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The Colorado State Rams have accepted an invitation to play in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 16, in Albuquerque. CSU, with a record of 7-5 (5-3 in Mountain West play) will face Conference USA foe Marshall (7-5; 4-4), with kickoff scheduled for 2:30 p.m. MT at Dreamstyle Stadium. The game will be televised by ESPN and broadcast nationally by ESPN Radio, as well as over the CSU Rams Radio Network from Learfield. It will be the first meeting between the Rams and the Thundering Herd.
Colorado State is playing in a bowl game for the fifth consecutive season, matching the longest streak in school history (1999-2003). Head coach Mike Bobo is the only coach in school history to lead the Rams to a bowl game in each of his first three seasons, and Colorado State is one of just three Mountain West programs to play in a bowl game in each of the last five seasons, joining Boise State and San Diego State.
This will be the Rams’ third appearance in the New Mexico Bowl, which began 2006. Colorado State defeated Fresno State 40-35 in the 2008 game, and in 2013 staged one of the greatest comebacks in school and bowl history to defeat Washington State 48-45. In that memorable contest the Rams overcame a 22-point deficit (35-13), and still trailed 45-30 with four minutes remaining. It tied for the second-largest deficit overcome to win a non-overtime bowl game in NCAA bowl history.
The Rams in 2017 feature one of top offenses in the country, ranking 10th in the FBS in yards per game at a school-record pace of 501.1, and third for fewest sacks allowed (8). The Rams also are on pace to set school records with Mountain West-leading numbers for first downs (305) and third-down conversions (50.6%). Colorado State also is the MW’s top scoring team at 33.8 points per game.
Colorado State features Biletnikoff Award finalist Michael Gallup, who joins three other Rams—C Jake Bennett, T Zack Golditch and QB Nick Stevens—as first-team All-MW selections. Gallup is tied for third in the nation in receptions (94) and ranks fifth in receiving yards (1,345), and is one of just two players in the country to record two games with 200 or more receiving yards this season.
Tickets will go on sale Monday, Dec. 4, at 8 a.m. through the CSU Ticket Office. They may be purchased online at CSURams.com/tickets, by calling the Rams Sales Team at 800-491-RAMS (7267) or by visiting either the McGraw Athletic Center Ticket Office or the Ram Zone retail store in Old Town Fort Collins. Fans can best support CSU Athletics by purchasing their tickets, priced at $40, through the Rams ticket office, and purchasing from the official CSU allotment ensures the best seat locations and seating with fellow Rams fans.
The priority purchase deadline for season ticket holders is Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. MT. Tickets purchased during that period will be allocated using Ram Points. For questions regarding Ram Points, contact the Ram Club at (970) 491-2222.
CSU students may purchase tickets at the special student price of $10 in person at the McGraw Athletic Center ticket office with valid student ID.
The CSU Alumni Association will host a bowl-game Ram Rally at a location to be determined in Albuquerque on Dec. 15, and a pregame tailgate event on Dec. 16. Information and registration for those events will be made available via the Alumni Association website.
Colorado State has an all-time of record of 6-10 in its 16 bowl games, and has now earned 16 of its 17 bowl invitations since 1990. The Rams’ current streak of five bowl games began with the 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl (W, Washington State, 48-45), followed by the 2014 Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (L, Utah, 45-10), the 2015 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl (L, Nevada, 28-23) and the 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (L, Idaho, 61-50). CSU’s first bowl was the 1949 Raisin Bowl in Fresno, Calif., vs. Occidental College. The school endured a 40-year bowl drought until the 1990 Freedom Bowl, which was followed by a run of nine bowl appearances in a 12-season span from 1994-2005 under Sonny Lubick. Coach Bobo and Sonny Lubick are the only two head coaches in Colorado State history to coach the Rams in multiple bowl games.
New Mexico is one of six states in which Colorado State has played a bowl game, joining California (7 times), New Mexico (3, including 2017), Tennessee (3), Arizona (1), Idaho (1), Louisiana (1) and Nevada (1).