K.J. Carta-Samuels Shatters CSU Passing Record in Debut

Written by Adrian Beecher

Fort Collins, CO – Have you heard the name Carta-Samuels? Well, it may be time to get familiar with redshirt-senior K.J. Carta-Samuels, the man leading the Rams of Colorado State under center.

Saturday night was the home opener for the Rams against conference for Hawai’i, and the first ever start for the well traveled K.J Carta-Samuels. As the scoreboard would show it, it was a loss for Colorado State, as their late comeback-bid fell just a few stops short. All the while, a coming out party happened in the form of 537 yards, 5 touchdowns, and zero 2nd half interceptions.

Carta-Samuels started off the night leading the leading the Rams on a prolific 14 play 85 yard drive that he capped off with a 10 yard TD pass to Olabisi Johnson. He went 7 for 10 for 70 yards and the TD on that drive to tie things up at 7. After the Rainbow Warriors regained the lead, Carta-Samuels next pass was intercepted.

So, adversity strikes right after the positive drive and the team as a whole aren’t able to get anything going, falling to a 23-7 halftime deficit. Quietly however, Carta-Samuels immediately shook off the interception and finished the 1st half with six consecutive completions and run off 18 yards on four carries. This set the Rams up in field goal position, and the kick sailed wide left.

Carta-Samuels ended the first half with just 115 yards, 1 TD and 1 Int.

Then came the 2nd half, and to be honest, the start of it didn’t impress. After a short pickup on 1st and 20 on the opening drive of the 2nd half, Carta-Samuels threw two straight incompletions to end the drive in a quick 3 and out.

Hawai’i answered with a methodical 7 play 75 yard drive, resulting in a touchdown and a 30-7 deficit for the Rams. On the ensuing possession, Carta-Samuels leads the team back down field setting up a 48 yard field goal, that goes wide right this time.

Rainbow Warriors put the money in the bank as Hawai’i QB Cole McDonald connects with Cedric Byrd for a 55-yard TD connection to make it 37-7 with only 3:35 left in the 3rd quarter. To this point, Carta-Samuels had thrown for 163 yards on 19 of 29 completions in the game.

The next quarter, 3 minutes and 30 seconds, were nothing but spectacular. First possession after the 30 point deficit, Carta-Samuels threw a 69 yard dime to Preston Williams to get the party started.

This kicked off back-to-back drives with 55+ yard plays in them as Carta-Samuels got hot, to say the least. Those two drives came in the 3rd quarter, while in the 4th quarter, he put up 226 yards as he drew the Rams within 6 of Hawai’i, before the game was out of reach.

Despite suffering the loss, to see the growth of Carta-Samuels while in game, was astonishing to see. His ability to overcome the early pick, and ignore a 30-point deficit enroute to cutting that to just one score, shows his passion and desire for the game.

It could be a fluke, a minor spike on the richter scale. However, when you look at what K.J. has been through, sitting behind Jake Browning at Washington, never having gotten a start. Making the decision not to go to UCLA and to take on the leadership role after winning the quarterback competition at Colorado State over the spring.

“I’m excited; this was really a true test just to see what kind of team we are. We’re not gonna lay down and give up on the rest of the season.” Said Carta-Samuels after the game.

The four-star recruit out of Saratoga, CA, looks to have something to prove, with a chip on his shoulder.


Analyzing K.J.’s Performance on August 25th 2018

(Information provided Via CSU Athletic Communications)

K.J. Carta-Samuels

  • The graduate transfer from Washington made his debut for the Rams, his first career start.
  • Completed 34-of-50 passes for 537 yards and five touchdowns.

o   Set the CSU record for most passing yards in a single game, and became the first CSU QB to throw for over 500 yards; 12th QB in CSU history to throw for at least 400 yards.

  • Previous record: Scooter Molander, 449 at Hawaii, Nov. 7, 1987

o   The 537 passing yards are second-most ever by a Mountain West quarterback

o   His five touchdown passes are tied for second-most in a game in CSU history.

  • First time since 12/22/16 (Nick Stevens, vs. Idaho; 5)

o   His 34 completions are the second-most in CSU history.

  • The record is 36 by Garrett Grayson, vs. Boise State, Nov. 2, 2013

o   Set career highs in passing yards, completions, and touchdowns.

o   Completed a 69-yard pass to Preston Williams, the longest of his career.

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