ETSU vs. Colorado State Rams
Hughes Stadium - Ft. Collins, Colo.
September 9, 2000 - 5 p.m. (CSS-TV)
On Television ... The Bucs and Rams will be televised by SportsWest Productions. Mitch Hyder calls the play-by-play while Irv Brown provides color commentary. In the Tri-Cities area, the game will be televised by CSS on a tape delay basis.
Winning Season ... ETSU is playing for its third winning season in the past four years ... The Bucs finished last season 6-5 and went 7-4 in 1997 -- head coach Paul Hamiltons first campaign ... If the Bucs finish above .500 in 2000 it would be the fourth time in the past five years they accomplished the feat.
In Todd We Trust ... For the fourth consecutive season, the Bucs will look to Todd Wells as their offensive general ... Wells started his senior season in fine fashion, going 7-of-18 for 283 yards (40.4 yards/completion) ... Wells also threw three touchdowns, all to freshman Tim Turner ... Wells, the 1997 SoCon Freshman of the Year, led the Bucs in passing (115.6/game) and total offense (123.8/game) in 1999.
Quite a Debut ... The Bucs freshman class has already made its mark ... wide receiver Tim Turner had three touchdown catches and 145 receiving yards in the season opener ... running back Corey Carter carried 14 times for 34 yards ... defensive linemen Travis Williams and Brandon Calton both made four tackles.
Defensive Leaders ... Linebacker Russ Lindgren dominated the season opener ... The senior made a game-high 13 tackles (nine solo), had two tackles for loss (five yards), one interception, one forced fumble and one pass break up ... linebacker Rahim El Amin made 11 tackles (seven solo) and recovered a fumble for a Buc touchdown ... it was the first time a Buc had recovered a fumble for a touchdown since Mario Hankerson accomplished the feat on Sept. 28, 1996 in a 49-10 win against Western Carolina ... Cornerback Denario Smalls had five tackles and two interceptions at Liberty ... Smalls tied for fourth in the SoCon last season with four picks.
A Winning Combination ... Quarterback Todd Wells along with receivers Cecil Moore and Tim Turner formed a lethal combination in the season-opening 37-20 win at Liberty (Sept. 2) ... Of Wells seven completed passes, three went to Turner (all touchdowns) for 145 yards, while the other four went to Moore for 138 yards ... Wells averaged 40.4 yards per completion -- Turner (48.3 yards/ reception) and Moore (34.5 yards/reception).
This Looks Familiar ... Head Coach Paul Hamilton returns to Colorado State for the first time since being an assistant coach at the Air Force Academy ... Hamilton was the quarterbacks coach at Air Force from 1990-96 ... The Falcons were 1-6 against the Rams while Hamilton was in USAFA, Colo.
On the Road ... The Bucs are 6-10 on the road since Coach Hamilton took over in 1997 ... The Bucs won their season opener on the road, 37-20, against Liberty in Lynchburg, Va. on Sept. 2 ... The last time ETSU won a road game against a Division I-A opponent was November 7, 1987 when the Bucs defeated N.C. State 29-14 in Raleigh, N.C. ... ETSU was 1-4 away from the Mini-Dome last fall.
Linebacker U? ... East Tennessee State hopes to have an All-America linebacker for the fourth consecutive season ... each of the last four years the Bucs have enjoyed a stellar linebacking corps ... gone from last years squad are two-time All-America Kevin Peterson (1998-99) and All-Southern Conference player Derek Fudge ... taking over in the middle this year is All-America candidate Rahim El Amin and All-Southern Conference candidate Cory Bolden ... linebacker Mario Hankerson earned All-America honors in 1997.
Leader of the Ship ... Fourth-year head coach Paul Hamilton enters this season with a 18-16 (.529) career record ... His 17 wins in the first three years made Hamilton the winningest coach in that span in Buc history ... Hamilton is ETSUs 16th head coach.
1999 Recap ... After opening the season 4-0 and reaching a #13 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Poll, the Bucs traveled to Boone and dropped a heart-breaking 23-19 decision to Appalachian State ... ETSU rebounded with a 24-12 win against Liberty and on October 18 reached its highest ranking of No. 12 ... The Bucs lost their next three games before rebounding with a win against Chattanooga, 28-14, in the home finale ... The 1999 season concluded with a 24-7 loss at Division I-A Middle Tennessee State.
Pre-Season Honors ... Three Buc players earned preseason All-Southern Conference honors ... Seniors Rahim El Amin (linebacker), Terrance Sims (kick returner) and Denario Smalls (defensive back) earned the distinction ... Following last season, three Buccaneer players earned All-Conference honors: Jim Beverly (center), Derek Fudge (linebacker) and Kevin Peterson (linebacker).
Quick Snaps ... The Bucs have never played a member of the newly formed Mountain West Conference ... Aaron Bass 78-yard punt at Liberty (Sept. 2) was the fourth longest boot in ETSU football history ... Kicker Con Chellis has made two career field goals (49 yards vs. West Virginia Tech on Sept. 11, 1999 and 48 yards at Liberty on Sept. 2, 2000) ... Despite scoring 37 points, the Bucs never advanced into the Red Zone ... The Bucs offensive scoring plays were 58 yards, 28 yards, 82 yards and 59 yards.
On the Airwaves ... ETSU football and basketball fans can enjoy game broadcasts on WJCW-AM (910) -- the flagship station of the Buccaneer Radio Network ... Chip Kessler returns as the Voice of the Bucs after leaving the post in 1996 ... The pregame show, College Football Today, will air one hour before game time while the postgame show will run for 30 minutes following the final whistle ... Both shows are hosted by Bill Meade, program director of WJCW.
#7 Todd Wells ... An All-Southern Conference candidate ... opened season with a 7-of-18, 283-yard performance ... averaging 40.4 yards per completion ... threw three touchdown passes ... has started at QB since stepping on campus ... earned 1997 SoCon Freshman of the Year.
#37 Terrance Sims ... An All-Southern Conference candidate ... gained 135 yards on seven carries (19.3 yards/carry) at Liberty ... exploded for a career-long 82-yard touchdown run ... perhaps the fastest Buc player ... earned preseason All-Southern Conference honors as a kick returner ... ran for 282 yards on 53 carries (5.3/rush) last fall.
#2 Cecil Moore/#81 Tim Turner ... A lethal receiver combination ... Turner made three receptions (all touchdowns) for 145 yards in collegiate debut ... Moore had four catches and 138 receiving yards.
Others to watch ...Two Carters will battle for the starting fullback spot ... Scott Carter enjoyed a successful freshman season (67 attempts, 370 yards) while Corey Carter has thoroughly impressed during this preseason ... Offensive linemen Chip Pearson and Victor Hooks will lead the running game.
#54 Rahim El Amin ... An All-America candidate ... made 11 tackles (seven solo) at Liberty ... recovered a fumble in endzone for first career touchdown against the Flames ... moved to inside linebacker after playing defensive end last season ... earned preseason All-Southern Conference honors ... ranked third on team last fall with 84 tackles.
#12 Cory Bolden ... An All-Southern Conference Candidate ... a powerful run stopper at inside linebacker ... had seven tackles, including a seven-yard sack at Liberty ... had 24 tackles and one interception last season.
#24 Denario Smalls ... An All-Southern Conference Candidate ... the Bucs most consistent cover corner ... made two interceptions in season opener ... one a spectacular leap where he took the ball out of the Liberty receivers hands ... earned preseason All-Southern Conference honors ... tied for fourth in SoCon last fall with four interceptions ... also made 66 tackles.
Others to watch ... Linebacker Russ Lindgren made 13 tackles, forced one fumble and made one interception at Liberty ... safety Ocasio Cofield starts at strong safety after transfering from Kansas University. Cofield is a giant in the secondary (6-3, 220) ... corner Keyandre Fenn teams with Smalls to form one of best corner combos in Conference ... freshman Travis Williams made four tackles in his collegiate debut. Williams is the strongest freshman in program history.