Football Game Notes: Colorado State vs. Wyoming, Saturday, Nov. 3
Oct. 29, 2012
COLORADO STATE RAMS at WYOMING COWBOYS
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 • 2:30 p.m. (MT) • War Memorial Stadium (29,181) • Laramie, Wyo. • KTVD-20
Colorado State and Wyoming renew their 103-year-old Border War rivalry Saturday, competing for the coveted Bronze Boot, held since 2009 by the Cowboys. The Rams (2-6, 1-3 MW) meet the Cowboys (1-7, 0-4) at 2:30 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyo. The game will be televised by KTVD-20. CSU and Wyoming share the longest continuous rivalry west of the Mississippi, with the unofficial 104th Border War set for Saturday. The teams’ first meeting in 1899 was a CSU forfeit win, making this week officially the 103rd meeting. CSU does not recognize forfeits in all-time won-loss records.
Wyoming has won the past three games in the series, the longest win streak by the Cowboys since they won seven in a row from 1967-73. The Rams’ last win over the Cowboys came in 2008, a 31-20 decision in Laramie.
Two Rams players earned individual honors for their play in the Rams’ 42-27 win over Hawaii:
>> P Pete Kontodiakos was named Mountain West special teams player of the week and earned honorable mention national punter of the week by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) for his 61.8-yard average on four punts: 72, 60, 59 and 56 yards and placed two inside the 20.
>> CB DeAndre Elliott was named national defensive back performer of the week by the CFPA. He intercepted two passes—the first two of his career--and returned one 76 yards for a touchdown. He also added four tackles.
TELEVISION: The game will be televised by KTVD-20, with Jerry Schemmel (play-by-play) and Reggie Rivers (analyst) calling the action and Natalie Vickers reporting from the sidelines.
RADIO: The Colorado State Radio Network, originating from AM 560 KLZ in Denver carris the broadcast, with Brian Roth (play-by-play), former Rams great David Anderson (analyst), Kevin McGlue (analyst) and Marty Cesario (sidelines) on the call. The broadcast also airs on KCOL 600 AM (Ft. Collins) KSIR 1010 AM (Ft. Morgan) and KNZZ 1100 (Grand Junction).
NOTES IN 140 < #CSURamsNotes | #MWFB (A Twitter-friendly look at this week’s top notes from Colorado State Football)
>> The Rams’ offense is tied for 6th in the nation, & leads #MWFB, in red zone scoring (93%; 14-15). CSU is 8-8 in since conference play began
>> CSU ranks 4th in passing offense in conference-only games, at 208.8, & rank 5th in fewest sacks allowed (2.0/gm.) in #MWFB games
>> Only one other school, Southern Miss, has started more QBs this year (4). Four others have started 3 QBs like CSU
>> The 1981 Rams started 3 QBs--Tom Thenell (5), Terry Nugent (4) and Mark Miller (3)--in struggling to an 0-12 record
>> RB Tommey Morris’ has rushed for TDs in back-to-back games, the first two touchdowns of his career
>> WR Charles Lovett is the only Ram with a reception in every game this season. He leads the team with 26-325 & ties team lead w/2 rec. TDs
>> Lovett had just seven receptions for 53 yards for his career through the first two games of 2012
>> WR Lou Greenwood’s 118 receiving yards at Air Force (9/29) are 5th-most by a #MWFB player in a conference game in 2012
>> Soph. QB Garrett Grayson, starter of 1st 5 games, has missed the last 3 games with a shoulder injury. He underwent surgery on Oct. 1
>> The Rams have improved in several statistical categories over 2011, incl. passing (212.5/gm.; was 184.6), yds. per catch (11.6; was 10.6)
>> The Rams had 5 takeaways (3 INT, 2 FR) vs. Hawaii, their most in a game since having 5 (2 INT, 3 FR) at San Diego St. on 11/6/10
>> The defense is T-3rd #MWFB in the red zone (30-37, 81%), 4th in passing yards allowed (204.8), 5th in opp. 1st downs (187) & total yds (416.9)
>> In Mountain West games only, CSU ranks third in pass defense (163.8) & T-4th in 4th-down conversion stops (48.4%)
>> DE Lanston Tanyi leads the team with 60 tackles (7.5/gm.), most by a MW defensive lineman & 10th MW overall. Also T-5th in fumble rec. (2)
>> Tanyi’s 60 tackles rank third among all NCAA FBS defensive linemen, & are already 7th-most by a CSU DL since 1991 w/4 games to play
>> Tanyi had career-high 13 tackles vs. Hawaii (10/27) & has 3 of the top 5 single-game tackle totals by a CSU defensive lineman since 2007.
>> LB Cory James leads #MWFB with a CSU freshman-record 7.5 sacks, T-15th NCAA. He’s also 5th MW in tackles-for-loss (8.0)
>> DE/LB Shaquil Barrett is T-9th MW in sacks (3.5) & ranks 3rd on the team in tackles with 52. He was slowed vs. Hawaii (10/27) by a leg injury
>> Barrett’s 7.5 tackles per game in 20 career games are 2nd-most by a #MWFB player, T-21st NCAA, among active players
>> LB Aaron Davis ranks 2nd on the team in tackles (56) & T-8th among all #MWFB LBs
>> 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 earned @CFPerformance national def. back of the week honors for his 2-INT effort vs. Hawaii (1 returned 76 yds for TD)
>> S Trent Matthews ranks 9th among DBs in #MWFB with 49 tackles; team-high 8 pass breakups, T-6th in MW; No. 1 in conf.-only games (1.75)
>> LB Max Morgan has two fumble recoveries, T-5th in #MWFB
>> P Pete Kontodiakos, candidate for @RayGuyAward, leads #MWFB & ranks 4th in NCAA in punting average (47.7)
>> Kontodiakos’ 47.7 avg is on pace to break the school record (46.1, Mike Deutsch, ’76). He has 4 of top 5 punts in #MWFB this yr (73, 72, 72, 69)
>> In win over Hawaii (10/27) he had punts of 72, 60, 59 & 56 yds, placed 2 inside the 20 & had conf.-rec. 61.8 avg., to earn MW Spec. Tms. POW
>> Kontodiakos has earned honorable mention punter of the week by @CFPerformance: at SJSU (9/15), at AFA (9/29) & vs. Hawaii (10/27).
>> His 73-yard punt at Air Force (9/29) is the longest by a MW punter this season, and tied for fourth-longest nationally.
>> K Jared Roberts ranks 2nd #MWFB in FG pct. (83.3%) & has 2nd-longest FG in MW this year (48)...ranks 10th in scoring (4.0)
>> WR Thomas Coffman ranks 3rd in MW in kick-return average (25.7; 30th #NCAA), on 14 returns. Also 2nd in #MWFB-only games (26.3)
>> Coffman’s 73-yd. KOR at SDSU (10/13) was longest by a Ram since Derek Good (74) vs. UNLV, 10/16/10, & 2nd-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)
>> The 6 teams to beat the Rams this year have a combined record of 37-14 (.725) & outscore opponents on average 35.3 to 20.5 (1,798-1,048)
RAMS vs. COWBOYS
All-time, overall: 54-43-5
All-time, in Fort Collins: 30-21-1
All-time, in Laramie: 24-22-4
First official meeting: Nov. 24, 1900, in Fort Collins; CSU won, 16-0
Last meeting: Dec. 3, 2011, in Fort Collins; CSU lost, 22-19
Last meeting, in Laramie: Nov. 20, 2010; CSU lost, 44-0
Series streaks: CSU has won seven of the last 12 overall but has lost the last three contests.
COACHES CAPSULES: CSU — Jim McElwain: 2-6, first year overall as head coach
WYO — Dave Christensen: 19-26, fourth year overall as head coach
Head to head: first meeting | Against opponent: McElwain first meeting vs. Wyoming; Christensen 3-0 vs. CSU
Dave Christensen enters his fourth season as head coach of the Wyoming Cowboys in 2012. His third season at Wyoming was his team’s best, as he led Wyoming to a third-place finish in the Mountain West Conference and was named Mountain West Coach of the Year. He became the first Wyoming football coach to earn Coach of the Year honors since Joe Tiller in 1996. On Jan. 12, 2012, it was announced
that the University of Wyoming had signed Christensen to a new five-year contract that will run through Dec. 31, 2016.
Wyoming’s roster has 21 players from Colorado, including former Rocky Mountain High School standout Korey Jones, from Fort Collins; Also from Fort Collins is Cowboys linebacker Lief Swanbom… Wyoming’s Todd Knight, attended Grandview High School in Aurora with CSU’s Davis Burl… CSU offensive lineman Joe Caprioglio has one former Highlands Ranch High School teammate on the Wyoming roster, Mike Purcell (DT)… Rams co-defensive coordinator Marty English spent nine seasons on the Wyoming coaching staff as a linebackers coach and as the defensive coordinator…
NOTABLE PERFORMANCES AGAINST WYOMING
• Garrett Grayson threw for 143 and rushed for 91 against the Cowboys in 2011.
• Crockett Gillmore had a three-catch performance, while blocking for a rushing attack that tallied up 263 yards against the Cowboys in 2011.
• Shaquil Barrett led both teams in last year’s contest with 10 tackles. He also had a force fumble.
POSTGAME NOTES: Colorado State 42, Hawaii 27
10/27/12 -- Fort Collins, Colo.
• Colorado State’s 42 points tonight were the most scored by a Rams team since scoring 43 in a win vs. UNLV on Oct. 16, 2010.
• CSU’s 28 first-half points are the most scored by the Rams in one half since scoring 28 in the first half vs. Northern Colorado on Sept. 10, 2011. The last time the Rams scored more in a half was 31 in the first half vs. New Mexico on Oct. 30, 2010.
• CSU’s 21 second-quarter points are its most in a quarter since scoring 21 in the first quarter vs. NewvMexico on Oct. 30, 2010. The last time the Rams scored more in a quarter was 24 in the first quarter vs.vUNLV on Nov. 13, 2004.
• Head coach Jim McElwain recorded his first home win with Colorado State, and the Rams secured their first home win since Sept. 10, 2011 (Northern Colorado). The last home win against a Mountain West opponent for CSU before tonight had been on Oct. 30, 2010, vs. New Mexico (38-14).
• The Rams and Warriors combined to score 49 first-half points. They entered the game ranked 118th (15.7) & 102nd (20.8), respectively, in scoring, averaging a combined 36.5 points per game.
• The Rams had two interception returns for touchdowns tonight, the first time CSU has accomplished that feat since Oct. 20, 2007 at UNLV.
• Redshirt-freshman QB Conner Smith made his first career start tonight, and was the Rams’ third different starting quarterback this season. The last time CSU had three different starting quarterbacks in a season was 1981 (Terry Nugent, 4; Mark Miller, 3; Tom Thenell, 5).
• Colorado State is one of just six schools in the country this season to start three or more quarterbacks (Southern Mississippi, 4; CSU, Kentucky, Minnesota, Tulane and Utah, 3)
• RS-Fr. CB DeAndre Elliott returned his first career interception 76 yards for a touchdown with 14:36 to play in the game, extending CSU’s lead to 35-27. He was the first Ram with two interceptions in a game since Darryl Williams at UNLV, Oct. 20, 2007.
• The Elliott interception return of 76 yards was the longest by a Ram since Nick Oppenneer’s 97-yarder for a touchdown at New Mexico, Nov. 21, 2009. It ties for the 10th-longest interception return in CSU history.
• Freshman CB Jasen Oden snared his first career interception in the fourth quarter and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown with 1:17 to play in the game, capping the Rams’ scoring for the night.
• DE Lanston Tanyi recorded 2.5 sacks among his game-high 13 tackles to raise his season tackle total to a team-leading 59. That total is the most by a Rams defensive lineman since 2003 (Bryan Save, 59). He also had his first career solo sack, which came in the 3rd quarter.
• Senior P Pete Kontodiakos entered the game ranked seventh in the nation in punting average (46.1) and averaged 61.8 on four punts tonight to raise his season average to 47.7 He had punts of 72, 60 and 56 yards in this game. The 72-yarder ties his second-longest of the season, and ties the third-longest of his career, while also tying for 10th-longest in CSU history.
• Kontodiakos’ 61.8-yard punting average tonight is the highest figure of his career.
• Kontodiakos has 4 of the 5 longest punts in the Mountain West this season (73, 72, 72 and 69).
• RB Chris Nwoke rushed for 115 yards on 19 carries (6.1) to record the first 100-yard rushing game by a Ram since Dec. 3, 2011, when Raymond Carter had 158 on 29 carries (2 TDs). It was Nwoke’s fourth career 100-yard rushing game and his fourth-highest single-game rushing total.
• Nwoke scored two touchdowns, both in the first half, tying his career high (twice before, both by rush; vs. Air Force, 11/26/11 and at Utah State, 9/24/11).
• Nwoke had a 27-yard touchdown reception from QB Conner Smith in the first quarter, the first of his career and longest reception of his career.
• LB Cory James, the Rams’ all-time freshman sacks leader and ranked second in the Mountain West, sacked Hawaii QB Sean Schroeder in the third quarter to raise his season total to 7.5.
• Freshman RB Tommey Morris scored his second touchdown of the season on a 1-yard run in the second quarter, marking Morris’ second game in a row with a rushing TD. Morris finished the game with 54 yards on a career-high nine carries.
• The last CSU player to have rushing touchdowns in consecutive games before Morris was RB Chris Nwoke, with three in a row in 2011 (10/22, 10/29, 11/12).
• Senior LB James Skelton was inserted into the offensive lineup in the second quarter, in a 1st-and-goal situation, and rushed for a 5-yard touchdown. It was the first touchdown of Skelton’s career, and first for him since his senior year at Chatfield High School in Littleton, Colo., as a running back.
• Freshman WR Joe Hansley’s second-quarter punt return of 76 yards was the longest of his career and longest by a Ram since Dallas Davis returned a punt 77 yards at UNLV on Nov. 27, 1999. It is the 11th longest punt return in CSU football history and set up Skelton’s touchdown run to give CSU a 21-14 lead.
• RS-Freshman QB Conner Smith threw his first career touchdown pass, 27 yards to RB Chris Nwoke, in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7. The pass was the longest of Smith’s career.
• The Rams wore their alternate pumpkin orange jerseys tonight and debuted a special helmet with orange Ram horns for this year’s “Orange Out.” The Rams are 3-1 wearing the pumpkin jerseys of their Aggies heritage in the modern era (9/10/11 vs. Northern Colorado, 33-14 win; 11/13/10 vs. BYU, 49-10 loss; 9/15/10 vs. Idaho, 36-34 win)
McElwain At A Glance:
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. McElwain played a key role in navigating the team to
two national championship victories in the last three seasons. Alabama defeated No. 1 LSU in January 2012, several weeks after becoming CSU’s new head coach, after having topped 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 four 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.
KONTODIAKOS REACHING RARE STATUS: Senior punter Pete Kontodiakos has punted 198 times in his career, eighth-most among active punters in the NCAA. Remarkably, 59 of his 198 punts (30%) have gone for 50 or more yards. His career punting average of 43.7 ranks 10th in the nation among active players and third-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 started the first seven games of the season in a two-tight end set, with Crockett 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 and 200 yards in seven games. The last time a Rams team had two tight ends with 200+ yards in a season was 2004 (Joel Dreessen, 427; Kory Sperry, 225).
Two TE sets since 2005: 2012: 7/8...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 and his team with 60 tackles. That is third-most by an NCAA FBS defensive lineman, and already seventh-most by a CSU defensive lineman in a season since 1991. He has recorded 8 or more tackles five times this year (13, 12, 10 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 Pottorff had 16 at Houston in 2007 (Sept. 22).
BEAST OF THE DEFENSE: Junior linebacker Shaquil Barrett has a career average of 7.5 tackles per game in 20 games, second-most among Mountain West players and tied for 21st in the nation. He led the Rams with 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.
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: WR Dominique Vinson, G Jordan Gragert, LB Aaron Davis, & DL Curtis Wilson.
Game 8 vs. Hawai’i: Senior WR Lou Greenwood, freshman S Trent Matthews, sophomore S Conner Roggy & soph. K Jared Roberts.
AWARDS AND HONORS
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)
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
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.