No. 14 Pack welcome Grizzlies for annual Homecoming Game Saturday

PUEBLO, Colo. (Oct. 5, 2017) - The No. 14 Colorado State University-Pueblo football team hosts Adams State University Saturday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl. The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest is also the annual Homecoming and Athletics Hall of Fame Game. 

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CSU-PUEBLO GAME NOTES (4-1, 4-0 RMAC)
ADAMS STATE GAME NOTES (3-2, 3-2 RMAC)

THE GAME 

• The ThunderWolves are ranked No. 14 in the AFCA poll and are alone at the top of the RMAC standings (4-0). 

• All-time, the Pack lead the series with ASU 21-10-2 and have won the last eight meetings. 

• CSU-Pueblo won the last two meetings (both on the road) by a combined score of 112-12. The teams last played in Pueblo in 2014 (W, 17-7).

• CSU-Pueblo is 9-0 on Homecoming since the restart in 2008 and is 25-6 all-time. 

2017 HALL OF FAME 

• The 2017 Class of the CSU-Pueblo Athletics Hall of Fame will be recognized at halftime. The 2017 Class includes: Bob Busia (Football, 1961, 63-64), Mike Duran (Cross Country, Track and Field, 1977-82), Steve Herzberg (Baseball, 1968-71), Lisa (Knafelc) Osleson (Women's Basketball, 1977-81), Guy Taylor (Men's Basketball, 1985-88), Dave Miller (Longtime Public Address Announcer), Wrestling (1990-91).

SCOUTING THE PACK 

• The Pack (4-1, 4-0 RMAC) recorded a 30-24 win versus then-No. 8 Colorado Mesa Saturday. The Pack outscored the Mavericks 10-0 and recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter to set up the final field goal. 

• QB Rex Dausin threw for 318 yards, the most by a Pack QB since 2014. He connected with 10 different receivers on his way to 27 completions. 

• ILB Brandon Payer totaled a team-best 11 tackles (8 solo). He  ranks third in the RMAC in tackles (52) and sits seventh nationally in solo tackles (34).

• The win against then-No. 8 Colorado Mesa was the sixth (6-1) since 2008 against a top 10 team.

• R-Fr. K Mitchell Carter went 3-for-3 on both field goals and extra points and earned RMAC Special Teams Player of the Week. He is a perfect 23-for-23 on EXPT and 6-of-6 on FGs in 2017.

• RB Marché Dennard recorded his third straight 100-plus rushing game with 108 yards and two touchdowns. He sits second nationally in rush yards per carry (8.6 ypc).

• The ThunderWolves rank 20th nationally in total offense (464.2 ypg) and are 22nd nationally in rushing (224.4 ypg).   

• The Pack defense has allowed 16.4 points per game this season to rank 22nd nationally, while the team is No. 15 in Division II in interceptions with eight.   

• The ThunderWolves are 20-for-21 in the red zone. CSU-Pueblo has scored 15 touchdowns and five field goals in the red zone. The Pack are 11th nationally in red zone offense. The defense ranks 18th nationally in the red zone, as they allow the opponent to score only 62.5 percent of the time. 

SCOUTING ADAMS STATE

• The Grizzlies are 3-2 overall and in RMAC play. ASU is 1-2 on the road and are coming off a 52-44 home victory against South Dakota Mines.

• Adams State has the No. 2 passing offense in NCAA Division II with 370.4 yards per game. The team's 40.8 points per game is 13th in DII.

• Leading the passing game is Nick Rooney, who ranks 11th nationally with 1,484 yards. He ranks second in NCAA Division II with 371.0 passing yards per game and is eighth with 102 points responsible for.

• ASU allows 41.0 points per game. 

• Safety Garrett Jackson leads the Grizzlies with 11.3 tackles per game, which is 12th nationally. 

• The Grizzlies have the 3rd ranked punt return nationally with 25.3 yards per return. 

THE POLLS 

• CSU-Pueblo wasn't ranked at the end of a season for the first time since 2012 last year. The Pack entered the 2017 ranked No. 12 in both the AFCA and D2Football.com polls and are No. 14/9 this week.

• The Pack ranked in the AFCA top 25 for 66 consecutive polls ranging from Sept. 5, 2011 (21st) to Sept. 5, 2016 (19th).

• The ThunderWolves ranked in the top 10 nationally for a NCAA Division II-best 37 straight weeks from Oct. 17, 2011 (eighth) to Oct. 6, 2014 (second).

TEAM NOTES

• Since 2008, CSU-Pueblo is undefeated when scoring 35 or more points (49-0) and when allowing 10 points or less (36-0).

• Since reinstating the program in 2008, the ThunderWolves are 48-11 (.814) at the ThunderBowl.

• CSU-Pueblo owns a 17-6 (12-4 at home) record versus ranked opponents (Division II) since 2011. That includes a 6-1 record against the nation's top 10. The Pack had won 10 straight against nationally-ranked opponents (6-0 in 2014 and 4-1 in 2015) before the playoff loss to Grand Valley State. Ranking history since 2011 page 3

• This season, the ThunderWolves will play six road games in six different states (Texas, South Dakota, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nebraska).

• The Pack will travel roughly 4,940 miles in those six road games.  

• CSU-Pueblo is winning the first half 118-49, specifically scoring 69 points in the second quarter. 

• Start fast, finish faster: The defense has allowed 17 points in the first quarter this season and given up just 13 points in the fourth frame.

• The Pack have totaled seven 75-yard or more scoring drives this season. The longest drive was a 15-play, 96-yard drive to the end zone at South Dakota Mines. It ate up 7:18 of the clock, which is the most time a scoring drive has taken this season. 

• CSU-Pueblo recorded two drive under 20 seconds at New Mexico Highlands. A one-play 30 yard run by Austin Micci that took seven seconds and a 19 second, one-play run 69 yard run by Marché Dennard.

• The ThunderWolves have a 68-8 record since 2008 when scoring first (3-1 this season).

CSU-PUEBLO POSITION NOTABLES

OFFENSE

• Junior RB Marché Dennard leads the team with 458 rushing yards on 52 attempts for a 8.6 yards per carry average that ranks second in NCAA Division II. He owns six touchdowns and averages 89.0 yards per game. His rushing yards total is 38th nationally.

• Both Dennard and sophomore RB Austin Micci have six rushing touchdowns to rank T-22nd nationally in the category. 

• Micci has found the end zone seven times this season, six rushing and one receiving. His seven scores places him tied for 18th nationally. He ranks tied for 29th in total points scored (42) and is 38th in scoring per game (8.4 ppg). 

• The Pack are 14th nationally in rushing offense with 224.4 yards per game. The 405 rushing yards against New Mexico Highlands was the second most in program history. The Pack rushed for 435 yards on 50 attempts against Western New Mexico, Oct. 31, 2009.

• In his first NCAA Division II start, junior QB Brandon Edwards went 13-for-19 (68.4%) for 152 yards and two touchdowns. His 72.4 completion percentage this season ranks first in the RMAC and 3rd nationally.  

• As a team, the ThunderWolves rank first in the RMAC and 27th nationally with a 62.5 completion percentage.

• Senior QB Rex Dausin threw for 318 yards in the win against No. 8 Colorado Mesa. It was the first 300 yard game by a Pack QB since Chris Bonner Oct. 18, 2014. 

• Senior WR Osha Washington leads the team in receiving with 23 receptions for 249 yards. Six different receivers have touchdowns this season with Washington and junior WR Josh Smith leading the way with two.

• Dausin's 83-yard touchdown strike to Washington at NMHU (Sept. 23) was the longest since an 82-yard connection between Chris Bonner and Paul Browning on Nov. 11, 2014. 

• The ThunderWolves finished the 2016 season 12th nationally in least tackles for loss allowed with 4.36 per game. CSU-Pueblo has five seniors on the offensive line this season and rank 32nd nationally and first in the RMAC in the least tackles for loss allowed (4.6). 

• The Pack rank 11th in NCAA Division II in red zone offense, as they are 20-for-21 this season. They have 15 touchdowns and five field goals. The one miss was at the end of the win against No. 8 Colorado Mesa when the Pack went into victory formation at the 1-yard line. 

DEFENSE

• The Pack have been one of the most stingiest and unforgiving defenses in the nation the past seven seasons. Since 2011, the ThunderWolves have finished the season in the top 22 nationally in scoring defense, which includes leading the country in 2011 and 2014. CSU-Pueblo has also ranked in the top 21 in turnover ratio (or turnovers gained) in all but one season in that span with the nation's best mark in 2014. 

• CSU-Pueblo ranks 31st nationally and first in the league in scoring defense this season, as it allows 16.4 points per game.

• The Pack have eight interceptions in 2017 to rank first in the RMAC and 15th nationally. With three fumble recoveries added to the INT total, CSU-Pueblo ranks second in the RMAC and 34th nationally in turnovers gained (11).

• The ThunderWolves totalled four pix sixes in 2016 . CSU-Pueblo earned its first interception for a score of 2017 against NMHU (Sept. 23) when junior CB Darius Williams took a pick 25 yards to the paint. 

• Williams has a pick six in each of his three seasons with the Pack. 

• Since 2008, the Pack have totaled 29 interception returns for a touchdown. The most in a season is five by the 2010 and 2014 squads. The Pack finished 10th in NCAA Division II in defensive TD's with five last season.

• CSU-Pueblo's rushing defense was established on game one of the program re-boot in 2008. The Pack allowed 13 yards rushing against Oklahoma Panhandle State (Sept. 8, 2008) and since have held their opponent to less than 50 yards rushing on 20 more occasions. Last season, the ThunderWolves held Adams State (Oct. 8) to just 15 yards this season and Black Hills State (Oct. 22) to only 35 yards. 

• Six times since 2008 the ThunderWolves have allowed 10 or less rushing yards, with the record standing at -4 rushing yards at New Mexico Highlands Nov. 9, 2013.

• CSU-Pueblo is first in the league in rushing defense, allowing 130.8 yards per game.

• The Pack are second in the RMAC in total defense, allowing 340.2 yards per game.

• Junior inside linebacker Brandon Payer has 52 tackles with 32 solo. He is third in the RMAC tackles (32nd nationally) and second in solo tackles (10th nationally). His 3.5 sacks is second in the league, while the eight tackles for loss (-33 yards) is a RMAC best. 

• Sophomore CB Emery Taylor has six passes defended (one interception), which is fifth in the league and 30th nationally.

• The Pack's red zone defense is the best in the RMAC and ranks 18th nationally. They are allowing their opponent to score on 62.5 percent of their attempts (10-of-16). Of their 10 scores, seven have gone for touchdowns. 

SPECIAL TEAMS   

• The Pack have one blocked punt (vs Colorado Mines, Aug. 31) and a blocked extra point (at New Mexico Highlands, Sept. 23) this season to rank tied for 31st nationally in blocked kicks.  

• CSU-Pueblo has not allowed their opponent to block any kick attempts. 

• New kicker, R-Fr. Mitchell Carter is a perfect 23-for-23 on extra points and 6-of-6 on field goals this season. He ranks tied for first in NCAA Division II with four other kickers in the category of field goal percentage (min. 1 FGA per game) and is tied for 26th nationally in field goals per game. His 41 points is second on the team in fifth in the RMAC.

#PACKPROS: CSU-Pueblo has three former players in the NFL right now. Ryan Jensen (2009-12) is in his fifth season with the Baltimore Ravens and Mike Pennel (2013) is in his fourth overall season and first with the New York Jets. Morgan Fox (2012-15) moved from the practice squad to active roster last season and enters year two with the Los Angeles Rams. Jensen is starting at center for the Ravens, while Fox and Pennel are regulars on the defensive line. Paul Browning (2010-14) finished his second season in the Arena Football League (AFL) in July with the Baltimore Brigade. Former quarterback Chris Bonner (2013-14) finished his first season in the AFL with the Tampa Bay Storm. 

VS. RANKED SQUADS: CSU-Pueblo owns a 16-6 (11-4 at home) record versus ranked opponents (Division II) since 2011. The ThunderWolves went 6-0 versus the nation's top 25 in 2014 and also added a 47-21 win against Sam Houston State (No. 15) to record the team's first-ever victory against a ranked FCS team. The Pack went 4-1 against ranked opponents in 2015 and had won 10 straight against the nation's best before the loss to Grand Valley State.

STREAKS: CSU-Pueblo posted three straight 11-0 seasons entering 2014 and was just one of two teams in NCAA Division II history to accomplish the feat. After starting 5-0 in 2014, the Pack owned 42 straight regular season victories, which was the second-longest in NCAA Division II history, behind only Grand Valley State, which posted 48 straight wins from 2004-09. The streak ended Oct. 11 in a 23-22 road loss at Fort Lewis.

The Pack recorded 28 consecutive regular season home victories from a 66-0 win against New Mexico Highlands Oct. 30, 2010 to a 51-20 win against Colorado Mesa Nov. 7, 2015. 

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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.