Colorado State vs. New Mexico game preview: Battle of the running backs

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

The big matchup to watch in Colorado State vs. New Mexico is in the running game between Kapri Bibbs and Kasey Carrier.

Next Game

Colorado St. Rams
@ New Mexico Lobos

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013, 7:00 PM EST
University Stadium

TV: Root Sports/MWN

Complete Coverage >

New Mexico found its ways back in the win column last week in a ground attack shootout against Air Force last Friday night, but do not look for the Lobos to get a second straight win against Colorado State Saturday afternoon. The Lobos are at home but the Rams are a six-point road favorite and playing very good football the past few weeks by winning three of their last four games.

Colorado State has an edge in nearly ever position, and at worst New Mexico matches up with similar talent. All eyes on this game will be at the running back spots with Kapri Bibbs and Kasey Carrier. These two backs lead the Mountain West in rushing. Bibbs has almost come out of nowhere this season and had to spend some time at junior college before enrolling at Colorado State, and the wait has been worth it.

Bibbs leads the nation's running backs with 19 rushing touchdowns, and has come on strong over the last six games which include 16 of his 19 touchdowns and four games rushing over 100 yards, including one over 200 and 300 yards. There could be another big game for Bibbs against this Lobos defense which allows 253 yards per game on the ground, and mix that in with a decent passing game and Bibbs could also break off some big runs.

Carrier is no slouch either with plenty of big games himself, including a 291 and 192 yard game so far this season. However, some defense have completely stopped Carrier in the rushing game. Some opposing teams have figured out that if they can stop any dive, or up the middle, play and force New Mexico to run mostly outside running plays then their running game becomes inept. Colorado State has a few good linebackers in Shaquil Barrett and Cory James to help stop the running attack, and within the Mountain West the Rams are third in rushing defense.

Another edge that Colorado State has is in the throwing game with Garrett Grayson, and for those who dislike Grayson he is doing a fairly good job of getting the ball to the wide receivers. New Mexico on the other hand has Cole Gautsche who is exceptional at running the option-based pistol offense for the Lobos, but if asked to pass he struggles in that area.

This game will come down to whichever teams opposing defense can limit the running game, and if that happens to both teams edge the edge then goes to Colorado State since they can actually throw the ball.

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