Colorado St. 30, Weber St. 6


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By PAT GRAHAM AP Sports Writer

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- Kyle Bell found a way to help his team even with a bum knee.

The Colorado State running back, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice Tuesday, gave the Rams an impassioned speech before their 30-6 win over Weber State on Saturday.

"The next play isn't guaranteed," Bell said. "I told them to play hard every play."

The Rams took his words to heart. They fed off his emotion on the sideline. Bell didn't let a torn ACL in his right knee, which he'll have surgery on after the Colorado game next week, prevent him from being a cheerleader.

He got the crowd into it by urging them to sing the recently banned "Fum McGraw" song -- a song deemed unsportsmanlike by CSU officials -- and gave advice to the running backs trying to fill his shoes.

Bell was impressed with the trio of Gartrell Johnson, Michael Myers and Nnamdi Ohaeri, who combined for 115 yards.

"They're not going to make it easy on me (to get my job back)," Bell said.

Johnson, who started in place of Bell, had three touchdowns, all on runs of 4 yards or shorter. He said he's just trying to live up to Bell's reputation.

"That's Kyle Bell (we're trying to replace)," Johnson said. "He had (1,288) yards last year; that's big shoes to fill.

"I felt good out there."

The Rams defense looked good out there as well. CSU held Weber State to minus-38 yards rushing and 86 yards of total offense. Both are school records. The Rams also had seven sacks.

"They took it to us," Weber State coach Ron McBride said. "I am completely disappointed. Our offense did completely nothing. I'm not pleased with anything. It was unacceptable."

The Rams, who gave up 222.8 yards rushing a game last season, just went after players in purple.

"I'm real proud of my boys," linebacker Luke Adkins said. "We weren't even blitzing. I'm pretty stoked."

The Wildcats made things interesting early in the third quarter. They recovered a CSU fumble on the second-half kickoff and wound up with a 24-yard field goal by Conor Foley to make it a 16-6 game.

Wildcats cornerback John Collins later stepped in front of a pass by CSU quarterback Caleb Hanie and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown. But he was called for pass interference as he tugged on Damon Morton's jersey.

The Rams went on a 7-play, 62-yard drive -- capped off by a 3-yard run from Johnson -- to pull ahead, 23-6. That was all the separation they needed.

Hanie completed 15 of 22 passes for 212 yards. He also had a 6-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

"They (Weber State) fought you tough, made us earn everything," CSU coach Sonny Lubick said. "There are a lot of things we'll take away from this game."

First among them is confidence, which is vital given what transpired in Boulder on Saturday, when the Colorado was upset by Division I-AA Montana State.

Colorado State plays rival Colorado in Denver on Sept. 9.

"They hate CSU and we absolutely hate them," tight end Kory Sperry said. "It's going to be a battle.

"We'll be on top."

Notes@: CSU's attendance of 28,801 was the fifth largest opening-day crowd in Rams history. ... The Rams are 4-1 in opening games at home under Lubick. ... The Rams scored on three of their four possessions in the first half. ... Weber State's Bo Smith had a 41-yard interception return to set up a field goal at the end of the first half.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-09-02-06 2009MDT

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