Football Game Notes: Colorado State at San Diego State, Saturday, Oct. 13

Oct. 8, 2012

Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 • 4:45 p.m. (MT) • Qualcomm Stadium (54,000) • San Diego, Calif.


The Rams (1-5, 0-2 MW) take to the road this week in search of their first Mountain West win of the season when they face San Diego State (3-3, 1-1) at Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. PT (4:45 MT). The game will be televised by Time Warner Cable SportsNet, and broadcast in Colorado on KTVD-20. The radio broadcast can be heard across the Colorado State Radio Network. Colorado State looks for its first win its last four games with the Aztecs, and just its second in the last eight Rams-Aztecs matchups. Prior to this recent stretch the Rams had won eight out of 10 against the Aztecs between 1994-2004.

The game will be televised by Time Warner Cable SportsNet in HD, and can be seen in Colorado on KTVD-20, with Ari Wolfe (play-by-play) and J.J. Stokes (analyst) calling the action. CSU fans can find the radio broadcast on the Colorado State Radio Network, originating from AM 560 KLZ in Denver, with Brian Roth (play-by-play), former Rams great David Anderson (analyst), Kevin McGlue (analyst) and Marty Cesario (sidelines) on the call. The radio broadcast can also be heard on KCOL 600 AM in Ft. Collins, KSIR 1010 AM in Ft. Morgan and KNZZ 1100 in Grand Junction.

NOTES IN 140 < #CSURamsNotes | #MWFB (A Twitter-friendly look at this week’s top notes from Colorado State Football)

>> WR Charles Lovett has 21 receptions in his last 4 games (5.3) for 239 yds. (59.8). He leads the team with 23-267 & ties team lead w/2 TDs
>> Lovett had just seven receptions for 53 yards for his career through the first two games of 2012 before this four-game run
>> Lovett is the only Rams player with a reception in every game this season, & leads the team with 23 for 267 (11.6) & 2 TDs
>> QB M.J. McPeek made his 1st collegiate start vs. Fresno St. (10/6). He ranks 4th in passing yds. in MW conf. games (242.0)
>> McPeek’s 55-yard pass to Lou Greenwood (TD) & 58-yarder to Greenwood at AFA (9/29) are 2nd- & 3rd-longest plays for CSU this year
>> WR Lou Greenwood averages 77.0 yds. receiving in 2 conference games, 3rd MW in conference-only games
>> The Rams’ offense ranks 3rd in #MWFB in red zone scoring (9-10; 90.0%), T-17th NCAA, and 5th in passing (228.5)
>> The Rams have improved in several statistical categories over 2011, incl. passing (228.5/gm.; was 184.6), yds. per catch (12.1; was 10.6)
>> Soph. QB Garrett Grayson, starter of 1st 5 games, is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury after undergoing surgery on Oct. 1
>> Grayson’s 69-yd. TD pass to @JohnMackeyAward candidate Crockett Gillmore vs. North Dakota St. (9/8) is 5th-longest in #MWFB this year

>> DE Lanston Tanyi has 45 tackles, most by any MW defensive lineman & 10th among all MW players. Also T-5th MW in conf.-only gms. (No. 1 DL)
>> Tanyi’s 7.5 tackles per game average ranks 4th among all NCAA defensive linemen.
>> Tanyi had a career-high 12 tackles vs. Fresno St., most by a Rams DL since 2009; last Rams DL w/more was in 2007 (16, Jake Pottorff, at Houston, 9/22)
>> Tanyi is T-2nd MW (T-3rd NCAA) in fumble recoveries (2)
>> LB Cory James has a CSU freshman-record 5 sacks, 2nd-most in #MWFB (T-23rd NCAA). He’s also 6th MW in tackles-for-loss (6.0)
>> DE/LB Shaquil Barrett is T-5th MW in sacks (3.0), T-4th in conf. games (1.0); also T-14th in tackles (43), 9th-most by a defensive lineman
>> Barrett’s 7.9 tackles per game in 18 career games are 2nd-most MW, T-14th NCAA, among active players w/15 games.
>> LB Aaron Davis ranks 12th #MWFB in tackles (44), 7th-most at LB position. He is T-5th MW in conf.-only gms. (10.0).
>> Davis’ 10 solo tackles vs. Fresno St. (10/6) are the most by a CSU player since Shaq Bell had 10 at Nevada in 2010 (9/11).
>> The Fresno St. loss was Rams’ first game without a takeaway since Sept. 17, 2011 vs. Colorado, a span of 14 games with at least 1 take¬away
>> The defense ranks 3rd in pass yards (209.5), 4th against 4th-down att. (8-14; 57.1%) and 5th in the red zone (21-26, 80.8%)
>> CB Jasen Oden has two forced fumbles, T-7th in the Mountain West
>> CB DeAndre Elliott has a pass break-up in four consecutive games, 1st time a Ram has done so since Momo Thomas in 2009 (9/6/09-10/3/09)

>> P Pete Kontodiakos, candidate for @RayGuyAward, leads #MWFB & ranks 9th in NCAA in punting average (46.1)
>> Kontodiakos’ 46.1 avg. is on pace to break school record (46.1, Mike Deutsch, 1976). He has 3 of top 4 punts in MW this yr. (73, 72 & 69)
>> Last Sat. vs. Fresno St. was 1st game since late last year Kontodiakos did not have punt of 50+ yards, but tied season high w/2 inside 20
>> Kontodiakos has twice earned hon. mention punter of week by @CFPerformance (Coll. FB Performance Awards); at SJSU (9/15), at AFA (9/29).
>> His 73-yard punt at Air Force (9/29) is the longest by a MW punter this season, and second longest nationally.
>> K Jared Roberts is T-2nd #MWFB in FG pct. (83.3%) & has longest FG in MW this year (48)...ranks 10th in scoring (4.0)
>> KR Thomas Coffman ranks 8th in Mountain West in kick-return average (21.7), on 7 returns. Also 5th in MW-only (22.3)

>> The 5 teams to beat @CSUFootball this year have combined record of 19-8 & top opponents by a combined score of 926-485 (34.3-18.0)


All-time, overall: 13-18
All-time, in Fort Collins: 6-9
All-time, in San Diego: 7-9
First meeting: Nov. 4, 1978 in San Diego; SDSU won 34-31
Last meeting: Nov. 12, 2011, in Fort Collins; SDSU won, 18-15
Last meeting in San Diego: Nov. 6, 2010; SDSU won, 24-19

Series streaks: The Aztecs have won three consecutive and six of the last seven contests.

CSUJim McElwain: 1-5, first season as head coach
SDSU – Rocky Long: Overall: 76-77, 13th season as head coach
Head to Head: (first meeting)
Against Opponent: (McElwain: first meeting, Long: 4-7 vs. CSU)

Rocky Long became the 18th head coach in Aztec football history in January 2011, and went on to take the squad to its second consecutive bowl game for the first time in the program’s Division I history. Long is also the first SDSU head coach to lead the team to a bowl game in his debut season. Long guided San Diego State to an 8-5 record in 2011, the program’s best mark in a coach’s inaugural season since 1986. The eight victories are tied for second in school history by a first-year head coach.

• CSU’s defensive lineman Calvin Tonga and SDSU’s Leon McFadden both hail from Inglewood, Calif.
• Saturday’s game features four players that list their hometown as Long Beach, Calif. Rams punter Hayden Hunt, offensive lineman Tomas Rivera, defensive lineman Eli Edwards and Aztecs wide receiver Ezell Ruffin.
• The Aztecs’ roster features three players from J.K. Mullen High School in Denver, Colo., where they were teammates • with current Rams kicker Jared Roberts. Those Aztecs are offensive linemen Jimmy Miller, Arthur Flores, and Alec Johnson.
• Aztecs head coach Rocky Long hired current CSU offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin to the same position in 2007 at the University of New Mexico. Also on that Lobos staff was SDSU’s safeties coach Danny Gonzales and defensive line coach Osia Lewis.
• Former SDSU tight end Matthew Kawulok is one of four brothers that played Division I football, a family that includes • current/former CSU players Chris, Michael and Joe Kawulok.


• In the 2011 MW showdown between the Rams and Aztecs, CSU running back Chris Nwoke rushed for 232 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown.
• In that game Crockett Gillmore registered a team-high four receptions.
• Also, Shaquil Barrett (14), Shaq Bell (11) and James Skelton (10) all recorded double-digit tackles.

POSTGAME NOTES: Fresno State 28, Colorado State 7
10/6/12 -- Fort Collins, Colo.

• Senior QB M.J. McPeek made his first collegiate start tonight and completed 15 of 29 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown, and was sacked four times.
• McPeek has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of his career games played (2 last week at Air Force in relief of injured starter Garrett Grayson).
• Senior DE Lanston Tanyi had a career-high 12 tackles (2 solo), including a half-sack, and another  shared tackle-for-loss (1.0 total TFL). His 12 tackles are the most by a Rams defensive lineman since Guy Miller had 12 in 2009 vs. Air Force (10/31), and only exceeded since 2005 by Jake Pot¬torff’s 16 at Houston in 2007 (9/22).
• Tanyi’s shared sack was first as a Ram, combining with DE Broderick Sargent to bring down Fresno State QB Derek Carr.
• Sargent earned a share of a sack for the first time since Sept. 25, 2010 (vs. Idaho). He had two for  the season in 2010 and now has 2.5 for his career.
• Soph. LB Aaron Davis tied Tanyi with a game-high 12 tackles, including 10 solo. The 10 solos are the most by a CSU player since Shaq Bell had 10 at Nevada in 2010 (9/11).
• Sophomore WR Thomas Coffman’s 37-yard kickoff return in the first quarter was his career long and tied for second-longest this year for CSU behind Lee Clubb’s 41-yard return last week at Air Force. 
•Others with 37-yard kickoff returns for CSU this season: Donnell Alexander vs. Colorado (9/1) and Jasen Oden vs. North Dakota State (9/8).
• Coffman had a career-best 91 kickoff return yards for the game, most by a Ram since Derek Good had 191 yards vs. Air Force on 11/26/11.
Coffman’s 29-yard reception in the fourth quarter was his longest since a 46-yarder Oc.t 15, 2011 vs. Boise State.
• Sophomore WR Charles Lovett had two rushing attempts tonight, the fifth and sixth of his career.
Lovett caught four passes for 32 yards (8.0) and a TD in the fourth quarter to give him at least one reception in every game this season.
• Lovett’s TD was his second of the season, and his career.
• RB Chris Nwoke’s 14-yard carries in the 2nd and 3rd quarters were his two longest this season.
Nwoke’s 68 rushing yards were his highest total of the season, and his 15 carries were most by a Ram in a game this year.
• Senior P Pete Kontodiakos matched a season high (3rd time) with two punts placed inside the 20, among his five total for the night (41.2 avg.).
• Freshman RB Donnell Alexander recorded the longest reception of his career in the 4th quarter (37 yards).
• Freshman CB Jasen Oden recorded his second career forced fumble in the third quarter.
• Freshman LB Kevin Davis made his first career start and recorded the first pass breakup of his career.
• In the first half the CSU defense twice forced Fresno State to turn the ball over on downs. The Rams last made two fourth-down stops in a game in the 2012 opener vs. Colorado (9/1).
Fresno State’s 112 penalty yards were the most for a CSU opponent since Colorado had 114 penalty yards on Sept. 17, 2011.
• Sophomore DB Conner Roggy recorded his first career pass break-up in the 3rd quarter.
• The Rams had a punt blocked in the first half, its first since 10/15/11 vs. Boise St.
• Colorado State used two key pass-breakups on the opening Fresno State possession (CB Shaq Bell, S Trent Matthews), and the Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs. It was the second time this season the Rams held an opponent scoreless on the opening possession, and first time since the season opener vs. Colorado.
• Fresno State entered the game ranked 15th in the nation offensively in yards per game (512.8) and finished with 408 yards on 85 plays (4.8 yds. per play). The Bulldogs, who came into the game averaging 41.8 points per game, 16th in the nation), scored 28 points.
• The Rams were shut out in the first half for the second time this season. Utah State led CSU 17-0 at halftime Sept. 22, en route to a 31-19 victory.
• Tonight’s attendance of 25,814 was Colorado State’s highest of the season at Hughes Stadium, and highest in the last six games, dating back to last season (30,027, vs. Boise State, 10/15/11).
• CSU’s game captains today: Quarterback M.J. McPeek, T Joe Caprioglio, CB Bernard Blake, DT Alex Tucci.
• Fresno State won the toss and elected to defer. CSU chose to receive.


KONTODIAKOS REACHING RARE STATUS: Senior punter Pete Kontodiakos has punted 193 times in his career, eighth-most among active punters in the NCAA. Remarkably, 55 of his 193 punts (28.5%) have gone for 50 or more yards. His career punting average of 43.4 ranks 11th in the nation among active players (min. 100 punts), and fourth-best among the group with 190 or more career punts. That figure ranks No. 1 among Mountain West punters and No. 2 all-time at CSU.

TWO-TIGHT END ALIGNMENT: The Rams have started the first six games of the season in a two-tight end set, with Crock¬ett Gillmore and Kivon Cartwright. The last time a CSU team had begun a game with two tight ends prior to this year’s opener was the 2011 home-opener against Northern Colorado (Sept. 10; Crockett Gillmore and Blake Jones). Gillmore and Cartwright each surpassed 100 receiving yards for the season in just three games. The last time a Rams team had two tight ends with 100 or more yards in a season was 2005 (Kory Sperry, 547 and Matt Bartz, 133).
Two TE sets since 2005: 2012: 6/6...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, leads all Mountain West defensive linemen with a team-leading 45 tackles (10th among all players) and is tied for 2nd in fumble recoveries (2).He has recorded at least 8 tackles in four of the six games (12, 10 and 8 twice). His 12 stops vs. Fresno State on Oct. 6 were the most by a Rams defensive lineman since Guy Miller had 12 vs. Air Force in 2009 (Oct. 31). The only Rams defensive lineman with more since 2005 was Jake Pottorff (16) at Houston in 2007 (Sept. 22).
CSU Defensive Linemen with 8+ tackles in a game (since 2005)

16, Jake Pottorff--at Houston, Sept. 22, 2007
12, Lanston Tanyi--vs. Fresno State, Oct. 6, 2012
12, Guy Miller--vs. Air Force, Oct. 31, 2009
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
9, Cory Macon--vs. Utah, Oct. 10, 2009
9, Jake Pottorff--vs. San Diego State, Oct. 6, 2007
8, Lanston Tanyi--at Air Force, Sept. 29, 2012
8, Lanston Tanyi--vs. North Dakota State, Sept. 8, 2012
8, 7 others; most recently C.J. James--at New Mexico, Sept. 3, 2011

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 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

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.

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.

Jim McElwain AT A GLANCE:
Newly appointed Athletic Director Jack Graham hired Jim McElwain on Dec. 13, 2011.•
McElwain, who opened up the Bold New Era with a win over in-state rival Colorado, still hasn’t dropped a season-opener at the college level since • 2004 as an assistant head coach at Michigan State.
McElwain knows the territory of being bowl eligible. He has been to a bowl games in nine of the past 11 years, including two national champion¥ ships with Alabama (2009, 2011. He compiled a 47-6 record at Alabama.

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.

A NOD TO THE PAST: New Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain has said often since his hire that he intends to “reach back into our history 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.

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 depart¬ment 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.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, U.S. history; Colorado State, ‘75
Played quarterback for CSU from 1973-74 •
Drafted by the Miami Dolphins •
Successful 30-year career in the international insurance and • reinsurance markets
Founded iCAT Managers, a leader in catastrophic risk insurance • products
Advisory board member of the National Center of Atmospheric • Research
Married to wife, Ginger Graham