Senior Abu Wilson practiced sparingly last week because of tenderness following his heroic efforts (three touchdowns, 166 yards rushing, 62 receiving) at San Jose (Sept. 30).
Saturday night, in the 59-17 loss to Colorado State in Romney Stadium, Wilson touched the ball only 15 times - 14 rushes and a kick return. No use risking further injury in an out-of-hand game. Melvin Blue and Ernesto Ramos, redshirt freshmen, totaled 13 carries, 88 yards and a TD between them.Wilson still managed enough rushing yards to move past Tom Larscheid into fourth place in USU career yardage (2,235) and in career atempts (449, 14 Saturday). He needs 36 carries, 153 yards to surpass Roger Grant for third place on both lists, which is about as high as he can likely get unless he gains another year of NCAA eligibility for the preseason knee injury that ended his sophomore season.
In the first four games, Wilson averaged 33.75 possessions (rushes, receptions, returns) and ranked third in the NCAA in all-purpose yards (203.3 pg), seventh in NCAA rushing (137.5).
Saturday broke Wilson's five-game streak of consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
Kevin Alexander was slightly above his season averages with eight catches for 114 yards and his first touchdown reception of the season.
Linebacker David Gill was credited with a game-high 16 tackles, six solo, and a pass breakup. Coaches, however, often change the number of tackles after viewing films since it isn't an NCAA-kept statistic. Gill had 49 tackles through the first four games to lead the club.
If Joe Paterno can be accused of running it up, can Sonny Lubick? Someone asked Aggie coach John L. Smith that postgame since the Rams threw for 51 yards in the final quarter, which they started with a 45-3 lead. They threw their last pass on the drive that made it 52-10.
"Yeah, they're throwing it up at the end," said Smith with a smile. "That's fine. It's not their obligation to keep the score down. We've got to be man enough to defend it.
"Some day we'll get a shot at doing that," he added, still smiling.
Actually, CSU put in its No. 2 quarterback in the second quarter, and top rusher E.J. Watson (87 yards) never carried in the second half. Most of CSU's subs were in by the third period.