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NCAA Game Summary - Washington State vs. Colorado State



(Saturday, December 21st)

Final Score: Colorado State 48, Washington State 45

Albuquerque, NM (SportsNetwork.com) - Colorado State got college football's postseason off to a thrilling start, scoring 18 unanswered points in the final three minutes to rally for a 48-45 victory over Washington State in the New Mexico Bowl.

Kapri Bibbs' third rushing touchdown of the day -- and 31st of the season -- brought the Rams within 45-43 with 33 seconds left, and Donnell Alexander just got to the pylon on a Statue of Liberty play to convert the two-point conversion and tie the score.

Washington State's Teondray Caldwell then fumbled away the ensuing kickoff to set up Jared Roberts' 41-yard field goal as time expired to give Colorado State (8-6) the improbable win.

"They finished the game better than we did," Washington State coach Mike Leach said. "The lesson to be learned from that is it doesn't matter where you're at, you need to go out and finish the game. We have to be a tougher team, we have to play better."

The Rams overcame a 22-point first-half deficit as well as a career-high six touchdown passes from Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday in their first bowl appearance since defeating Fresno State in the 2008 New Mexico Bowl.

"I've had an opportunity to be in a couple of these bowls over the years, and this one is right up there. They just did an outstanding job for our teams, our players and our fans," said Colorado State coach Jim McElwain.

Bibbs racked up 169 yards on 27 carries and Garrett Grayson threw a pair of touchdown passes, including a 12-yarder to Jordon Vaden with 2:52 remaining that began the comeback. Grayson finished with 369 yards through the air with one interception on a 31-of-50 completion rate.

Halliday piled up 410 yards on 37-of-58 passing with one interception for Washington State (6-7), which was bowling for the first time since 2003. River Cracraft added 125 yards and a touchdown on nine catches in the Cougars' shocking setback.

Caldwell's fumble was one of two extremely costly miscues committed by the Cougars in the game's waning stages. With Washington State attempting to salt away a 45-37 lead, Jeremiah Laufasa was stripped by the Rams' Shaquil Barrett and the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year recovered the ball at the opposing 33-yard line with 1:51 left.

Bibbs twice converted on third down with a pair of 8-yard bursts, the last creating a 1st-and-goal from the Washington State 2. The star running back crossed the plane from a yard out two plays later to cut the lead to two, and Alexander was able to stretch out and reach the pylon after taking a reverse handoff to draw Colorado State even.

Steven Michel then punched the ball free from Caldwell on the kickoff, with Jake Schlager recovering the fumble at the Cougars' 24 with 27 seconds remaining. The Rams were unable to get closer for Roberts, but the junior split the uprights anyway to complete the stunning comeback.

Five of Halliday's touchdown throws came in the opening half as the Cougars built a 35-13 advantage late in the second quarter, but Colorado State came through with 10 straight points in the final minute of the period to cut into the margin.

Grayson went 4-for-5 in leading a 9-play, 75-yard march that culminated in Bibbs' 1-yard touchdown run, and Colorado State induced a three-and-out to take over at the opposing 40-yard line with 35 seconds left. A 10-yard scramble by Grayson got Roberts in range for a 30-yard field goal that pulled the Rams within 35-23 at the break.

A 28-yard field goal by Andrew Furney on Washington State's initial possession of the second half increased the margin to 15 points, but Bibbs broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage and outraced the Cougars' secondary for a 75-yard touchdown run on the following snap to shorten the lead to 38-30.

Colorado State's offense stalled on its next two drives, however, before Halliday skillfully engineered an 11-play, 80-yard series to give the Cougars some distance.

The junior quarterback completed 8-of-9 attempts on the trek, including a 15- yard hookup with Kristoff Williams on 4th-and-3 that placed the ball at the CSU 20. Two plays later, Halliday hit Isiah Myers down the seam for a 22-yard touchdown that sent Washington State ahead by a 45-30 count with 9:35 to go.

Colorado State's defense held the rest of the way, though, and Grayson led a 9-play, 72-yard series that ended in Vaden's touchdown grab to get the Rams within one score.

Washington State was in control for most of the opening two quarters, with Nolan Washington's 29-yard fumble return on the Rams' first offensive play setting the tone and leading to Halliday's 25-yard pass to Cracraft in the right corner of the end zone 2:28 into the contest.

Theron West then blocked a Colorado State punt in the end zone on the ensuing possession, with the ball rolling out of bounds at the Rams' 6-yard line to set up Halliday's 1-yard strike to Gabe Marks that quickly staked Washington State to a 14-0 lead.

A 63-yard connection from Grayson to Charles Lovett on a blown coverage cut the Rams' deficit in half midway through the opening quarter, but Colorado State defensive end Joe Kawulok was flagged for a costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after sacking Halliday on third down on the following series.

On the very next play, Halliday hit West deep while on the move for a 28-yard touchdown that put the Cougars up 21-7 with 5:27 left in the first quarter.

Grayson found Keon Cartwright for a 51-yard gain to position Roberts for a 25- yard field goal that got Colorado State closer, and the Rams put together a 19-play, 69-yard sequence that was kept alive by a fake punt on their subsequent trip. The drive stalled inside the Washington State 5, though, and they settled for Roberts' 19-yard field goal that trimmed the lead to 21-13.

Grayson's next pass was intercepted by Deone Bucannon, however, leading to Halliday's 28-yard delivery to Vince Mayle that restored the two-score differential.

After forcing the Rams to punt, the Cougars had little trouble reaching the end zone another time. A brief 4-play, 42-yard jaunt was capped by Halliday's fifth TD pass of the half, which Rickey Galvin caught in traffic from three yards out to give the Cougars a 35-13 advantage with under three minutes remaining in the second quarter.

The Rams responded with 10 points in the half's final minute, though, to narrow the gap.

Game Notes

Colorado State became the first team to twice prevail in the New Mexico Bowl in the game's eight-year history ... Halliday's six touchdown passes tied a Washington State single-game record originally set by Jason Gesser against Arizona in 2000 ... Bibbs finished the season with a school-record 1,741 rushing yards, shattering the previous mark held by Cecil Sapp (1,601) in 2002 ... The Rams' eight victories are the program's most since a 10-win campaign in 2002 ... Washington State's last bowl appearance came in the 2003 Holiday, a 28-20 triumph over Texas ... Leach fell to 5-5 all- time in bowl games.

12/21 23:04:07 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
HOU 4
BAL 1
Final
KAN 1
NYY 5
Final
MIA 1
PIT 5
Final
WAS 2
CHC 3
Final
CWS 9
TOR 10
Final
COL 1
CIN 2
Final
PHI 4
NYM 5
Final
SEA 7
TAM 6
Final
TEX 4
CLE 3
Final
BOS 1
MIN 2
Final
SFG 6
MIL 3
Final
ARI 4
STL 6
Final
DET 1
OAK 0
Final
SDP 4
ANA 0
Final
ATL 0
LOS 8
12:10pm Today
TEX
CLE
 
12:35pm Today
COL
CIN
12:35pm Today
MIA
PIT
12:37pm Today
CWS
TOR
1:05pm Today
KAN
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
BOS
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
PHI
NYM
1:10pm Today
SEA
TAM
1:40pm Today
SFG
MIL
3:35pm Today
DET
OAK
 
4:35pm Today
HOU
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
WAS
CHC
8:15pm Tonight
ARI
STL
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
ANA
10:10pm Tonight
ATL
LOS
1:05pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Thursday
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Thursday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Thursday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Thursday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Thursday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Thursday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
Final
ATL 88
CLE 118
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
GSW
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
Final
NYR 7
TAM 3
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI
 
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR