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Rams whip Pokes
Oct 19, 2013 - The Associated Press
LARAMIE -- Colorado State coach Jim McElwain may have been the only person who expected his 2-4 team to come to Wyoming's home field and absolutely dominate in a 52-22 win Saturday.
"I did. I did," McElwain said, explaining that instilling a winning mentality in a team is important. "...That's what you should be striving for."
Kapri Bibbs rushed for career-high 201 yards and three touchdowns, and Garrett Grayson passed for 219 yards and three scores as the Rams dominated the Cowboys in a rivalry that has spanned more than 100 games.
CSU (3-4, 1-1 Mountain West) ended a four-game losing streak to Wyoming (4-3, 2-1) and prevented the Cowboys from going 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 1998.
The Rams defense held the nation's No. 10 offense in totals yards per game average in check and forced three turnovers.
McElwain said keeping the ball away from Wyoming's spread, up-tempo offense and getting early stops against it was key.
"If you can limit the amount of opportunities they have to get going and get the NASCAR race car going ... we did that with our offense," he said.
Bibbs, whose previous career-high in rushing yardage was 147, had TD runs of 7, 59 and 9 yards on 29 carries. He averaged 6.9 yards per rush.
Grayson completed 18 of 23 passes and had one interception. He was 15 of 18 in the first half when CSU gained a 24-7 lead. He completed TD passes of 24 yards to Kivon Cartwright, 22 yards to Austin Gray and 34 yards to Donnell Alexander.
Brett Smith led Wyoming, completing 21 of 36 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown.
Dominic Rufran caught seven of Smith's passes for 135 yards, including a 71-yard score.
CSU dominated the game from the outset, gaining a 21-0 lead as the Rams offense shredded the Cowboys defense for 289 total yards and averaged 6.4 yards per play in the first half.
Grayson said it was important for CSU to set the tone early on in the game and give the Rams defense time to rest.
"We knew their offense was explosive, we knew their quarterback is one of the best in the country, so we didn't want to give them any chances," he said.
By contrast, Wyoming's offense, which entered the game averaging 518.8 total yards a game, struggled. At one point early in the second quarter, CSU had outgained the Cowboys in total yardage 220-34.
"Play after play the defense was just swarming the ball," CSU defensive lineman Curtis Wilson, who had five tackles and two sacks, said.
The last time Wyoming gave up 50 points against the Rams was on Oct. 14, 1922, in a 60-0 defeat.
"That was ugly," Cowboys coach Dave Christensen, who had never lost a game to CSU since taking over at Wyoming. "...We made just a boatload of mistakes, both sides of the football."
Smith, who entered the game ranked third in the nation with an average of 379 total yards a contest, had just 78 passing and rushing yards in the half.
The Cowboys ended the game with 416 total yards, and Smith with 258 total yards.
"We went out there and basically, all around, we got beat up," Smith said. "We couldn't execute on either side of the ball and they did. It's the worst feeling in the world, the worst I've ever felt in my entire career of sports."