Washington State at Colorado State

Late Colorado State rally shocks Washington State

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- With less than 2 minutes to play and Colorado State down by eight points, Shaquil Barrett knew the Rams needed the ball back quickly to finish an improbable comeback against Washington State.

Once down by 22 points in the New Mexico Bowl, the Rams got their chance when Cougars running back Jeremiah Laufasa came barreling toward Barrett.

"I was kind of thinking in my mind, yeah, 'That was our shot to get back in the game right there,'" said Barrett, who stripped the ball. "I really didn't think I was going to get the opportunity."

That fumble, at the Cougars 33, set up Kapri Bibbs' 1-yard run score and Donnell Alexander's two-point conversion run that tied it at 45 with 33 seconds left.

Then, Washington State's Teondray Caldwell fumbled a kickoff return at the 24, setting up Jared Roberts' 41-yard field goal as time expired gave Colorado State a 48-45 victory Saturday.

It was a quarterback shootout that saw close to 800 passing yards combined and a game largely dominated by Washington State until the last 2 minutes.

And Colorado State did not have a lead the entire game until that winning field goal.

"That win right there...it's pretty amazing how it worked but at the end of the day, it's about being resilient," Rams coach Jim McElwain. "It's about understanding (that) every play has a history and life of its own."

Garrett Grayson threw for 369 yards and Bibbs ran for 169 yards and three touchdowns for Colorado State (8-6). The Rams overcame three early turnovers.

"I'm still kind of at a loss for words about how that whole thing ended up," Rams center Weston Richburg said. "It must have been destiny. That's the most unbelievable game I've ever been a part of."

Meanwhile, Washington State's Connor Halliday threw touchdown passes to six receivers and finished with 410 yards for Washington State (6-7). Those six touchdown passes tied West Virginia's Geno Smith and Iowa's Chuck Long for an NCAA bowl record.

After the first touchdown pass, Halliday got into a shouting match with a Colorado State coach when Halliday ran into the Rams' sideline. That exchange created a social media buzz and McElwain vowed look into it.

"Coach grabbed me and said some profane things to me and that's all I'll say about it," Halliday said.

Washington State scored 35 points in the first half, but had only 10 in the second. With the game winding down, a lack of a running game forced the Cougars to stay with their spread offense and prevented them for running down the clock when ahead by 15 points in the fourth quarter.

"Colorado State finished the game. We didn't," Washington State coach Mike Leach said. "They finished the game better than we did. 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."

Washington State rushed for minus-10 yards total.

The matchup brought together two second-year coaches working to turn around their teams' fortunes with high-octane offenses.

Colorado State had not played in a postseason game since 2008. Washington State had not been in a bowl game since 2003.

McElwain predicted the bowl victory would help the Rams with recruiting and said it was evidence how far the program had come.

"Unbelievable," McElwain said. "You don't write scripts like this."

 
 
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Colorado State's Kapri Bibbs runs for 169 yards and three scores in the Rams' comeback win in the New Mexico Bowl. (USATSI)
Colorado State's Kapri Bibbs runs for 169 yards and three scores in the Rams' comeback win in the New Mexico Bowl. (USATSI)

 

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Scoreboard
Washington State  (6-7)21143745
Colorado State  (8-6) «101371848
Scoring Summary
WASHSTRiver Cracraft 25 yd pass from Connor Halliday (Andrew Furney kick)
WASHSTGabe Marks 1 yd pass from Connor Halliday (Andrew Furney kick)
COLOSTCharles Lovett 63 yd pass from Garrett Grayson (Jared Roberts kick)
WASHSTTheron West 28 yd pass from Connor Halliday (Andrew Furney kick)
COLOSTJared Roberts 25 yd FG
COLOSTJared Roberts 19 yd FG
WASHSTVince Mayle 28 yd pass from Connor Halliday (Andrew Furney kick)
WASHSTRickey Galvin 3 yd pass from Connor Halliday (Andrew Furney kick)
COLOSTKapri Bibbs 1 yd run (Jared Roberts kick)
COLOSTJared Roberts 30 yd FG
WASHSTAndrew Furney 33 yd FG
COLOSTKapri Bibbs 75 yd run (Jared Roberts kick)
WASHSTIsiah Myers 22 yd pass from Connor Halliday (Andrew Furney kick)
COLOSTJordon Vaden 12 yd pass from Garrett Grayson (Jared Roberts kick)
COLOSTKapri Bibbs 1 yd run (DONNELL ALEXANDER 2pt run)
COLOSTJared Roberts 41 yd FG
 
Team Stats
 WASHSTCOLOST
First Downs2129
Third Down Efficiency8-1712-22
Fourth Down Efficiency1-13-3
Plays-Net Yards77-40097-595
Rushes-Yds19--1046-226
Passing Yds410369
Kick Return Yds6652
Punt Return Yds240
Passes37-58-131-51-1
Punts6-2435-164
Fumbles-Lost3-22-2
Penalties-Yds10-707-48
Time of Poss.25:3934:21
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
WASHST: Theron West 3-17, Teondray Caldwell 3-14, Marcus Mason 4-5, Jeremiah Laufasa 1-2, Kristoff Williams 1-1, Connor Halliday 7--49
COLOST: Kapri Bibbs 27-169, Donnell Alexander 7-31, Garrett Grayson 8-10, Max Morgan 1-8, Kivon Cartwright 1-4, Jake Schlager 1-4, Joe Hansley 1-0
PASSING
WASHST: Connor Halliday 37-58-410-1
COLOST: Garrett Grayson 31-50-369-1, Team 0-1-0-0
RECEIVING
WASHST: River Cracraft 9-125, Kristoff Williams 7-72, Gabe Marks 5-37, Theron West 3-50, Isiah Myers 3-45, Rickey Galvin 3-24, Marcus Mason 3-18, Vince Mayle 2-38, Dom Williams 1-3, Teondray Caldwell 1--2
COLOST: Jordon Vaden 8-60, Charles Lovett 5-93, Joe Hansley 4-56, Crockett Gillmore 4-44, Rashard Higgins 4-42, Donnell Alexander 3-17, Kivon Cartwright 2-51, Kapri Bibbs 1-6
 
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TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
Washington State4th Pac-12 North4-56-6
Colorado State3rd Mountain West Mountain5-37-6
 
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