What has been a very rough start for Colorado State is starting to come to an end. The Rams stand at 1-3 with a tough FCS foe to close out the non-conference schedule. The Rams are coming off the tough loss of Florida in which they turned the ball over three times. There were times throughout that game where there was momentum in which, they completely gave the momentum back to the Gators. Like missing field goals deep in Florida territory. The Rams will lead to clean up those issues in the annual Ag Day orange out game against Illinois State Redbirds. This however isn’t your typical FCS team as the Redbirds are ranked in the top 25 of the FCS polls. Is it a winnable game? Yes and here is how the Rams can get it done.
Date: Saturday September 22nd, 2018 at 1 PM MDT
History: First Meeting
TV/Radio: AT&T Sportsnet, KARS 102.9 (Northern Colorado)
Line: No line
These two teams have contrasting styles Colorado State has had a dominant pass offense well the opposite can be said about Illinois State. Illinois State has had a dominant pass defense so far in the season and I have beaten the two opponents they played by a combined score of 94-10. Offensively the red birds are led by quarterback Brady Davis and running back James Robinson. Davis tends to have success while throwing the ball on the run and accurately. Robinson is a tough runner who is hard to bring down. The secondary of the Rams will be tested by receiver Spencer Schnell who is a do it all player. Though their first two Redbird opponents have been cakewalks, the Ram defense will need to be disciplined to stop this Illinois State offense.
The offense last week played decent for the most part they just couldn’t finish drives. To missed field goals by your kicker will do that for you as well. KJ Carta Samuels will need to continue his high-level play and cut down on his turnovers. This will also be the perfect game to get the run game going. Marvin Kinsley Jr. played very well last week against a stout Florida defense. Use the running game to open up the pass. When that happens Preston Williams and Bisi Johnson will be able to make plays and get points for the Rams. If Colorado State wants to win this game, they’re going to need discipline on both sides of the ball and take advantage of the points that are given to them.
Outlook and prediction: This will be a close game and Colorado State will need to grind it out. No need to create turnovers run defense and take advantage of short fields. When you have the ball on offense. Jump out to leave early and use the running game to close it out. Illinois State will be scrappy and stay in it but the Rams will prevail getting a much needed win heading into the bye.
Colorado State 34 – Illinois State 24