7:30 PM ET, September 29, 2005
Hughes Stadium, FORT COLLINS, CO
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- In the span of two weeks, Kyle Bell, benchwarmer has become Kyle Bell, burgeoning star for Colorado State.
A sophomore who earned his job only when opening-day starter Nnamdi Ohaeri got hurt, Bell came close to the 200-yard mark for the second straight game Thursday night, running for 197 yards and three scores in a 41-23 victory over Air Force.
"You don't think about that," Bell said of opening the season on the bench. "You come to play no matter where you are on the depth chart. I got the call and made the most of it."
This added to a 183-yard game last week against Nevada and Bell, the state of Colorado's career high school rushing leader, became the first player for Colorado State (2-2, 1-0 Mountain West) to record back-to-back 100-yard games since 2002.
"Bell was better today than he was last week," Rams coach Sonny Lubick said. "He has stamina. He have been able to play another quarter if there was one to play."
This one was settled early, though, and Bell was a standout on a night full of big performances for the Rams, who won their second straight and handed the Falcons (2-3, 1-2) their third straight loss.
David Anderson stayed on pace to become the most productive receiver in school history, catching seven passes for 105 yards and two scores. This marked his 12th career 100-yard game and Anderson stayed well on pace to reach former Rams great Greg Primus for the most receptions and yards in school history.
Little-used receiver Luke Roberts had five catches for 123 yards and an acrobatic touchdown, caught over the arms of an outstretched defender for a 13-9 lead late in the second.
Throwing the passes was Justin Holland, who went 17-for-26 for 318 yards and three scores. The Rams finished with 551 yards in offense.
"Add all that up there and you've got a good, ol' fanny kicking," Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry said. "That's what it was."
Air Force was coming off one- and three-point losses to Wyoming and Utah and was hoping to tighten up the small details and pull off a win in this rivalry between teams separated by 110 miles on I-25.
The difference in this one was about more than the small stuff, though.
The Falcons were overwhelmed by Colorado State's offensive line, and as the game wore on, their exhaustion showed -- never more than when Bell ran untouched on a misdirection play for a nine-yard score and a 41-23 lead with 6:10 left.
Earlier, their tackling wasn't great, as Bell could attest. His 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter came on a second or third effort after Air Force failed to bring him down. He had a 29-yard run in the third, as well, most of which was gained after he appeared to be wrapped up. Roberts caught a 36-yard pass to set up the final score on a play in which three Falcons whiffed.
"It's obvious we didn't tackle very well," DeBerry said. "We were in position all night to make plays and we couldn't tackle."
Air Force opened the second half with a three-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to take a 16-13 lead and it appeared this would be a back-and-forth game. But as the defense wore down, it became obvious the Falcons would regret settling for field goals on three trips inside the CSU 20 in the first half.
Chad Hall had a career-high 107 yards rushing for Air Force, but that was one of the few highlights for the Falcons.
Trailing by 18 late, Air Force tried some trickery. Hall threw crossfield to Greg Kirkwood on a kickoff return and Kirkwood took the ball 85 yards to the end zone. But officials ruled Hall threw a forward pass, bringing the frustrated Air Force coach onto the field for a heated, but futile argument.
There were four plays reviewed under the Mountain West Conference's new replay system, not a single one of which went Air Force's way.
"When the challenges come up, it doesn't concern me one bit, because I know it ain't going to go in our favor," DeBerry said.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||3-14||7-13|
|4th Down Conversions||3-3||2-2|
|TD||8:02||KYLE BELL 1 YD RUN (KEVIN MARK KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 35 yards.
|FG||0:04||SCOTT EBERLE 37 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 15 yards.
|FG||8:14||SCOTT EBERLE 25 YD FG|
Drive info: 11 plays, 58 yards.
|FG||1:24||SCOTT EBERLE 30 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 59 yards.
|TD||0:19||LUKE ROBERTS 27 YD PASS FROM JUSTIN HOLLAND (FAILED 2PT PASS)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 88 yards.
|TD||14:08||CHAD SMITH 30 YD RUN (SCOTT EBERLE KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||10:30||DAVID ANDERSON 19 YD PASS FROM JUSTIN HOLLAND (KEVIN MARK KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 81 yards.
|TD||1:14||DAVID ANDERSON 23 YD PASS FROM JUSTIN HOLLAND (KEVIN MARK KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 63 yards.
|TD||12:37||KYLE BELL 30 YD RUN (KEVIN MARK KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 45 yards.
|TD||10:26||RYAN WILLIAMS 14 YD PASS FROM SHAUN CARNEY (SCOTT EBERLE KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||6:10||KYLE BELL 9 YD RUN (KEVIN MARK KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 84 yards.