With a game under their belt the Colorado State Rams head to Denver to face the Colorado Buffaloes in the Rocky Mountain Showdown. The Buffs were a surprise last year winning the Pac-12 South and advancing to the Pac-12 championship.
The Buffs are having to replace a 4 year starter at QB, 9 starters on defense, and their Defensive Coordinator. The Buffs offense should be similar to last year. D.J. Eliot was hired to replace Jim Leavitt as Defensive Coordinator.
The Rocky Mountain Showdown is usually a competitive game. The Rams are going to look for revenge after last year’s shellacking. The Buffs and Rams will put on a good show this year.
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Mascot: Chip (mascot), Ralphie (Live)
Coach: Mike MacIntyre, former San Jose State Spartans coach
Conference: Pac-12 (South Division)
2016 Record: 10-4, 8-1 Conference
Steven Montez, Quarterback
Steven Montez is the replacement for 4 year starter Sefo Liufau. Montez brings a similar skill set to Liufau. Both are strong arm quarterbacks who can make plays with their legs when the play breaks down. Montez finished last year in spot duty with 1078 passing yards, 9 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. Also had 231 rushing yards on 52 carries and 1 touchdown.
Derek McCartney, Hybrid DE/LB
Derek McCartney is one of the better defensive players on the Buffs roster this year. He only played in 3 games in 2016, due to a knee injury suffered at Michigan, but he is a force when he plays. In that game at Michigan he returned a fumble for a touchdown. In 2015, he finished with 70 tackles, 10 for a loss, 5 sacks, and a forced fumble.
Colorado isn’t going to dramatically fall off. The Buffs offense is enough to keep them afloat. It’s a matter of whether the defense can do enough to hold opponents. The Buffs defense is their major question. How will they replace 9 starters and how will D.J. Eliot replicate what Jim Leavitt did? The Buffs offense will win them games.
Last year’s Rocky Mountain Showdown was a horror show for the Rams. This year should be different. It should be similar to the games in the years before last year. A competitive game that comes down to the wire. The game might evolve into a shootout. But the Buffs do just enough to pull it out in the end.
Colorado 42, Colorado State 38