The Colorado State Rams are going bowling for the 4th straight year. They head to Boise to face the Idaho Vandals in the Potato Bowl.
The Rams have been on a tear the last half of the season. Averaging 47.4 over the last five game of the season, the offense looks to continue that stretch of play.
Nick Stevens, Michael Gallup, and the passing game will be a major factor for the Rams in this game. According to ESPN, if Stevens had enough snaps to qualify, his Total QBR of 89.5 would be the second highest in FBS. Since Week 7, when Stevens regained the starting job, he leads the country with a 94.2 Total QBR.
The passing game will have a major impact, but they will also need to be careful. While Idaho ranks 112th in the nation, giving up 270 passing yards a game, they are also one of the nations best at picking the ball off. They are 14th in the country with 15 interceptions.
The Vandals will focus on Gallup, so that should open the game for Robert Ruiz, Olabisi Johnson and others. Gallup will get his, but the others should get their piece too.
The rushing attack to a bit of hit with Marvin Kinsey tearing his ACL in practice, but Dalyn Dawkins and Izzy Matthews should be able to carry the load. Detrich Clark and Anthony Hawkins will also be options on receiver sweeps.
The Rams defense will need to continue their strong finish to the season. The Vandals, like CSU, are a balanced offense. Matt Linehan has thrown for 2800 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. The Vandals have rushed for 1700 yards as a team. Most of that courtesy of Aaron Duckworth and Isaiah Saunders, who combined for 1200 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Kevin Davis and the Rams defense will need to have another San Diego State performance and force Linehan to beat them with his arm. The Vandals spread the ball around with 4 players having more than 30 catches. Trent Cowan is Linehan’s favorite target, especially in the red zone.
If the Rams can contain the Vandals offense, expect an easy win for the Rams. The Rams will have to come into this game expecting to fight for the victory, if they come in soft, they’ll get run over.
The line, as of this writing, has Colorado State as a 15 point favorite. The Potato Bowl kicks off at 5 p.m. mountain time, Thursday Dec 22 on ESPN.