category New High Previous High
Total Offense 337 – 9/15/12 at San Jose State 301 – 11/19/11 at TCU
Pass Attempts 42 – 9/15/12 at San Jose State 25 – 12/03/11 vs. WYO
Pass Completions 24 – 9/15/12 at San Jose State 15 – 12/03/11 vs. WYO
Pass Yards 297 – 9/15/12 at San Jose State 248 – 11/19/11 at TCU
Pass Touchdowns 2 (T) – 9/15/12 at San Jose State 2 – 9/1/12 at CU (and again vs. Utah State, 9/22/12
TEAM CAPTAINS: The Rams in 2012 under Jim McElwain will have weekly game captains, instead of season captains.
Game 1 at Colorado: Junior RB Chris Nwoke, junior OL Weston Richburg, senior LB Shaquil Barrett and senior LB James Skelton.
Game 2 vs. North Dakota State: Senior WR Marquise Law, senior TE Austin Gillmore, senior CB Marcus Shaw and senior P Pete Kontodiakos.
Game 3 at San Jose State: Sophomore TE Kivon Cartwright, senior LB Broderick Sargent, senior CB Momo Thomas and senior RB Mark Woodbury.
Game 4 vs. Utah State: Sophomore WR Charles Lovett, senior DE Lanston Tanyi, senior LB Davis Burl and sophomore QB Garrett Grayson.
Game 5 at Air Force: Junior H-Back Jake Levin, junior CB Shaq Bell, sophomore LB Max Morgan & junior LS Tanner Hedstrom.
Game 6 vs. Fresno State: Senior QB M.J. McPeek, senior T Joe Caprioglio, sophomore CB Bernard Blake & sophomore DT Alex Tucci.
Game 7 at San Diego State: Senior WR Dominique Vinson, Junior G Jordan Gragert, sophomore LB Aaron Davis & junior DT Curtis Wilson.
Game 8 vs. Hawaii: Senior WR Lou Greenwood, freshman S Trent Matthews, sophomore S Conner Roggy & sophomore K Jared Roberts.
Game 9 at Wyoming: Senior LB James Skelton, senior DT Zach Tiedgen, senior T Joe Caprioglio & sophomore TE Kivon Cartwright.
Game 10 vs. UNLV: Junior T Brandon Haynes, junior LB Shaquil Barrett, freshman RB Donnell Alexander & freshman CB Jasen Oden.
Game 11 at Boise State: Grad. Student DE Lanston Tanyi, senior P Pete Kontodiakos, senior RB Mark Woodbury & senior TE Austin Gillmore.
Game 12 vs. New Mexico: Sr. DT Zach Tiedgen, senior WR Marquise Law, senior CB Marcus Shaw & senior LB Davis Burl.
WEEKLY AWARDS AND HONORS
Game 1--at Colorado (9/1)
Mountain West Player of the Week--LB Cory James (defense), K Jared Roberts (special teams)
College Football Performance Awards, National LB of the Week--Cory James
Game 2--vs. North Dakota State (9/8)
College Football Performance Awards, Honorable Mention, National TE Performer of the Week--Crockett Gillmore
Game 3--at San Jose State (9/15)
College Football Performance Awards, Honorable Mention, National Punter Performer of the Week--Pete Kontodiakos
Game 5--at Air Force (9/29)
College Football Performance Awards, Honorable Mention, National Punter Performer of the Week--Pete Kontodiakos
Game 8--vs. Hawai’i (10/27)
Mountain West Player of the Week--P Pete Kontodiakos (special teams)
College Football Performance Awards, National DB of the Week--DeAndre Elliott
College Football Performance Awards, Honorable Mention, National Punter Performer of the Week--Pete Kontodiakos
National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter Player of the Week--Lanston Tanyi
MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Mountain West Player of the Week (online vote)--CB DeAndre Elliott
Game 10--vs. UNLV (11/10)
Mountain West Player of the Week--K Jared Roberts (special teams)
College Football Performance Awards, Honorable Mention, National Defensive Back Performer of the Week--CB Shaq Bell
BACK TO OUR ROOTS: Colorado State debuted a new look this season with a return to a simpler uniform. The Rams also have added a pumpkin orange “A” on the back of their helmets as a nod to the team’s heritage as the Colorado A&M Aggies, symbolizing the school’s history as a Land Grant institution. Head coach Jim McElwain has said often since his hire that he intends to “reach back into our past to help our future.” Specifically, he has invited former players and coaches back to campus to be close to the program, and impart some of their wisdom on his current team. In addition to former All-American and Thorpe Award winner Greg Myers and his former head coach Sonny Lubick, speaking to the team, McElwain was proud to announce in August the hire of former CSU standout defensive lineman Greg Pollard in the Rams’ student-athlete academic services department.
SIDELINE SWITCH: Head coach Jim McElwain introduced another new tradition with his choice to have the Rams inhabit the west sideline at Hughes Stadium for home games. The Rams had previously been stationed on the east sideline for their entire history at Hughes Stadium. In fact, it is believed that the last Colorado State team to use the west sideline for its home games was coached by Hughes Stadium namesake Harry Hughes, whose career spanned 1911-41.
CSU LEGEND MYERS TO ENTER COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME: Former Jim Thorpe Award winner Greg Myers, a two-time All-American at Colorado State, was selected for enshrinement in the College Football Hall of Fame in late May. He was recognized for the honor at halftime of the homecoming game against Fresno State on Oct. 6. Myers became the third individual in the history of Colorado State’s football program to earn enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, joining consensus All-American Thurman “Fum” McGraw and former head coach Earle Bruce.
In Fort Collins Myers led the Rams to a pair of league championships (1994-95) and consecutive Holiday Bowl berths. During Myers’ junior season, CSU appeared in the national rankings for 13 weeks, including the highest ranking in program history, No. 10 over the last five polls of the regular season prior to a loss to Michigan. The Rams finished No. 14 in the final 1994 rankings.
Rams head coach Jim McElwain invited Myers to speak to the team on the first day of fall camp on Aug. 4, 2012. McElwain encouraged Myers to bring his Thorpe Award back to campus and gave it a permanent home in a trophy case so those in the program could continue to recognize and draw inspiration from the special accomplishment Myers achieved as a Ram.
GRAHAM USHERS IN NEW LEADERSHIP AT COLORADO STATE: The 2012 season is the Rams’ first under the leadership of director of athletics John C. “Jack” Graham, hired Dec. 1, 2011. From that moment Graham has boldly placed Colorado State’s program on an ambitious path towards national prominence with his visionary leadership. A successful business leader and former Rams quarterback, Graham has energized the department under the motto, “Dream big, work hard and settle for nothing less than excellence.” Graham, a Rams quarterback from 1973-74, went to work quickly on his plans. His first major initiative was to conduct a thorough evaluation of all athletic programs and to engage with donors and supporters about their goals for CSU athletics. Graham has been bold in his pursuit of a plan to build an on-campus stadium at CSU, the feasibility of which is being considered at this time by Colorado State University President Tony Frank.
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