College Football

more stats

45
Final 1234Score
Washington St21143745
Colorado State101371848
Preview | Matchup | Log | Wrap | Box
48


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

Other Stories

  • ACC: Clemson at NC State

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSBB: Broughton at Leesville Road

    Tonight at 7:00 on 620am

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: Duke at Notre Dame

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 620am

  • ACC: NC State vs. Clemson

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 55
DELST 54
 
Final
UNC 93
SYR 83
7:30pm Tonight
CAR
TAM
 
7:30pm Monday
BRK 0
POR 0
7:30pm Monday
NYK 0
SAC 0
Final
OKC 92
MIN 84
Final
MEM 103
ORL 94
Final
NOP 99
PHI 74
Final
UTA 90
BOS 99
Final
LAC 102
DEN 98
7:00pm Tonight
IND
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
MIL
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MEM
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
CHI
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
WAS
 
Final
AMER 66
ARMY 68
 
Final
OU 59
CLST 56
 
Final
NCCU 55
DELST 54
 
Final
PBY 54
HIGH 63
 
Final
UNC 93
SYR 83
Final
DET 53
WRST 64
 
Final
NCAT 71
COPST 84
 
Final
SCST 65
HAMP 56
 
Final
COOK 42
HOW 45
 
Final
NWST 80
NICST 51
 
Final
NO 87
CARK 67
 
Final
CAMP 78
GWEBB 59
 
Final
FAM 65
MDES 72
 
Final
INCWORD 86
MCNST 84
 
Final
SAV 54
NORST 70
 
Final
ABCHRIST 63
SHSU 80
 
Final
LAM 65
STEPH 82
 
Final
SELA 61
TAMCC 70
 
Final
VALPO 73
UWMIL 48
 
Final
ALAAM 78
ALCOR 66
 
Final
ALAST 63
SOUTH 59
 
Final
ARKPB 105
PVU 68
 
Final
ISU 89
TEX 86
Final
MVSU 84
TXSOU 85
 
7:00pm Tonight
AKR
BST
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
CMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
VCU
GWU
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
UMO
 
7:00pm Tonight
MICH
NEB
 
7:00pm Tonight
BGU
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
EMICH
OHIO
 
7:00pm Tonight
VT
PITT
 
7:00pm Tonight
LAS
STJOE
 
7:00pm Tonight
TULA
TULSA
 
7:00pm Tonight
UGA
VANDY
 
7:00pm Tonight
KYST
WVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
WMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
GEOR
XAV
 
8:00pm Tonight
EVAN
INDST
 
8:00pm Tonight
ORU
TABOR
 
9:00pm Tonight
OKST
BAY
 
9:00pm Tonight
PROV 0
DEP 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ALA
UF
 
9:00pm Tonight
RUTG 0
MSU 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
TENN
 
9:00pm Tonight
AUB
TEXAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTST
WYO
 
9:05pm Tonight
SDST
FRES
 
10:00pm Tonight
CALST
SDCHR
 
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
UNLV
 
11:00pm Tonight
BSU
COLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
ARI
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
NYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
WIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
DET
 
7:30pm Tonight
CAR
TAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
COL
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
BUF
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
MIN
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
ANA