Sunday, September 21, 2003

Miami 41, Colorado State 21

Another complete victory for MU; Defense supports production of Roethlisberger, Smith

By Jeff Bersch
Enquirer contributor

Miami quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, left, congratulates running back Mike Smith after Smith scored his third touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Ben Roethlisberger did his part, but it was the unexpected things that helped the Miami RedHawks to a convincing 41-21 victory Saturday over Colorado State.

Roethlisberger put on a show, as did junior Mike Smith, who ran for 118 yards and three touchdowns.

Miami's defense also played a major part in the victory, shutting down what has been a potent Colorado State attack.

"We wanted to come in here and do what we do - play Miami football," Roethlisberger said. "This was a good win for us, and I thought we came out and played good football all the way around."

The game was billed as a showdown between two of college football's best quarterbacks - Roethlisberger and Colorado State's Bradlee Van Pelt. It also was hyped as a battle between the top teams from two of the best non-Bowl Championship Series conferences.

Miami (2-1), coming off a convincing victory over Northwestern, was picked to win the Mid-American Conference. Colorado State (2-2) won the Mountain West Conference championship last season and is expected to again this year. "We were supposed to be the two powerhouses in the country that are non-BCS teams,'' Miami defensive end Phil Smith said. "(Colorado State) is a good team, so it feels great to get this win out here."

Colorado State could not get much going on offense, especially on the ground. The Rams managed 39 yards rushing on 29 carries. Van Pelt did finish with three touchdown passes and 323 yards on 14-of-24 passing, but the quarterback was pressured most of the game.

"I give a lot of credit to our defense," Miami coach Terry Hoeppner said. "I thought they played well with the exception of the big play. I already talked to them about that, and we need to get that corrected."

Said defensive back Matt Pusateri: "We came in looking to stop the run; that's what our defense in built around. We were able to do that, and then get a lot of pressure on their quarterback."

Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick was surprised. "We knew this was a good team, and we'd be up for a challenge," he said. "But I didn't think they'd be able to shut us down the way they did."

Roethlisberger completed 29 of 39 passes for 330 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also audibled out of passes in key situations, deciding instead to go with the option. One of those turned into a 29-yard touchdown run by Smith on a fourth-and-15 play and the other ended up a 45-yard TD run by Smith.

The RedHawks' home opener is 2 p.m. Saturday against Cincinnati.

Colorado State7077-21

First Quarter

Mia-Tyler 6 pass from Roethlisberger (Soderquist kick), 11:56.

CSU-Dreessen 68 pass from Van Pelt (Babcock kick), 2:28.

Second Quarter

Mia-M.Smith 5 run (Soderquist kick), 13:40.

Mia-FG Soderquist 27, 3:33.

Third Quarter

Mia-Larkin 15 pass from Roethlisberger (Soderquist kick), 13:24.

Mia-FG Soderquist 21, 1:20.

CSU-Anderson 86 pass from Van Pelt (Babcock kick), :56.

Fourth Quarter

Mia-M.Smith 29 run (Soderquist kick), 9:19.

CSU-Anderson 16 pass from Van Pelt (Babcock kick), 4:59.

Mia-M.Smith 45 run (Soderquist kick), 3:22.


First downs2714
Return Yards5121
Time of Possession35:4824:12


RUSHING-MU, M.Smith 15-118, Murray 14-75, Ciborowski 3-28, Team 2-(minus 4), Roethlisberger 4-(minus 5), Corbin 1-(minus 6). CSU., Houston 11-30, Van Pelt 14-11.

PASSING-MU, Roethlisberger 29-39-0-330, Team 0-1-0-0. CSU, Van Pelt 14-24-1-323, Holland 3-4-0-26.

RECEIVING-MU, Nance 5-94, Larkin 5-72, Corbin 4-47, Murray 4-10, Robinson 3-26, M.Smith 3-23, Brandt 2-40, Tyler 2-13, Busing 1-5. CSU., Anderson 5-167, Dreessen 4-93, Pittman 3-29, Hill 2-42, Bartz 2-17, Alconcel 1-1.

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