PUEBLO, Colo. (September 24, 2015) – The No. 10 Colorado State University-Pueblo football team hosts Western New Mexico University Saturday in a 2 p.m. Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest. The game serves as Military Day at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl.
All current and former military with ID will recieve a free ticket at the Massari Arena or ThunderBowl Ticket Offces. Also, the military member can purchase up to three tickets for their family at a 50 percent discount. Massari Ticket Office will be open Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., while the ThunderBowl Ticket Office will be open Friday from 12-5 p.m. and two hours prior to Saturday's kickoff (12 p.m.).
SCOUTING THE PACK: The ThunderWolves rebounded from an unfamiliar regular season loss with a 20-10 home victory against Western State Sept. 19. The win moved the Pack to 8-0 in RMAC openers since bringing the program back in 2008.
The ThunderWolves owned a 13-0 halftime lead and a mid-fourth quarter touchdown by senior Cameron McDondle sealed the victory for the Pack.
The ThunderWolves used a heavy rushing attack to take down the Mountaineers, as the Pack rushed for 295 yards. It's the second time they've ran for 295 or more yards this season, the first came against Central Washington University in the season opener when they ran for 298 yards.
• In his first career start, resdshirt-freshman quarterback A.J. Thompson threw for 169 yards on 11-for-18 attempts (61.1%). Thompson also helped out on the ground, carrying the ball 12 times for 56 yards and a touchdown.
• The Pack offensive line guided the ThunderWolves to 295 yards rushing and only allowed one sack to the young QB. McDondle rushed for 189 yards and a score.
• Senior defensive end Morgan Fox recorded three sacks for a total loss of 21 yards, which marked his third multiple sack contest of the season. He leads NCAA Division II in sacks with seven.
• Senior linebacker Kevin Cuff led the ThunderWolves in total tackles with 11 (8 solo) and added a sack. The 11 tackles tied a career-high he set in his first collegiate game Aug. 30, 2012.
• The ThunderWolves defense held the Mountaineers to 51 yards of total offense and four first downs in the first half (14 yards rushing).
• The win marked the 70th for Head Coach John Wristen at CSU-Pueblo. He owns a 70-17 (.805) record with the ThunderWolves.
• The Pack improved to 27-0 since 2008 when holding their opponent to 10 points or less.
SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS: In a battle with its New Mexico foe, the Western New Mexico Mustangs downed New Mexico Highlands, 38-37 last week. The game saw five lead changes, with the final one with just 39 ticks remaining in regulation when a one yard rush put WNMU ahead for good. Both teams eclipsed 500 total yards of offense and more than 350 yards through the air. The win moved the Mustangs to 2-1 on the season and 1-0 in RMAC play.
The 2015-16 season will be the final in the RMAC for Western New Mexico, as they will move to the Lone Star Conference beginning next season.
The Mustangs are coached by Adam Clark, who is in his sixth season at the helm of the Western New Mexico football program.
PRESEASON ALL-RMAC: Western New Mexico was tabbed to finish seventh in the Preseason RMAC Coaches' Poll, while OL Michael Coe (injured), DL Anthony Avina and DB Darius Guillory were named preseason All-RAMC.
DUAL THREAT - MARQUES RODGERS: Sophomore running back Marques Rodgers totaled 264 all-purpose yards last week to earn RMAC Offensive Player of the Week honors. On 29 carries he totaled 163 yards and three touchdowns, while also bringing down 101 reception yards. He owns 432 rushing yards (5 TDs) and 177 receiving yards (1 TD) this season.
QB MITCH GLASMANN IS ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS: Senior quarterback Mictch Glasman is nearing a couple of RMAC career records, as he is 1,098 yards shy of the conference passing yards record. He needs just three passing scores to tie the RMAC record of 99, four to reach the century mark and break the record.
DEFENSE BY COMMITTEE: The Mustangs have five players with 15 or more tackles this season, guided by linebacker Don Tyler with 20 (six solo).
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS WNMU: The ThunderWolves own a 16-6 all-time record against the Mustangs. The Pack are on a six-game winning streak against WNMU, dating back to a 48-3 win in 2009. During that streak, CSU-Pueblo has outscored Western New Mexico 265 (44.2 ppg) to 68 (11.3 ppg).
• Last season on the road, the Mustangs scored a touchdown in the first three minutes of the game, then never scored again. The Pack only led 14-7 at half, but a 31-point second half guided the ThunderWolves to the 45-7 victory.
* Complete series history on page 3
THE POLLS: CSU-Pueblo entered the 2015 season as the No. 2 team in both AFCA and D2Football.com preseason polls after finishing the 2014 season No. 1 in both publications' year-end poll. This week the Pack rank No. 7 in the D2Football.com poll and No. 10 in the AFCA poll.
• 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).
Since 2011, the ThunderWolves have won 50 games (50-5 record during that span).
The Pack have recorded 24 consecutive regular season home victories, dating back to a 66-0 win against New Mexico Highlands Oct. 30, 2010. CSU-Pueblo went 8-0 at home last season and since reinstating the program in 2008, the ThunderWolves are 37-9 at the ThunderBowl.
Two straight games last season (Nov. 15 and Nov. 29) the ThunderWolves posted scores in all three areas of the game. The Pack scored a touchdown in all facets against WT with an 80-yard touchdown run, two interceptions for scores and a 98-yard kick return for a touchdown.
Head Coach John Wristen's earned his 70th win as head of the program Sept 19 against Western State. He is 70-17 in eight seasons at CSU-Pueblo.
All five road games this season are located in a different state, Texas, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota and New Mexico.
CSU-PUEBLO POSITION NOTABLES
• Senior running back Cameron McDondle has rushed for more than 100 yards in 22 career games. • He rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns in the opener. The three scores tied a career high he set as a freshman.
• With 531 yards he ranks third nationally and first in the RMAC, while his 177 rushing yards per game is fourth in Division II.
• He is the school's all-time career rushing leader with 4,247 yards on the ground.
• Bernard McDondle rushed for 125 yards against Central Washington to combined with brother Cameron for 301 yards and mark the first time the Pack had two, 100-yard rushers in a game since 2012 against West Texas A&M (J.B. Mathews -153 and Chris Ashe - 105 ).
• The ThunderWolves scored on their opening drive 10 out of 15 games last season. Of those 10 opening-drive scores, eight were touchdowns and two were field goals. The Pack have continued that trend this season with two opening drive touchdowns.
• The Pack rank No. 19 nationally in sacks allowed, as the offensive line has only allowed one sack per game.
• The Pack have been one of the most stingiest and unforgiving defenses in the nation the past four seasons. Since 2011, the ThunderWolves have ranked in the top 22 nationally each season in scoring defense, which includes leading the country in 2011 and 2014. CSU-Pueblo has also ranked in the top 21 in turnover ratio with the nation's best mark last season.
• In 2015, the Pack defense have created six turnovers and turned them into 31 points. Four different players have interceptions this year and the four have totaled 93 return yards, two have brought the pick back for six (LaRon Tarkington, 25 yards and Samuel Singleton, 10 yards at WT).
• The ThunderWolves are 36-3 since 2008 when they force three or more turnovers in a game.
• The Pack totaled at least three sacks in 11 of 15 contests last season and have recorded three sacks in each of the first three games to start the 2015 campaign. The Pack have totalled 11 sacks this season to rank 12th nationally with 3.67 sacks per game.
• Defensive end Morgan Fox has seven sacks this season and 26 in his career. He is chasing former teammate Darius Allen for the program record. Allen capped his four-year career in 2014 with 34.5 career sacks.
• Fox leads NCAA Division II in sacks (7) and is second in tackles for loss (10), while the -57 loss yards is first.
• With five passes defended, junior safety LaRon Tarkington ranks tied for 23rd in Division II in the category.
• West Texas A&M running back Geremy Alridge-Mitchell rushed for three touchdowns against the Pack Sept. 12, marking the first time an opponent has recorded three touchdowns on the ground since Ed Goodlow did so for Central State, Sept. 8, 1984.
• Senior Kieren Duncan's 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against West Texas A&M is the third longest in NCAA Division II so far this season and helped the ThunderWolves sit No. 1 nationally in kickoff returns (45.6 yards per return).
• With five field goals, Greg O'Donnell is tied for third nationally for most field goals this season. He has converted on all 10 extra point attempts.
• With five blocked punts, the special teams unit finished third nationally in the category in 2014.
• The Pack have blocked two kicks this season (punt and field goal) and rank 16th nationally. The blocked punt was returned 19 yards to the end zone by Zach Young against Central Washington.
RMAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
• Kieren Duncan (Sept. 14, Special Teams) - returned a kickoff 98 yards to the end zone to put the ThunderWolves within one at 31-30 with under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter at West Texas A&M. On two kickoff returns he totaled 131 yards (65.5 yards per return average).
• The ThunderWolves (14-1 in 2014) return 16 starters from the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship team, which includes six on a defensive unit that finished first in NCAA Division II in scoring defense (12.8 ppg) and passes intercepted (29) and tied for first in defensive touchdowns (7) and turnovers gained (43). CSU-Pueblo also finished first nationally in total sacks with 57.
• The Pack offense returns four All-Americans.
• Senior running back Cameron McDondle, who set a ThunderWolves single-season record with 2,014 rushing yards to finish third nationally.
• Four starters on the offensive line, a unit that ranked 26th nationally in least sacks allowed, return in 2015.
• On special teams, senior place kicker Greg O'Donnell returns after he hit 21 field goals to tie for the second most in Division II last season.
#PackPros: CSU-Pueblo has two former players in the NFL in 2015. Ryan Jensen (2009-12) is in his third season with the Baltimore Ravens and Mike Pennel (2013) is in his second season with the Green Bay Packers.
THE STREAK: 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.
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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.