PUEBLO, Colo. (October 12, 2017) - The No. 12 Colorado State University-Pueblo football team will travel to Fort Lewis College for a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest Saturday, Oct. 14 at 12 p.m. in Durango, Colorado.
• The ThunderWolves are ranked No. 12 in the AFCA poll and are alone at the top of the RMAC standings (5-0).
• All-time, the Pack lead the series with FLC 36-16 and have won eight of the last nine meetings.
• CSU-Pueblo won the last two meetings (both at home) by a combined score of 78-21.
• The last time the Pack traveled to Durango was in 2014 when the Skyhawks stunned then-No. 2 ThunderWolves by winning 23-22. The Pack responded by winning their next nine games to be crowned NCAA Division II National Champions.
• The offense coordinator for Fort Lewis in 2014 was current CSU-Pueblo pass game coordinator Dave Brown.
SCOUTING THE PACK
• The Pack (5-1, 5-0 RMAC) recorded a 63-17 Homecoming victory against Adams State Saturday.
• The ThunderWolves found the end zone in all areas of the game in the win. They scored six touchdowns on offense, while CB Darius Williams returned an interception 99 yards to the end zone for the defense. ILB Kyle Rosenbrock blocked a punt and returned it 35 yards for a score, while WR Brandon O'Donnell put the cherry on top with a fourth quarter 63-yard punt return for a touchdown.
• Rosenbrock was named RMAC Special Teams Player of the Week and his play appeared on the NCAA Division II Top 5 Plays of the Week at #4.
• ILB Brandon Payer yet again led the team in tackles with 10 (7 solo). He owns 62 tackles this season to rank 3rd in the RMAC, while his 42 solo efforts is second in the league and 12th in NCAA Division II.
• Williams has four interceptions, two for touchdowns, to rank T-8th nationally in interceptions.
• RB Marché Dennard rushed for 155 yards and three touchdowns. He sits 8th nationally in rushing touchdowns and with 9.0 yards per carry, ranks 2nd in NCAA Division II.
• R-Fr. K Mitchell Carter was 9-for-9 on extra points. He is a perfect 32-for-32 on EXPT and 6-of-6 on FGs in 2017. His 50 points are T-8th among kickers in NCAA Division II.
• The Pack are scoring 40.3 points per game to rank 14th nationally, while the defense is allowing 16.5 points per contest to sit 18th in DII.
• The ThunderWolves are 24-for-25 (96%) in the red zone. CSU-Pueblo has scored 19 touchdowns and five field goals in the red zone. The Pack are 6th nationally in red zone offense. The defense ranks 36th nationally in the red zone, as they allow the opponent to score only 63.2 percent of the time.
SCOUTING FORT LEWIS
• The Skyhawks are 2-4 overall and in RMAC play this season.
• FLC snapped a three-game losing streak last week with a 14-13 road win at Western State. Down 13-0, the Skyhawks scored two touchdowns in the final six minutes of the game. The game-winner came with 1:26 remaining on the clock and was setup by a interception.
• Fort Lewis' other win also came on the road Sept. 9 when they defeated Black Hills State 17-13. The Skyhawks are 0-2 at home in 2017.
• FLC ranks 10th in the RMAC in scoring with 16.3 points per game. They are 4th in scoring defense, giving up 27.7 points per contest.
• QB Bo Coleman has thrown for 760 yards and three touchdowns, while also gained 317 yards (net 186) on the ground with three scores.
• LB Darrian Stickney leads the team with 51 tackles, which includes four for loss (-5 yards).
• 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. 12/7 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).
• 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.
• 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 49-11 (.81) at the ThunderBowl.
• CSU-Pueblo is winning the first half 153-56, specifically scoring 90 points in the second quarter.
• The defense has allowed 17 points in the first quarter this season and given up just 43 points in the second half.
• The Pack have totaled eight 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.
• The ThunderWolves have a 69-8 record since 2008 when scoring first (4-1 this season).
• The Pack scored in all three areas of the game against Adams State for the first time since Sept. 12, 2015 at West Texas A&M. The Pack totaled six offensive scores, posted a 99-yard pick six by Darius Williams and got two on special teams, a 35-yard punt block for a score and a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown.
• 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 4
CSU-PUEBLO POSITION NOTABLES
• Junior RB Marché Dennard leads the team with 600 rushing yards on 67 attempts for a 9.0 yards per carry average that ranks second in NCAA Division II. He owns nine rushing touchdowns and averages 100.0 yards per game. His rushing scores total ranks 8th nationally, while the nine total touchdowns are 12 the in DII. His rushing yards total is 34th nationally.
• RB Austin Micci has seven rushing touchdowns to rank T-29th nationally in the category.
• Micci has found the end zone eight times this season, seven rushing and one receiving. His eight scores places him tied for 23rd nationally. The sophomore back owns 440 rushing yards this season on a team-high 80 carries. He averages 73.3 yards per game.
• The Pack are 18th nationally in rushing offense with 224.2 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 recorded a 72.4 completion percentage before suffering an injury in week three.
• As a team, the ThunderWolves rank first in the RMAC and 22nd nationally with a 63.7 completion percentage. The combined three interceptions thrown through six games ranks 22nd nationally in least interceptions.
• 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.
• Dausin owns a 58.8 completion percentage to rank second in the RMAC. His 143.9 passing efficiency rating is second in the RMAC and 39th nationally. The 14.4 passing yards per completion sits 17th in NCAA Division II.
• 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 have five seniors on the offensive line this season and rank 24th nationally and second in the RMAC in the least tackles for loss allowed (4.5). They rank 15th in sacks allowed (0.83 per game).
• The Pack rank 7th in NCAA Division II in red zone offense, as they are 24-for-25 this season. They have 19 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.
• CSU-Pueblo sits 19th nationally in 3rd down conversion percentage (47.1%).
• The Pack are 5th in the RMAC, but 26th nationally in total offense with 456.3 yards per game. The ThunderWolves are scoring 40.3 points per game to sit 1st in the RMAC and 14th in NCAA Division II.
• 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 18th nationally (1st in RMAC) in scoring defense this season at 16.5 points per game.
• The Pack have nine interceptions in 2017 to rank first in the RMAC and 19th nationally. With three fumble recoveries added to the INT total, CSU-Pueblo ranks second in the RMAC in turnovers gained (12).
• 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 struck again in against Adams State (Oct. 7) when he returned an interception 99 yards to the end zone.
• Williams has at least one pick six in each of his three seasons with the Pack and four in his career. His four interceptions is a RMAC best and ranks T-8th in NCAA Division II.
• Since 2008, the Pack have totaled 30 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 second in the league and 36th nationally in rushing defense, allowing 119.3 yards per game.
• The Pack lead the RMAC in total defense, allowing 337 yards per game.
• Junior inside linebacker Brandon Payer has 62 tackles with 39 solo. He is third in the RMAC tackles (28th nationally) and second in solo tackles (10th nationally). His 3.5 sacks is third in the league, while the eight tackles for loss (-33 yards) is second.
• Sophomore CB Emery Taylor has seven passes defended (one interception), which is T-7th in the league. His six break-ups is a team best. Williams also has seven passes defended (four interceptions, three break-ups).
• The Pack's red zone defense is the best in the RMAC and ranks 17th nationally. They are allowing their opponent to score on 63.2 percent of their attempts (12-of-19). Of their 12 scores, nine have gone for touchdowns.
• The Pack have two blocked punts (vs Colorado Mines, Aug. 31 and vs Adams State, Oct. 7) and a blocked extra point (at New Mexico Highlands, Sept. 23) this season to rank T-20th nationally in blocked kicks. CSU-Pueblo is second in the RMAC and T-10th nationally in blocked punts.
• Sophomore ILB Kyle Rosenbrock blocked and returned a punt 35 yards to the end zone in the win against Adams State. It was the first blocked punt for a score for the Pack since 2011.
• CSU-Pueblo has not allowed their opponent to block any kick attempts.
• Sophomore WR Brandon O'Donnell recorded the longest punt return for a touchdown in the RMAC this season when he returned a kick 63 yards to the end zone against Adams State (Oct. 7.). It was the first punt return for a score for the Pack since Dec. 6, 2014 against Ohio Dominican.
• CSU-Pueblo is 18th nationally (2nd in RMAC) in punt returns with 16.5 yards per return.
• New kicker, R-Fr. Mitchell Carter is a perfect 32-for-32 on extra points and 6-of-6 on field goals this season. He ranks tied for first in NCAA Division II with three other kickers in the category of field goal percentage (min. 1 FGA per game) and is tied for 35th nationally in field goals per game. His 50 points is T-8th among NCAA Division II kickers, is second on the team and fifth in the RMAC.
• Junior punter Tanner Cuda is averaging 38.7 yards per kick. He has placed 10 of his 23 attempts inside the 20 and has three over 50 yards, which includes a 77 yard punt against Colorado Mesa (Sept. 30) - the longest in the RMAC this season.
#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.
As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.