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CSU wins New Mexico Bowl - Gartrell Johnson is a BEAST!

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  • CSU wins New Mexico Bowl - Gartrell Johnson is a BEAST!

    History for the great Gartrell
    Johnson accounts for record 375 yards as Rams claim 40-35 win

    By Natalie Meisler
    The Denver Post
    Article Last Updated: 12/21/2008 12:25:21 AM MST


    Bowl preview: It's time to stock upShoulder sidelines QBALBUQUERQUE — As senior running back Gartrell Johnson III dashed his way into bowl history with 375 yards total offense Saturday, a man also wearing a Colorado State No. 5 jersey stood among the raucous Rams fans, howling at the top of his lungs.

    Gartrell Johnson Jr. could barely find his son as fans rushed the field at the end of the Rams' 40-35 New Mexico Bowl victory over Fresno State. Fans young and old swarmed the CSU senior running back for autographs and photos.

    They all knew they witnessed history. No matter how many people repeated his numbers, Johnson couldn't believe it: 285 yards rushing and 90 yards receiving. The 375 yards from scrimmage set the NCAA bowl game record.

    "That's amazing," Johnson said. "On

    the last touchdown (a 77-yarder to ice the game with 1:46 left), I wasn't even touched."
    CSU offensive tackle Dane Stratton, also playing his final college game, said: "Gartrell and us just did what we were supposed to do. Gartrell had the hard part. He ran his heart out, and we blocked our hearts out."

    Although Johnson had 173 yards rushing through three quarters and his 90 yards receiving, CSU trailed 28-20 until defensive end Tommie Hill picked off a Tom Brandstater pass to set up the Rams at the Fresno State 32-yard line.

    CSU seized control from there to finish with a 7-6 record under first-year coach Steve Fairchild. It is the Rams' first winning season since 2003.

    "Tommie's play was by far the play of the game. He gave us a chance to get a quick score," Fairchild said. "Our defense bailed the offense out with Tommie's huge play."

    For Johnson, it was the second-best rushing day in CSU history behind Tony Alford's 310 yards against Utah in 1989.

    Johnson scored his first TD of the day from the 1 seven plays after Hill's interception, but was denied the two-point conversion and CSU trailed 28-26. The Rams didn't take the lead until Billy Farris found wide receiver Rashaun Greer for a 69-yard connection and

    "I'm speechless about this win," Farris said. "After that (Greer touchdown), Fresno State didn't know what to do."

    Then — after Hill and Johnson engaged in some good-natured trash talk about getting caught from behind (Johnson on a 57-yard run then a 57-yard shovel pass, and Hill after his pick) — Johnson refused to get caught again, putting his signature on the masterpiece.

    He took off for the sideline on the 77-yard run, affording CSU some cushion for Fresno State's late consolation score.

    Before Hill's interception, it looked bleak for the Rams when Farris was picked off for the first time.

    The Rams were having trouble stopping Fresno State running backs Anthony Harding and Lonyae Miller, who rushed for 120 and 113 yards, respectively.

    In the second half, CSU defensive coordinator Larry Kerr credited line coach Scott Brown for making a change in the coverage.

    Johnson had 190 yards rushing early in the fourth quarter, breaking Cecil Sapp's school mark of 160 in the 2000 Liberty Bowl win over Louisville.

    "They really outplayed us in the second half," Fresno State coach Pat Hill said.

    On the last drive of the first half, Rams tight end Kory Sperry caught his first and only pass of the game. With Bulldogs safety Lorne Bell in front of him and corner Sharrod Davis defending from behind, Sperry came down with Farris' 22-yard pass in the back corner of the end zone. The catch was upheld on replay, and CSU closed within 21-20 with two seconds left and gave the Rams a lift for the second half.

    "At one point, Colorado State was the elite team in the Mountain West," said Fairchild, a former Rams quarterback. "We're not at that level yet, but it is our intention to get back."

    Natalie Meisler: 303-954-1295 or [email protected]

    Record haul

    Gartrell Johnson saved his best for last. The Colorado State senior running back ended his career with 285 yards rushing and 90 yards receiving. A look at how his numbers rank:

    Set the NCAA record for most yards (375) from scrimmage in FBS bowl history.

    Second-most all-purpose yards in bowl history (408 yards by East Carolina's Chris Johnson vs. Boise State in 2007 Hawaii Bowl).

    Set the school's bowl-game record for rushing yards (besting Cecil Sapp's 160 in the 2000 Liberty Bowl). It also is a Mountain West Conference bowl record.

    Johnson's 285 yards rushing are second all-time in CSU history (Tony Alford's 310 against Utah in 1989).

    His 77-yard run was a career long, as was his 57-yard catch in the second quarter.

    Johnson's 1,476 yards rushing this season rank second on the school's record list. (Sapp leads with 1,601 in 2002).

    Source: CSU media department

    Play of the day

    Defensive stopper: CSU defensive end Tommie Hill was supposed to rush quarterback Tom Brandstater but dropped back in coverage. Hill then swiped a screen pass, returned it to the Fresno State 32-yard line and put the Rams in business for a comeback from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Hill was named defensive MVP despite having just one tackle.

    Stat of the day

    375: Gartrell Johnson's 375 total yards on a combined 32 plays (27 carries and five receptions) set the record for the most yards in Football Bowl Subdivision bowl.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Totally worth driving 8 hours each way to see this game. Gartrell tore it up. Nothing like setting an alltime bowl game record for most yards from scrimmage. Gonna miss the Preditor next year. Have fun in the NFL buddy!

    GO RAMS!
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    All aboard the TEBOW TRAIN... since 2006!
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  • #2
    the Broncos should take a long, hard look at Gartrell Johnson in the mid to late rounds.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Max Power View Post
      the Broncos should take a long, hard look at Gartrell Johnson in the mid to late rounds.
      No doubt. Every NFL team has sent scouts to watch him practice the last couple of weeks. From what I've heard he's projected 3rd-4th round. Doesn't have great break away speed, but is quick as heck, one cut and go, and runs people over. I would LOVE to draft him!

      He stayed on the field for an hour after the game to make sure that EVERYONE who wanted autographs got them before he left, then another 30 minutes at the team hotel that afternoon to give autographs. Good head on his shoulders, and loves the fans!
      sigpic
      Thanks Blondie79!
      All aboard the TEBOW TRAIN... since 2006!
      Team Tebow #15

      Adopted NFL Player:
      "Oh Mercy"PERCY HARVIN

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      • #4
        what are you talking about? he's not projected to be drafted at all! besides, the fullback we have now is on a whole nother level than johnson. 3rd or 4th round... if broncos selected him that early i would stop being a broncos fan . having one great rushing game all season against a team who is noted for having a terrible run defense doesn't mean much... when he played CU, he only had like 2 good runs... and CU had a crappy rush defense this year.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DrunkPanda View Post
          what are you talking about? he's not projected to be drafted at all! besides, the fullback we have now is on a whole nother level than johnson. 3rd or 4th round... if broncos selected him that early i would stop being a broncos fan . having one great rushing game all season against a team who is noted for having a terrible run defense doesn't mean much... when he played CU, he only had like 2 good runs... and CU had a crappy rush defense this year.
          Someone is obviously bitter that they had to sit at home and watch everyone else go bowling this year. You obviously haven't watched all of the CSU games, if you did you would see that the kid is a beast. Here are his stats:

          Games:13 Carries:278 Yards:1476 Yards/game:113.5 yards/carry:5.3 Longest:77 Touchdowns:12

          I just wish I could find the stat for yards after 1st hit, and broken tackles. Oh and did I mention he is 6th in the country in rushing?!

          Hope your guys had fun watching us from home. Stay Bitter CU!
          Last edited by GatorChomp; 12-21-2008, 01:07 PM.
          sigpic
          Thanks Blondie79!
          All aboard the TEBOW TRAIN... since 2006!
          Team Tebow #15

          Adopted NFL Player:
          "Oh Mercy"PERCY HARVIN

          Comment


          • #6
            well of course he is 6th in the country in rushing. could be because he played one more game than most teams and got 290 yards in that game... you'd have to take that game out to compare him to the other backs and i'm sure he's way lower than 6th in the country if you do that.

            what does CU staying home have to do with anything? you made a blatantly false statement about him being projected in the 3rd round and i called you on it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DrunkPanda View Post
              well of course he is 6th in the country in rushing. could be because he played one more game than most teams and got 290 yards in that game... you'd have to take that game out to compare him to the other backs and i'm sure he's way lower than 6th in the country if you do that.

              what does CU staying home have to do with anything? you made a blatantly false statement about him being projected in the 3rd round and i called you on it.
              I say 3rd-4th actually, just like what was said on ESPN last night after the game. If you take what most draft sites are saying he is 4th-6th. Either way that means he is being projected to be drafted. Talk about blatantly false statements: " he's not projected to be drafted at all!". Couldn't say anything nice about a kid who had a heck of a game, have to immediatly start being negative and talking smack.
              sigpic
              Thanks Blondie79!
              All aboard the TEBOW TRAIN... since 2006!
              Team Tebow #15

              Adopted NFL Player:
              "Oh Mercy"PERCY HARVIN

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              • #8
                what draft sites say he is going 3rd or 4th? link me. i've only seen undrafted and 7th round

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                • #9
                  Haha, Gartrell Johnson is a beast! He has played good all year against some good defenses. I would love to see him in a Broncos uniform next year.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Congrats to CSU on their bowl game victory. :salute!:
                    www.allbuffs.com

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                    • #11
                      I hate you CSU. You beat my colleges team. (congrats on beating a mid-size towns team btw) How did we manage to blow the lead in the fourth quarter. Anyways, FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS, WOOT.

                      At least we won national title in baseball last season, we are going for two in a row. That was the first title we ever got.

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                      • #12
                        congrats CSU fans and eat it CU fans
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by baphamet View Post
                          congrats CSU fans and eat it CU fans
                          well said! CU sux! and CSU rules! (i root for CSU cause my cousin graduated from there....)

                          CU is full of spoiled little rich kids.

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