Colorado State Falls 34-10 At TCU
The Colorado State Rams (1-4, 3-7) ended up on the short end of a 34-10 score at Texas Christian University (9-2, 6-0) this afternoon. CSU true-freshman quarterback Garrett Grayson made his first start and was 14 of 24 for 248 yards and a touchdown plus an interception. The Rams are at home next Saturday to face Air Force (2-4, 6-5).
New life: Raymond Carter's 66-yard touchdown reception from Garrett Grayson, who eluded a blitz to find a wide-open receiver, was the longest passing play of the season for CSU, and second-longest play from scrimmage, behind Chris Nwoke's 67-yard TD vs. San Diego State (Nov. 12). Previously, the Rams' longest pass was a 47-yard strike from Pete Thomas to Thomas Coffman, vs. San Jose State (Oct. 1).
Duncanville: Two players from Duncanville High School, a suburb of Dallas just 32 miles from Amon G. Carter Stadium, combined on a key fourth-quarter takeaway. CB Marcus Shaw forced the Ed Wesley fumble, and LB Mychal Sisson recovered, early in the fourth quarter.
Another true freshman at QB: Garrett Grayson started at quarterback, making for the Rams one of few programs in the nation to have ever started a true-freshman QB in consecutive seasons. CSU is the fourth school in the country with a current streak of starting a true freshman at quarterback. Rutgers (Tom Savage 2009, Chas Dodd in 2010, Gary Nova in 2011) incredibly is on a three-year streak. Tennessee (Tyler Bray in 2010, Justin Worley in 2011) and Memphis (Ryan Williams in 2010, Taylor Reed in 2011) also have current streaks.
True-freshman QBs this season: Grayson became the nation's 17th true freshman to open a game under center this season. The previous 16: David Ash - Texas, Teddy Bridgewater - Louisville, Jacoby Brissett - Florida, Rakeem Cato - Marshall, Nick Isham - Louisiana Tech, Chuckie Keeton - Utah State, Andrew McNulty - North Texas, Braxton Miller - Ohio State, Gary Nova - Rutgers, Taylor Reed - Memphis, Tre Roberson - Indiana, Angel Santiago - Army, Max Shortell - Minnesota, Brett Smith - Wyoming, Maxwell Smith - Kentucky, and Justin Worley - Tennessee.
Unique uniform combo: According to team historian John Hirn, CSU prior to today had never worn a gold jersey with white pants. Head Coach Steve Fairchild opts to use the gold jersey for one road game each season. Last year, CSU wore the gold jersey, with green pants, in a tough, 24-19 loss at San Diego State.
On offense: CSU in its 27-0 loss to then-No. 5 TCU last season managed just 45 yards on the ground and 161 total. In the first half alone today, the Rams had 80 rushing yards and 183 total yards.
On defense: The Rams, who entered the game with the nation's No. 13 pass defense (180.7 yards per game) held Casey Pachall under 100 yards through the game's first 50 minutes. Pachall last week in a win at then-No. 5 Boise State threw for 474 yards to earn the Walter Camp national offensive player of the week honor.
Injury update: QB Pete Thomas' 21-game starting streak came to an end today, the sixth significant CSU streak halted by injury this season, following those of CB Elijah-Blu Smith, OT Paul Madsen, NT Nuku Latu, LB Mychal Sisson and OT Joe Caprioglio.
- CSU injuries have combined to prevent 59 starts this season. And among 15 key contributors, health ailments have claimed 78 combined games.
Freshmen used, Mountain West: These teams represent the top programs in the conference with respect to freshmen used (true and redshirt). TCU has 22, first in the MW. CSU has used 19, including seven true freshmen, second in the league. Last season, CSU used 23, tied for seventh in the nation.
Red-zone defense: The Rams held TCU to a field goal on the Frogs' first drive, which penetrated to the 4-yard line. CSU entered the game ranked tied for 13th in the country in red-zone defense.
- The Rams now have played seven true freshmen: WR Charles Lovett, WR Lee Clubb, S Drew Reilly, LB Aaron Davis, FBJordan Murphy, TE Blake Jones and QB Garrett Grayson are CSU's seven true freshmen who have played so far this season.
- Last season, nine true freshmen made their college debuts:
- RB Raymond Carter hauled in a 66-yard TD pass from Garrett Grayson late in the third quarter, Carter's first TD reception since Nov. 13, 2010, vs. BYU.
- QB Garrett Grayson eluded a blitz and found a wide-open Raymond Carter for 66 yards, the first TD pass of Grayson's career, late in the third quarter.
- QB Garrett Grayson made his first college start, and first start since Nov. 7, 2009, with Heritage High School, a 38-21 loss in the 2009 Class 4A Washington state playoffs, at South Kitsap. That day, Grayson was 27-of-39 for 203 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions. He also ran nine times for 84 yards and a touchdown. Grayson was a grayshirt, delaying his enrollment to January after signing as part of the Rams' Class of 2010.
- QB Pete Thomas, thanks to a knee injury, ended a 21-game starting streak, tied for longest active on the team. The last time Thomas missed a game was ninth grade, halfway through his freshman season at Valhalla High School in El Cajon, Calif., in 2006. Jake Gdowski and Weston Richburg, who started at strong tackle due to his broken snapping hand, now share the longest streaks on the team, 22 games.
- LB Mychal Sisson, whose broken ankle Sept. 10 sidelined him for more than two months -- a key loss for the Rams this season -- returned to the field on the third play of the game. Sisson's Duncanville High School, in a Dallas suburb, is just 32 miles from Amon G. Carter Stadium.
- Weston Richburg, who broke his right, snapping hand vs. SDSU last week, made his first career start at tackle. Richburg had started the previous 18 CSU games at center, after starting the first three games of his career - as a redshirt freshman in 2010 - at guard.
- C Tyler McDermott made his first start since Sept. 18, 2010, at Miami-Ohio. He started the first three games of 2010 at center.
- WR Matt Yemm caught a 34-yard pass from Garrett Grayson on the first snap of the game, Yemm's longest reception since a 36-yard grab from Pete Thomas at Miami-0hio, Sept. 18, 2010.
- TE Crockett Gillmore now has a catch in 10 straight games (every game this season).
- FB Joe Brown also has a catch in 10 straight games (every game this season).
- PR Momo Thomas, who entered the game No. 2 in the conference, had a 25-yard punt return negated by a block-in-the-back penalty, in the third quarter.
- P Pete Kontodiakos had a pair of punts that traveled at least 60 yards. He entered the game leading the conference in gross punting.